Edmund Fitzgerald Storm

Today is the 45th anniversary of the wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald. A colleague of mine, and former roommate at SUNY-Oswego, asked if the storm that sank the ship, also affected Oswego, NY, on that fateful day (November 10, 1975). One of the advantages of being retired is having the time to do such research.

I found the following weather maps from an article in The May 2006 issue of The Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society (BAMS): Reexamination of the 9–10 November 1975 “Edmund Fitzgerald” Storm Using Today’s Technology.

Synoptic Charts for November 10, 1975, Oswego, NY marked by the green crosses.
850 mb Analysis for November 10, 1975 1200 UTC. -5 C, 0 C, 5 C isotherms marked by the blue, yellow and red lines, respectively.

I also obtained the weather records from November 1975 for Oswego, NY from The National Centers for Environmental Information.

Weather data for Oswego, NY,November 1975.
Enlarged Image of Oswego Data for November 1975

The high of 69 F and low of 52 F, quite warm for that time of year, confirms that Oswego, was in the warm sector of the storm system as a warm front passed through the area. The surface and 850 mb analysis shows the winds in Oswego were from the south and not off Lake Ontario. Exact wind speeds can not be ascertained from the charts, but judging from the tight isobars and geopotential isopleths, it was probably brisk and accounts for the warm air advection. Also, 1.15 inches of rain fell during the day. A cold front moved through later that evening.

So The Edmund Fitzgerald Storm did affect SUNY-Oswego on Monday, November 10, 1975.

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