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Sarah Jamison, Service Hydrologist National Weather Service Forecast Office Cleveland . The meteorology of the 1913 flood . Storms of March 23-27 th produced flooding over a thousand miles long and several hundred miles wide from Illinois to Connecticut. . Heart of the Nation.

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Sarah jamison service hydrologist national weather service forecast office cleveland

Sarah Jamison, Service Hydrologist

National Weather Service Forecast Office Cleveland

The meteorology of the 1913 flood


  • Storms of March 23-27th produced flooding over a thousand miles long and several hundred miles wide from Illinois to Connecticut.

http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/1913Flood/


Heart of the nation
Heart of the Nation

JD Rockefeller

Andrew Carnegie

Railroad Tracks 1900

¼ of U.S. Population directly affected

At the turn of the 20th century the Ohio Valley was the largest producers of steel manufacturing, railroads, coal and natural gas

http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/1913Flood/


State capitals inundated
State Capitals Inundated

Albany, NY

Columbus, OH

Indianapolis, IN

http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/1913Flood/


Weather related fatalities of march 1913

Tornado Fatalities

Flood Fatalities

Severe Wind Fatalities

Weather Related Fatalities of March 1913

Approximately 1,000

Source: National Weather Service Climate Records


Why was this event so catastrophic
Why was this event so catastrophic?

Dayton Ohio March 29, 1913

http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/1913Flood/


The Weather Bureau Offices in Detroit reported “A gale of unprecedented severity swept over southern Michigan. Buildings were razed, roofs blown off, chimneys toppled over, signs blown down, trees broken and uprooted, overhead wires prostrated, and several lives lost as a result of the storm’s fury.” Monthly Weather Summary, March 1913


March 23 easter sunday
March 23-Easter Sunday

Just before 6 p.m. local time on March 23rd, a strong tornado tore through an affluent part of Omaha, completely destroying hundreds of houses and displacing thousands. The tornado tracked for five miles through the heart of town with a width up to a  ¼ mile. This resulted in 103 fatalities, 49 more in other tornadoes and storms in Nebraska and Iowa. Photo courtesy of the NOAA Photo Library


Reanalysis of 1913 weather
Reanalysis of 1913 Weather

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgibin/data/composites/

Support for the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project dataset is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (DOE INCITE) program, and Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office


March 23 1913
March 23, 1913

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 23 19131
March 23, 1913

H

L

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 23 19132
March 23, 1913

MPH

53

47

40

33

26

20

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 24 1913
March 24, 1913

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 24 19131
March 24, 1913

H

L

L

L

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 24 19132
March 24, 1913

MPH

60

54

47

40

33

26

20

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 24 19133
March 24, 1913

Inches

1.6

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 25 1913
March 25, 1913

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 25 19131
March 25, 1913

H

H

L

L

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 25 19132
March 25, 1913

MPH

60

54

47

40

33

26

20

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 25 19133
March 25, 1913

Inches

1.6

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 26 1913
March 26 ,1913

H

L

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 26 19131
March 26, 1913

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 26 19132
March 26, 1913

Inches

1.6

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 27 1913
March 27, 1913

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/


March 27 19131
March 27, 1913

L

H

Image provided by the NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division, Boulder Colorado from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/



Conclusion
Conclusion

  • Largest natural disaster national had ever been faced with.

  • 1913 flood reshaped National perception on governments role in flood control

  • Flood policy has changed significantly expanding across several agencies and jurisdictions

  • 1913 flood a good reminder of what is possible

  • Nothing to prevent the same weather pattern from forming again.

  • The biggest difference will be our ability to warn, prepare, and react.



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