|Type|| Extratropical cyclone |
|Max rating1||F4 tornado|
|1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale |
The Great Blue Norther of November 11, 1911 was a cold snap that affected the central United States on Saturday, November 11, 1911. Many cities broke record highs, going into the 70s and 80s early that afternoon. By nightfall, cities were dealing with temperatures in the teens and single-digits on the Fahrenheit scale. This is the only day in many midwest cities' weather bureau jurisdictions where the record highs and lows were broken for the same day. Some cities experienced tornadoes on Saturday and a blizzard on Sunday.A blizzard even occurred within one hour after an F4 tornado hit Rock County, Wisconsin.
A cold wave is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air. Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24-hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. The precise criterion for a cold wave is determined by the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year.
The Central United States is sometimes conceived as between the Eastern and Western United States as part of a three-region model, roughly coincident with the U.S. Census' definition of the Midwestern United States plus the western and central portions of the U.S. Census' definition of the Southern United States. The Central States are typically considered to consist of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Sometimes Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama are also considered to be central states.
The Fahrenheit scale is a temperature scale based on one proposed in 1724 by Dutch–German–Polish physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736). It uses the degree Fahrenheit as the unit. Several accounts of how he originally defined his scale exist. The lower defining point, 0 °F, was established as the freezing temperature of a solution of brine made from equal parts of ice, water and salt. Further limits were established as the melting point of ice (32 °F) and his best estimate of the average human body temperature. The scale is now usually defined by two fixed points: the temperature at which water freezes into ice is defined as 32 °F, and the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 °F, a 180 °F separation, as defined at sea level and standard atmospheric pressure.
The main cause of such a dramatic cold snap was an extremely strong storm system separating warm, humid air from frigid, arctic air. Dramatic cold snaps tend to occur mostly in the month of November, though they can also come in February or March.These arrivals of Continental Polar or Arctic air masses are generally called northers, and the one in question was marked by a mass of steel blue clouds in the vicinity of the surface front, hence the name. Although temperature drops of this extent have happened on other occasions, as recently as February 2009, the fact that the 1911 cold front passage was during the autumn and came after such warm weather contributed to the properties mentioned in this article.
Temperatures in Kansas City had reached a record high of 76° F (24 °C) by late morning before the front moved through. As the cold front approached, the winds increased turning from southeast to northwest. By midnight, the temperature had dropped to 11° F (−11.7 °C), a 65 Fahrenheit degree (35 Celsius degree) difference in 14 hours.
Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 491,918 in 2018, making it the 38th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.
In Springfield, the temperature difference was even more extreme. Springfield was at 80 °F (27 °C) at about 3:45 PM, before the cold front moved through. Fifteen minutes later, the temperature was at 40 °F (4 °C) with winds blasting out of the northwest at 40 mph (64 km/h). By 7:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (01:00 UTC 12 November) the temperature had dropped a further 20 °F (3.9 °C), and by midnight, a record low of 13 °F (−11 °C) was established. It was the first time since records had been kept for Springfield when the record high and record low were broken in the same day. The freak temperature difference was also a record breaker: 67 °F (37 °C) in 10 hours.
Springfield is the third-largest city in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 159,498. As of 2018, the Census Bureau estimated its population at 168,122. It is the principal city of the Springfield metropolitan area, which has a population of 462,369 and includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Webster.
The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Record highs and lows were established on the same day in Oklahoma City as well with a high of 83 °F (28 °C) and low of 17 °F (−8 °C); temperature difference: 66 °F (36 °C). Both records still hold.
Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 649,021 as of July 2018. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,396,445, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,469,124 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest municipality and metropolitan area by population.
The front produced severe weather and tornadoes across the upper Mississippi Valley, a blizzard in Ohio, and the windy conditions upon front passage caused a dust storm in Oklahoma.
A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The windstorm is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology to name a weather system with a low-pressure area in the center around which, from an observer looking down toward the surface of the earth, winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, and they are often visible in the form of a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), are more than two miles (3 km) in diameter, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles.
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.
A dust storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Fine particles are transported by saltation and suspension, a process that moves soil from one place and deposits it in another.
