China Gets Rattled, We’re Going to Get Wet and The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald Continues

Rain Total Through Friday Evening

Rain Total Through Friday Evening

for an updated version of this post regarding the Edmund Fitzgerald including access to a tribute video CLICK HERE

Look for a decent Monday..after a cold start there will be a lot of sunshine but the temperatures will only move to the lower 50’s at best. Late, we should see some high clouds. That will be in advance of a storm lifting out from the southwest. I’m not convinced that we get rain all day on Tuesday, though some models want to start throwing stuff out Tuesday morning. In any event, we’ll start to see some spotty showers by the afternoon with more general rain for Wednesday into early Thursday. We should dry out and maybe get to the low 60’s on Thursday afternoon before a cold front comes in Friday morning bringing clouds and a few showers. The clouds break with seasonal conditions in the afternoon. We’ll be cool with clouds increasing on Saturday and then I think Sunday looks like a repeat of this past crummy cloudy chilly Sunday.

Quake Center is Big Orange Square

Quake Center is Big Orange Square

6.5 Quake in China China got hit by another big ole quake. This one was on Sunday night our time. Here is a short early story and the USGS stuff follows:

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 6.5
Location 37.619°N, 95.847°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 55 km (35 miles) ESE of Da Qaidam, Qinghai, China
160 km (100 miles) NNE of Golmud, Qinghai, China
1800 km (1120 miles) W of BEIJING, Beijing, China
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.2 km (3.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=102, Nph=103, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=0.91 sec, Gp= 40°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
Event ID us2008zfae
Storms Can Be Brutal On Lake Superior

Storms Can Be Brutal On Lake Superior

 On This Date in History: On this date in 1975, Gordon Lightfoot got the inspiration for a song and 29

Edmund Fitzgerald

Edmund Fitzgerald

families got news that they never wanted to hear. The Edmund Fitzgerald sunk about 17 miles from Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. The ship was a huge iron ore carrier, some 729 feet long. It was carrying ore when it ran into a big storm. The ship and the one it was traveling with, the Arthur M. Anderson tried to steer for the safety of Whitefish Bay to get out of the 60 mile per hour winds and 10-20 foot waves. The Fitzgerald lost its radar and the Whitefish Point radio beacon was knocked out. The Anderson was behind the Fitzgerald and maintained contact with the ship. Fitz captain Ernest McSorely  reported in his last message that he had two damanged vents and that the ship was listing. When asked how he was handling his problem, McSorely responded, “we’re holding our own.” Shortly thereafter, the ship vanished from the Anderson’s radar screen. No one knows what happened. The Anderson reached port and was asked to go back out and look for the Fitzgerald. Reluctantly, the Anderson went back into the storm to look but found nothing.

Route of Anderson and Fitzgerald

Route of Anderson and Fitzgerald

It took some time to locate the wreck but it was found in two pieces in 530 feet of water. On July 4, 1995 the bell was recovered and replaced by a replica with the names of the 29 men who went down with the ship. It is now forbidden to dive on the wreck. The investigation into the incident concluded that the hatches weren’t secured properly and that the ship took on water to the point that when a wave crashed into it, it simply went down. But, skeptics say that there would have been time for a distress call. McSorely had been in contact with the Anderson and never reported any water being taken on, though something caused the list. In the wreck, the chains that made up the deck railing were broken, indicating perhaps that there was tremendous stretching going on. Speculation is that a rogue wave came along….its one that comes out of nowhere and is many times larger than other waves. Either that wave picked up the ship and drove it nose down into the water or, the ship became perched above two wave peaks and the trof in between caused the ship to split in two and sink immediately. Another theory which is accepted by many mariners is that the ship scraped bottom at Caribou Island Shoal and that is why McSorely reported that the ship was listing. The answer will never be known. But, it does show that, even with modern techonology and modern equipment, nature has the final say. Here is a history of the Edmund Fitzgerald from the Detroit News Here is the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald from the NOAA office in Marquette Michigan


One Response

  1. There is an updated version of this post exclusively devoted to the Edmund Fitzgerald that has video and weather conditions related to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

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