I received an email showing people walking on a frozen Niagara Falls in 1911. Is that real, and if so how cold was it?
George Koziol, Chicago
Those photos have been making the rounds for many years. While not commenting on their validity but only on the weather, they were probably not taken in 1911 but in late January or early February 1912 when severe cold gripped the Great Lakes region. Weather records indicate that January 1912 was the coldest January on record to date in the Lakes region, not only in terms of average temperature but in consecutive days of below zero weather. Buffalo recorded only five days with highs above freezing during all of January. Intense cold continued in early February, and that six-week period ranked as one of the coldest on record at that time. Buffalo did not climb above freezing from Jan. 30-Feb. 16 and dropped to 13 below zero on Feb. 10.
Melissa Rhines shares these great snow pictures from Snowmass Mountain in Colorado. She noted that the snow is starting to pile up as ski season approaches. Thanks Melissa for the beautiful images!
Photos courtesy of Melissa Rhines
Here are just a few of the many wonderful snapshots we’ve received that highlight the changing colors of this season. Thanks to everyone who sent in photos, and we look forward to seeing more of them in the weeks ahead.
– Tom Skilling and the WGN Weather Center
Photos courtesy of Rich Forey, Woodstock, Ill.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Ligas, Lake Geneva, Wis.
The Lake Geneva area is in on this autumn’s spectacular colors too
Matthew Ligas sends us this shot above of the vivid fall colors on display in the always beautiful Lake Geneva, Wis., area. THANKS for sharing it with us!
Photos courtesy of Katina J. Levin, Evanston, Ill.
Gorgeous fall colors from Naperville to Chicago
Katina Levin says the colors are so beautifully varied this year, they remind her of a bag of Skittles! I LIKE the comparison, Katina! Regarding the four pictures above, she tells us:
“The red tree is from the Northeastern Illinois University campus on the north side of Chicago. The multicolored trees I took in Naperville today. They look like nearly every fall color possible in a single tree.”
Spectacular fall colors in Genoa, Illinois’ Russell Woods
From Clarissa Knotts of Genoa, Illinois come these beautiful shots of 2009′s fall colors. Clarissa tells us she took the two photos above in the Russell Woods Forest Preserve in Genoa. They’re beautiful photos. THANKS Clarissa!
Downpours swept into the Chicago area Thursday and have continued overnight. The storm is expected to produce the biggest rainfall tallies in two months–more than 2 inches in some areas. It comes in an October which has seen rain 16 of 23 days. But, not since 2.12 inches fell between Aug. 26-29 has a wetter system hit the area. It’s arrived as area farmers struggle with what is already the latest harvest in recent memory, a development brought on by an extraordinarily wet spring and cool summer. The latest rains all but guarantee field work won’t resume for 3 to 4 days, according to John Hazzard who farms in Will County’s Wilmington area. What’s more, this year’s fall color display—arguably one of the best in recent years—may well be adversely affected as the current system’s wind/rain combo brings down leaves.
Area rainfalls by late Thursday evening had reached 1.85 inches at Kenosha, WI, 1.58 Rockford, 1.37 Sandwich, 1.34 Lake Geneva, 1.24 Henry and 1.20 in Glenview—totals expected to rise significantly in overnight downpours expected to extend into the first hours of Friday morning. While occasionally heavy rains are projected through mid-morning, easing to lighter showers by lunchtime and to lighter, far more sporadic sprinkles Friday afternoon, the storm’s backwash showers—showers which sweep around such a system’s west and southern flank–aren’t likely to fully depart the area until later Saturday afternoon. Still another system–lacking the huge moisture budget of this one—may ignite some additional showers Sunday afternoon and night. And another wet system seems a good bet mid-next week.
Louisiana tornado overturns 18-wheeler as rains top 4 inches in Arkansas
Driving rains weren’t the system’s only effect in a 1,000 mile swath of terrain extending from Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to Wisconsin and Michigan. A tornado touched down just after noon Thursday in Jennings, Louisiana, overturning cars on Interstate 10 and flipping an 18 wheeler on its side. Big rains to Chicago’s south included 4.20 inches at Arkadelphia, AR, 3.98 at Alexandria, Louisiana, 2.68 at Ames, Iowa and 2.26 at Kirksville, Missouri.
In your Oct. 22 column you mentioned that 1992 had the fewest number 80 degree or higher days (58) before this year (56). What was the winter of 1992-93 like?
Frank Davis Prospect Heights
The winter of 1992-93 was slightly above normal in both temperature and snowfall. The winter averaged 26.4 degrees—about a degree warmer than a typical Chicago winter. There were only four days of subzero weather, with the winter’s lowest reading dropping to just minus 4 degrees on Feb. 24. Snowfall totaled 46.9 inches as compared to a city-wide average of about 40 inches. There were no huge snowstorms—the biggest totaling around 7 inches, and the season’s deepest snowpack reached only 8 inches. The winter’s first major snow, a 5 inch affair, did not occur until Dec. 9-10.