Alongside the dramatic temperature swings, the cold front brought a destructive tornado outbreak to parts of the Midwest. At least nine tornadoes touched down across five states as the system moved through, resulting in 13 fatalities. Hundreds of structures were destroyed by the storms and many areas had to conduct search and rescue missions amidst blizzard conditions. According to Thomas P. Grazulis, this outbreak was one of the worst on record in November for the north-central States.
|List of reported tornadoes – Saturday, November 11, 1911|
|F2||W of Davenport||Scott||12:55 p.m.||9 miles (14 km)||The first known tornado of the outbreak touched down 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Davenport and tracked northeast. Along its path, five farms sustained damage and a barn was destroyed. One person was injured by the tornado.|
|F2||Virginia area||Cass||4:00 p.m.||18 miles (29 km)||Tornado touched down near Arenzville and tracked northeast into the town of Virginia. There, about 100 structures were damaged or destroyed. The worst damage occurred on the west side of town where 30 homes and businesses, including a church and high school, were destroyed. Overall, 18 people were injured by the tornado and losses reached $150,000.|
|F3||S of Easton||Mason||4:45 p.m.||11 miles (18 km)||2 deaths – A strong tornado touched down south of Easton and destroyed several homes. Two people were killed in separate incidents near the town. Nine other people were injured by the tornado and losses reached $20,000.|
|F2||E of Aurora||DuPage||5:30 p.m.||4 miles (6.4 km)||A tornado touched down east of Aurora and damaged several buildings. One home lost its roof and another was struck by debris from a barn. The tornado was last noted moving into the "big woods" northeast of Aurora. Losses from the storm reached $10,000.|
|F?||Unknown||Cass||Unknown||Unknown||A study in 1993 chronicling all tornadoes in Illinois prior to 1916 revealed that a tornado touched down in Cass County and injured 12 people.|
|F?||Unknown||Kankakee||Unknown||Unknown||A study in 1993 chronicling all tornadoes in Illinois prior to 1916 revealed that a tornado touched down in Kankakee County.|
|F?||Unknown||Cumberland||Unknown||Unknown||A study in 1993 chronicling all tornadoes in Illinois prior to 1916 revealed that a tornado touched down in Cumberland County.|
|F3||Leroy to S of Michigan City||Lake, Porter||7:00 p.m.||30 miles (48 km)||A strong, long-lived tornado first touched down near Leroy and tracked northeast to Michigan City. The most significant damage took pace near Lake Eliza where a school was destroyed. Debris from the building was tossed up to 2 mi (3.2 km) away. Another school in Jackson Township was also destroyed. Along the tornado's path, buildings were destroyed on 15 farms. One person was picked up and tossed to his neighbor's house by the storm. According to Thomas P. Grazulis, this tornado was likely a tornado family and not a single, continuous event.|
|F?||Terre Haute area||Vigo||9:10 p.m.||≥0.5 miles (0.80 km)||Apparent tornado struck Terre Haute and injured three people. Touching down in the heart of the town, the tornado soon struck a grocery store, blowing out lights and windows. Several barns along the tornado's path were completely destroyed or flattened. One home in the city was flattened and swept clean off its foundation, leaving just an underground cellar behind. The second floor of the John Rankin School was destroyed. The caboose of a train in the town was thrown off the tracks, injuring the occupants.|
|F2||Waterloo area||DeKalb||10:00 p.m.||5 miles (8.0 km)||A significant tornado struck the town of Waterloo, damaging or destroying at least 100 structures. An opera house in Waterloo collapsed due to the tornado. Just outside town, several farms were also severely damaged. Losses from the storm reached $75,000.|
|F?||Bedford area||Lawrence||~10:00 p.m.||Unknown||A possible tornado caused extensive damage in Bedford, with losses reaching $500,000. This may have been the same tornado that struck Waterloo.|
|F4||SW of Janesville to N of Milton||Rock||8:00 p.m.||18 miles (29 km)||9 deaths – The most powerful tornado of the outbreak caused extensive damage to Rock County, Wisconsin. Beginning at 2:00 pm, a tornado traveled north-northeast from the Town of Avon, and through the community of Hanover. The tornado skirted the northwest edge of Janesville, and then passed between Milton and Milton Junction, to a point in the Town of Lima, 4 miles northeast of Milton. The tornado finally dissipating in the extreme northeast corner of Rock County. Nearly $1 million in damage was reported. The worst damage occurred near Orfordville and near Milton.. Several farms were also leveled near Milton. The ninth fatality took place in this area. Overall losses from the tornado reached $1,000,000.|
|F2||SE of Battle Creek||Calhoun||10:00 p.m.||Unknown||Tornado touched down well to the southeast of Battle Creek. Several barns were leveled and homes were damaged.|
|F?||Kingsland area||Eaton||~10:00 p.m.||Unknown||Possible tornado killed horses and cattle.|
|F2||Laingsburg to Owosso||Shiawassee||11:05 p.m.||12 miles (19 km)||2 deaths – Extensive damage took place in Laingsburg. Five factories and twenty homes were destroyed. Two people were killed when the upper floor of their home collapsed on them. Twenty-one people were injured throughout the town. Just outside Laingsburg, 15 barns were destroyed by the tornado. Overall losses from the storm reached $500,000.|
A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds of at least 56 km/h (35 mph) and lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more. A ground blizzard is a weather condition where snow is not falling but loose snow on the ground is lifted and blown by strong winds. Blizzards can have an immense size and usually stretch to hundreds or thousands of kilometres.
