How To Hang A Horse in a Tree and More Snow


I wonder how high the river crested?

I wonder how high the river crested?

No Fishing at Cherokee Park

No Fishing at Cherokee Park

On This Date In History: If you remember the photos above, you are probably collecting Social Security. Those photos are from the 1937 flood in Louisville. The 1937 flood is by far the greatest flood event in recorded history on the Ohio River. There really wasn’t much snow but there was some in the Ohio River basin. Also, the ground was pretty hard from having been freezing in many places to the runoff was rapid from a bunch of rain in the Ohio Valley. As an example, Louisville got 15 inches of rain from the 12th to the 24th of January and 19 inches for the month. The entire Ohio Valley basin received an over abundance of rain. The Ohio River in Louisville crested on January 27, 1937.

Looking West Up Broadway From Brown Hotel Roof

Looking West Up Broadway From Brown Hotel Roof

On this date in 1937

, the people of Louisville held their breath in hopes that the river would continue to recede from record levels of over 85 feet on the lower gauge of the McAlpine Lock and just over 52 feet on the upper gauge. The flood stage is 55 feet and 23 feet respectively.


The Falls of the Ohio is the result of a geological rise. There is a fall in the elevation of some 26.5 feet over 2 miles. The rapids were said to be spectacular with one observer in 1811 saying it was “more spectacular

Looks Like One Boat Should Be Called Titanic

Looks Like One Boat Should Be Called Titanic

 than Niagara.” It was said you could hear the roar of the water from miles away. Trouble with this was that when the river was low, it was not navigatable. If you were going down stream, you took your cargo and unloaded it at Louisville and then reloaded on another vessel at Portland. The falls are part of the reason for Louisville’s existence. It was either at the end of 1830 or 1831 that the Louisville and Portland Canal opened up as a way to circumnavigate the falls in times of low water. Later, in 1870, the US Army Corps of Engineers embarked on a canalization of the Ohio River project. It would create over 50 locks and dams along the river to ensure consistent navigation. The final dam was the one at Louisville in 1925, though it has been updated many times. The last was in the 1960’s when they went from a wicker dam to a permanent structure across the entire river.

Madison and Clinton...Fred Sanford's Yard

Madison and Clinton...Fred Sanford's Yard

I want to know if the canalization of the Ohio had any effect on the flood of 1937. It was the greatest flood of 175 years of civilization and evidence suggests that it was the greatest in geologial history. But…there wasn’t a series of dams on the river for all time. The role of the Corps of Engineers, even today, is not for flood control but strictly navigation.  Would the flood of 1937 been less if the river had been allowed to flow freely and is that the reason why in geologic time there has not been a bigger flood? I dunno and in pragmatic terms I suppose it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t mean I’m not curious.

Some of these photos came from the Kentucky Historical Society and there are lots more where they came from so feel free to Click Here to see more and other cool photos they have.
GFS Snow Accumulation By Tue Morning

GFS Snow Accumulation By Tue Morning

Weather Bottom Line: Snow White got stuck in her car on a city street on Thursday.  She discovered not all of the roads were cleared.  We had our phone on Wednesday night but by Thursday morning, it was out.  Not sure what was different between night and day.  But, ‘were still fortunate to be with power.  Having been without heat twice already this winter, I know how difficult it can be.  Keep an eye on each other, especially the elderly.  No need to amplify a crummy situation with tragedy.  As a front comes through on Friday, look for snow showers but the bigger concern will be the wind kicking up to 10-20 mph which may make some trees come down and amplify the power problems.  If you’re like me and have power, be prepared just in case you lose it.
The story remains the same and we’ve got some consensus started to build between the GFS, Canadian and European models.  They form a low south of New Orleans and generally track the storm toward say, Roanoke, VA.  What we have is the subtropical jet nosing pretty far north.  This is what happened earlier this week and the general pattern doesn’t change.  A speed max comes through the flow as it moves into the baroclinic zone of the Gulf, a low forms south of New Orleans.  The polar jet dives down and gets in phase with the subtropical jet.  The low then shoots up through the flow to the northeast.  This is the type of pattern that brings snow and ice storms to the South and also into our area.  As I said, its the same scenario as earlier in the week.  This time, it
Note Speed Max at 300 mb in relation to surface low on GFS Mon. Morning

