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Author Topic: Winter of 1917-1918  (Read 4006 times)

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Offline Curt

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Winter of 1917-1918
« on: January 17, 2010, 11:41:56 AM »
While we are nearing mid-winter and snow starved at this point (licking our chops for some Feb cold), I happened upon some records from the winter of 1917-1918. This winter must have been the snowlovers dream. Snow upon snow, with only a slight reprieve from what I can tell. In fact, looking at the oldest records I can find near Memphis that date back that far, Covington TN (just to the north) shows a seasonal total of nearly 40 inches of snow and from some guessing, nearly a month of snowcover (not just the piddly dusting to an inch, but full fledged 6-12 inch snows).

Covington data Dec 1917 through March 1918
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php

Little Rock, Ar
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php

Jonesboro, Ar
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php

Clarksville
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php

Knoxville
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php


The overall theme in a nutshell was an 8-12 inch snow in early Dec, a 4-6 inch New Years Eve snow, then numerous back to back 4-8 inch snows mid Jan through mid Feb. AMAZING!!!


I couldnt find any data old enough for Memphis and Nashville direct. It looks like region wide snow events from early December to late Feb, with most of the heavier snow focused on Arkansas and the western half of Tennessee. There was plenty of single and sub-zero snows to boot. Could it happen again? Probably yes is my guess. I would love to look at the data behind this winter, but I am sure it wasnt studied like today due to technology. 40 inches of snow is more like Chicago than Tennessee. Repeat anyone?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 11:45:51 AM by ctbpharmd »

Offline Tom23

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 11:45:58 AM »
WOW!! That Winter would've been awesome to experience (however it was 75 years before I even was born). Just further proof that weather does travel in cycles. Yes, this event can happen again, but it will be hard to happen as long as this did.

Offline Curt

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 11:50:49 AM »
Added Hopkinsville KY for StormNine (an amazing 15 inch snowfall at the beginning of December!):

http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/output.php

Offline Crockett

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 11:57:14 AM »

Offline Curt

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 11:59:29 AM »
So when clicking on the links to the different cities on this thread, I am finding that it keep picking the same one over and over. If that happens to you, just go to http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/data.php  and zoom the map to one of those sites since they all have data that is well over 100 years old.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 12:16:34 PM by ctbpharmd »

Offline ajatwister

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 12:54:19 PM »
After looking at those records it makes me wanna cry  :'(
Born in D.C I survived 1993 and 1996 snowstorms, and have been fascinated ever since.

Snowfall:
2011-2012
Dusting...

Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 01:13:59 PM »
Back then, the American Dream was to live until Spring.  Living was hard.  Massive snowfalls made living that much harder.

Nowadays, we're basically spoiled because living is much easier.  However, snowfall makes it difficult for many people to live even today.
Greg Whitehead
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OS WMR968/WS-2315/WUHU
Website:  Watts Bar Lake - Ten Mile, TN Weather

Offline StormNine

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 04:11:34 PM »
What is weird is I believe this winter was a Moderate La Nina.  I would love to see what type of pattern produced this pattern.
It is Spring Time.  Warmer weather, plant life blooms, and maybe even spring time thunderstorms.

Offline Curt

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 04:56:47 PM »
What is weird is I believe this winter was a Moderate La Nina.  I would love to see what type of pattern produced this pattern.

How can you tell?

Offline StormNine

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 08:40:41 PM »
How can you tell?

I just heard by many sources.  That is kind of what I wondered to.
It is Spring Time.  Warmer weather, plant life blooms, and maybe even spring time thunderstorms.

Offline Thundersnow

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 09:08:05 PM »
Without the benefits of sea surface temperatures measured, it is likely possible to gather circumstantial evidence of historical weather records to determine when there were likely periods of specific ENSO activity.  I think the term "El Nino" goes back hundreds of years, since it was an observed weather phenomenom, even if the causes or issues with SSTs weren't really understood at the time.

Offline Curt

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 11:15:33 PM »
Revived this old topic since the winter of 1917-18 has to be one of the coldest, snowiest winters ever in this part of the country. I found a few more record digging around in the Utah State database. Osceola Arkansas, about 35 miles N of Memphis, recorded almost 45 inches of snow in a 6 week period. At one point with temps below zero, this station recorded nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground. Snow was on the ground for nearly 30 days...just unheard of in these parts.

Offline bugalou

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 01:06:30 AM »
Revived this old topic since the winter of 1917-18 has to be one of the coldest, snowiest winters ever in this part of the country. I found a few more record digging around in the Utah State database. Osceola Arkansas, about 35 miles N of Memphis, recorded almost 45 inches of snow in a 6 week period. At one point with temps below zero, this station recorded nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground. Snow was on the ground for nearly 30 days...just unheard of in these parts.

Good God.  I would say it would be awesome if we could swing that again in our lifetimes, but I can only imagine the 3rd world country Memphis and surrounding areas would become if we had that much snow for that long!

Offline BRUCE

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 06:30:44 AM »
Good God.  I would say it would be awesome if we could swing that again in our lifetimes, but I can only imagine the 3rd world country Memphis and surrounding areas would become if we had that much snow for that long!
this was all before that thing called GLOBAL WARMING kicked in. ::blowtorch:: ::rofl::

Offline ede

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Re: Winter of 1917-1918
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 10:06:37 AM »
While we are nearing mid-winter and snow starved at this point (licking our chops for some Feb cold), I happened upon some records from the winter of 1917-1918. This winter must have been the snowlovers dream. Snow upon snow, with only a slight reprieve from what I can tell.
Regarding the winter of 1917 - 1918 in Tennessee.
About 40 years ago my grandmother described to me the winter of 1917 - 1918 in Northwest Tennessee.  My grandparents lived all of their lives in Samburg, TN on Reelfoot Lake. That winter my grandparents had been married about one year and had their first child.  Per my grandmother that winter was so cold and harsh that for people living in remote regions, such as, my grandparents; it turned into a matter of survival. The only way to get into the area was by mule and wagon or horse and buggy.  Imagine trying to travel a long distance on primitive roads with steep hills covered with a deep snow.  Reelfoot Lake was a major food source for the locals and froze over.  Many families in the town of Samburg were running low on food.  A group of men chopped holes in the ice on Reelfoot Lake and ran nets into the water to catch fish.  All they could catch were Grinnell (Bowfin) fish, a tough fish not usually considered for eating.  But that was one of the things that they had to do to get through the harsh winter of 1917 - 1918.

 

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