The 1993 Storm of the Century was a large cyclonic storm that formed over the Gulf of Mexico on March 12, 1993. The storm was unique and notable for its intensity, massive size, and wide-reaching effects; at its height, the storm stretched from Canada to Honduras. The cyclone moved through the Gulf of Mexico and then through the eastern United States before moving on to Canada. The storm eventually dissipated in the North Atlantic Ocean on March 15, 1993.
A panhandle hook is a relatively infrequent winter storm system whose cyclogenesis occurs in the South to southwestern United States from the late fall through winter and into the early spring months. They trek to the northeast on a path towards the Great Lakes region, as the southwesterly jet streams are most prevalent, usually affecting the Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada. Panhandle hooks account for some of the most memorable and deadly blizzards and snowstorms in North America. The name is derived from the region of surface cyclogenesis in the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma panhandle regions. In some winters, there are no panhandle hook storms; in others, there are several.
The early-May 1965 tornado outbreak sequence was a major severe weather event that affected much of the Central United States on May 5–8, 1965. For four consecutive days, tornado outbreaks produced at least three significant (F2+) tornadoes each day, and at least two violent (F4–F5) tornadoes on three of the four days. The entire sequence generated 37 significant tornadoes, including at least nine violent tornadoes, one of which was rated F5. On May 5, two F4s struck Iowa, including a long-tracked tornado family that injured 11 people. On May 6, an outbreak of six strong tornadoes, four of them violent F4s, affected Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and has been nicknamed "The Longest Night", killing 13 people and causing major damages—at the time the most damaging single weather event in Minnesota history. Three of the six tornadoes occurred on the ground simultaneously, and two of them hit the section of Minnesota State Highway 100 and University Avenue in the city of Fridley. Both Fridley tornadoes damaged 1,100 homes and destroyed about 425; total losses reached $14.5 million, $5 million of which was to the Fridley school system.
In mid-January 1888, a severe cold wave passed through the northern regions of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains of the United States, then considered to be the northwestern region of the nation. It led to a blizzard for the northern Plains and upper Mississippi valley where many children were trapped in schoolhouses where they froze to death. This tragedy became known as the Schoolhouse Blizzard, Schoolchildren's Blizzard, or The Children's Blizzard. This cold snap and blizzard were part of a month which averaged temperatures 6–12 degrees Fahrenheit below normal across much of the northern and western United States.
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The 1991 Halloween blizzard was a powerful storm that caused a period of heavy snowfall and ice accumulation, which affected parts of the Upper Midwest of the United States, from October 31 to November 3, 1991. Over the last week of October 1991, a large storm system over the Atlantic Ocean blocked most of the weather patterns over the eastern half of the United States, and in turn, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico was funneled straight northward over the affected region. By the time the precipitation stopped falling, many cities in the eastern half of Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin had witnessed record early-season snowfall accumulations, while parts of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa were crippled by a large ice storm. Arctic air that was pulled southward behind the storm had combined with the heavy snow pack to produce many record low temperatures. Between the blizzard and the ice storm, 22 people were killed and over 100 were injured.
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The Early Winter 2006 North American storm complex was a severe winter storm that occurred on November 26, 2006, and continued into December 1. It affected much of North America in some form, producing all kinds of severe weather including a major ice storm, blizzard conditions, high winds, extreme cold, a serial derecho and some tornadoes.
The 1978 Bossier City tornado outbreak was an outbreak of 11 tornadoes that occurred during the early morning hours of December 3, 1978, in Louisiana and Arkansas. The outbreak produced several significant (F2–F5) tornadoes, several of which were long tracked. The first and most destructive of the tornadoes was a violent F4 tornado touched down on the eastern bank of the Red River in Bossier City, Louisiana, at approximately 1:50 a.m. CST. The tornado produced a path up to .5 miles (0.8 km) wide and nearly 4 miles (6.4 km) long through the heart of Bossier City. The only two deaths to occur in Bossier City were two young girls who were killed when a car was thrown through their bedroom wall. The Bossier City tornado became the fifth tornado in American history to produce at least $100 million (non-adjusted) in damage.
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