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The Great Arctic Outbreak Of 1899

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The Great Arctic Outbreak of '99 and the Great Eastern Blizzard of '99 occurred in February. It was an incredible sequence of back-to-back snowstorms sandwiched by an extreme cold wave. On February 5 to 8, a great blizzard struck the Mid-Atlantic Region. Baltimore received almost a foot of snow and Washington 14 inches over 4 days. As the storm moved out on the 8th, temperatures feel below zero on the 9th. Record cold settled in by the morning of the 10th, Laurel recorded a low of -18 F and Washington -8F. On the 11th, Washington, DC recorded a record minimum of -15 F and a record low maximum of only +4F. Fallston (Harford County) recorded -8F on the 9th and -14F on the 10th and 11th. Charlotte Hall in Southern Maryland reached -19F and Princess Anne -10F. A second blizzard struck on February 11. Temperatures near the start of the storm ranged from -15F to +11F. The storm dropped an additional 20 inches on Washington, 21 inches at Baltimore, and 9 in Solomons. An amazing 34 inches fell on Cape May, NJ. Snow depths reached 34 inches in DC and Baltimore, 24 inches in Princess Anne and as much as 41 inches at Cape May! Northwest winds of 48 mph created blizzard conditions and drove the snow into 10 foot drifts! These blocked transportation lines to the cities causing a major coal shortage that resulted in rationing. Food was also rationed, though not as severely as the coal. On February 16, an ice storm hit. Washington recorded its greatest monthly snow total with 35.2 inches and its greatest seasonal snowfall total with 54.4 inches. Frederick recorded 34 inches for the month. Baltimore had a record 33.9 inches for the month with a record 51.1 inches for the season (This record stood for nearly a century until 1996). Hagerstown also recorded its greatest February snow total with 31 inches for the month. The winter of 1898-1899 was so cold over a large part of the US that ice flowed from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico! This has only been recorded one other time. On February 13, 1784, ice flows blocked the Mississippi River at New Orleans and then passed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit: NOAA NWS

For a detailed meteorological analysis of the events http://journals.amet...AE%3E2.0.CO%3B2

Charts courtesy NOAA Central Library Data Imaging Project


Edited by weather ship

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13th February 1899 minima


Concordia: -32.2C

Dodge City: -31.1C

Witchita: -3C

Oklahoma City: -27.8C


Amarillo: -26.7C

Abilene: -21.1C

Palestine: -20C

San Antonio: -15.6C

Galveston: -14.4C


Springfield: -33.3C


Little Rock: -24.4C


Nashville: -24.4C

Chattanooga: -23.3C


New Orleans: -13.9C


Mobile: -18.3C


Atlanta: -21.1C


Jacksonville: -12.2C

By contrast, the UK was enjoying an exceptionally mild spell at around the same time

10th February 1899 maxima

Camden Square: 18.2C

Brixton: 18.9C

Norwich: 17.5C

Bury St Edmunds: 16.1C

Llandudno: 18.3C

Hitchin: 17.2C

Edited by Mr_Data

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