Note Speed Max at 300 mb in relation to surface low on GFS Mon. Morning

would seem to me that the low is going to track pretty far to our east so the risk of a big ice storm is minimized somewhat and the biggest snow should be to our east.  Having said that, there are two things to remember.  First is that there are still several days to go and the low doesn’t even exist yet except in a computer’s dream.  It will probably form but the exact track is still up in the air and a deviation of just 100 miles east or west would be a difference between hardly any snow and a whole bunch.  As it stands, if it were to come out as currently forecast, then were in the 3-6 inch neighborhood.  The other thing to consider is that, while it would not set up as a huge icing situation, this scenario would start out as rain, then go over to sleet before turning to snow.  Freezing rain….I wouldn’t be overly concerned at this point because we would have warmed well above freezing by Sunday afternoon. However, rain on top of old snow and ice may be a problem.  Anyway…its worth watching.  Still thinking mid 30’s on Saturday and the 40’s on Sunday.


6 Responses

  1. Do you have Insight phone? Most of the people that I know with Insight phone don’t have phone service. Someone told me that Insight has a back-up power system that will last for about nine hours or so. So, if power is not restored to Insight within that time then the phones go out when the back-up power is exhausted. It sounds like it might be true since it would explain why you had phone service early Wednesday then lost it. Anyway, I’ll trade you! My phone service (AT&T) has been uninterrupted all week but I have no power. Let me know if you’re interested in a swap!

    I think that most people are surprised that the 1937 flood occured in January of 1937. I did hapen to know that. It is interesting actually. Kind of makes you wonder if they were worried about global warming in 1937 since we had all that rain in January of that year instead of snow. That means that the weather must have been pretty warm for that to occur in January.

    It is interesting to wonder if the dams made the flooding worse. Another factor that helped to worsen the flooding no doubt had to do with the amount of farmland that was being utilized during that time. Water will run off a plowed field much more quickly than in a forest or meadow covered in vegetation. That’s something else that people don’t realize is that, because of improved farming methods, fertilizers, pesticides, and higher-yield plants (which some people tend to view as evil things), there is actually less land being used for farming now than there was in 1937. In other words, during that time we had to use more land to feed ourselves because yields / acre were much lower. More farmland would have resulted in faster run-off which would have worsened flooding. Something to think about. All technology is NOT evil, you know.

  2. AT & T

  3. Fascinating! Thanks, V

  4. I wonder how they got that horse down, or if they even tried.

  5. how DARE you freaks put that picture on the web. who in their right mind would do that? you need to be in an asylum or get the death sentence.

  6. It’s actually a historic photo. I’m sorry you don’t like it but it illustrates just exactly how high the water was and what is possible. The poor animal was killed in a natural catastrophe, not any malicious act by people. It’s a sad photo but is illustrative of the point.

    The night before Hurricane Katrina, SnowWhite says that I said on the air “a lot of people are going to die tonight.” I’m not sure if I said it on the air but I told a lot of people. How did I know that? Because when I was a kid I saw with my own eyes what happened with Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I knew that so many people who have since moved there have no clue as to what the power of water is and I knew that the storm surge would wipe that place clean. Photos allow for perspective and tell the story better than words. In this case, the photo you object to is part of a collection. Censorship is not the American way…at least it didnt’ used to be and in this case, I do not find any reason in your argument to remove the photo. It’s not offensive, its historical. There may be someone who thinks a painting of George Washington is offensive because he owned slaves. While that may be true, he is an historical figure. Sorry to disappoint you. Not sure what the “dare” part of your message alludes to. Further, no freaks around here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: