Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Christmas week snowstorm in Ohio River valley broke all records

08.04.2005


Even though spring and warm-weather thoughts are here, a chilling, soon-to-be published report says that December’s immense Midwest snowstorm was one to remember.



The Dec. 22-23 storm broke all records for storm intensity, size, and damages, garnered national attention, and dumped record snowfall -- not only across Illinois but also in the Ohio River valley where heavy snows and ice seldom occur, said Stanley Changnon, chief emeritus of the Illinois State Water Survey.

Full details of the storm -- the most significant in the region in 104 years -- will be detailed in a report prepared by the ISWS. "Along with 17 deaths and thousands of injuries, losses in the transportation sector from flight delays and cancellations, and other losses and damages associated with the storm exceeded $900 million," said Changnon, an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "That figure includes $230 million in insured property losses, qualifying the storm as a national winter storm catastrophe, defined as an event in which losses exceed $25 million."


More than 120 counties in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio declared snow emergencies. Losses are nearly double the $120 million average for the nation’s winter snowstorms and rank 32nd among the nation’s 167 catastrophic winter storms since records began in 1949, Changnon said.

Snowfall exceeded 6 inches over 121,000 square miles, an area roughly the size of Illinois and Indiana. The storm struck at the peak of travel for 62 million people -- the most travelers in any holiday season, including 51 million by car. Southern and eastern portions had freezing rain, with ice layers up to 2 inches thick in parts of Kentucky and Ohio.

"The timing of the storm couldn’t have been worse, making travel hazardous and stranding thousands of holiday travelers across the Midwest," he said. "The storm’s southwest-northeast orientation from the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at Cairo, Ill., to Cleveland blocked both east-west traffic across the eastern United States and north-south traffic between the Midwest and South."

The storm generally lasted 30 hours along and south of a line from Cape Girardeau, Mo., across southern Illinois to Evansville, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., and then into the Ohio cities of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. "What’s unusual is that this record snowfall occurred over rolling topography and hills, areas that usually don’t have heavy snows," Changnon said.

Record snow fell in southern Indiana (29 inches at Seymour, 24.5 inches at Greensburg, 22.3 inches at Evansville, and 18 inches at Bloomington), Ohio (24 inches at Greenfield and 23 inches at Mansfield), and Kentucky (14 inches at Paducah). Illinois records were at Carmi (18 inches), McLeansboro (14 inches) and Carbondale (12 inches).

Temperatures across the Midwest fell well below freezing after the storm began before plunging to their coldest levels all winter on Dec. 24-25, including minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit, a new record low on Christmas Day at Evansville.

"Local, urban, county and state snow-removal facilities just were not equipped to deal with such a massive storm," Changnon said, noting that many rescue vehicles became stuck in snow and ice, jack-knifed semitrailers blocked both lanes on interstates, and airports experienced numerous delays and more than 200 flight cancellations.

Chances for a heavy snowstorm in the Midwest late in the spring are slim, he added. "If such a storm did occur, warmer temperatures quickly would melt any snow."

Eva Kingston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sws.uiuc.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>