Armistice Day storm – 70th anniversary

Wednesday, Nov. 10, was the 35th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in a massive Lake Superior storm; today (Thursday, Nov. 11) is the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Day storm that struck the Upper Midwest.

The Armistice Day storm of 1940 is remembered for the loss of life it caused – including duck hunters who were caught unprepared on a day that started out relatively balmy before the temperatures plunged, and rain turned to blinding snow. At LaCrosse, Wis., the weather went from 52 degrees and southeast winds at 15 mph at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, to 24 degrees and west winds at 38 mph just five hours later. By evening, temperatures were in the teens and winds were blowing at nearly 50 mph.

More than 2 feet of snow fell on parts of the Midwest. The storm caused the loss of several ships on the Great Lakes, especially on Lake Michigan.

Today’s Star Tribune has a good story on the storm, and the effect it had on weather forecasting; the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities of Iowa-Illinois has its own, detailed summary here. You can also find information on the storm here, here and here.

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  1. Pingback: Let’s not forget 70 years ago today: The Armistice Day Storm | Lake Minnetonka Liberty