40th Anniversary of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
11/10/2015, 9:10:01 AM
Forty years ago, a ship known as "The Edmund Fitzgerald" sank on Lake Superior during a massive storm. Twenty-nine people lost their lives, at the time the deadliest such accident, and still today the Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship to sink there.
Post-analysis weather research showed that the strong low pressure system caused winds to 48 knots (55 mph) produced waves of over 25 feet that night, at the location where it went down. That's about as big as waves theoretically can get on the lake, according to the NWS, though SSEC disagrees In any case, there could be rogue waves twice that height, and it's not out of the question that one of those could have sank the Edmund Fitzgerald. Wikipedia has a number of additional "theories."
Today, ships would be warned not to travel during these conditions based on forecast model predictions for Lake Superior and observations from buoys (although the buoy at Whitefish Point, near where the ship went down, has not been transmitting since July). The NWS in Marquette, Michigan, re-released its forecast from that day for the anniversary:
— NWS Marquette (@NWSMarquette) November 9, 2014
You can read an actual newspaper about the disaster on Google:
Now sing along with Gordon Lightfoot:
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WeatherMatrix - April 12, 2019, 4:35:51 PM EDT
This storm didn't qualify as a "bomb cyclone" like the one in March, but it sure had some crazy weather.
WeatherMatrix - March 19, 2019, 6:43:07 PM EDT
WeatherMatrix - March 11, 2019, 1:59:43 PM EDT
WeatherMatrix - February 28, 2019, 3:03:43 PM EST
Next week's cold outbreak is not unlike the ones in early March 2014 and 2015 but not quite as severe.