On This Date In History: The steamboat Eastland was a steamboat on the Chicago River in the early 20th century that was built with known engineering flaws. But, they used it for ferrying passengers from the city to picnic sites on Lake Michigan. It was designed to hold 650 people. On This Date In 1915, some 7000 employees of the Western Electric Company gathered on the dock between LaSalle and Clark streets to board 5 steamers. Now, in 1913, the Eastland was retrofitted to hold 2500 people, but a naval architect that very same year said that “unless structural defects are remedied to prevent listing, there may be a serious accident.” Nevertheless, the boat remained in service and it is estimated that at least 2500 boarded the vessel and perhaps more. There is suspicion that a large group of the passengers got to one side of the boat to pose for a picture. With the big weight shift, an engineer opened one of the ballast tanks but instead of stablizing the boat, it capsized right along the dock. Some 800 died. The bodies were taken to the Second Regiment Armory.
Today, that building is the home of Harpo Studios and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Some of the employees of the studio have reported encounters in the building and claim that it is haunted by the ghosts of the Eastland disaster! So, if you go to see Oprah you may want to consult the Ghost Busters.
On This Date in 1959: Vice President Richard Nixon hosted an event at the American National Exposition in Moscow. Here is a video of how the newsreels of the day covered it. The previous year, the Soviets and Americans agreed to hold exhibitions in each other’s countries in an attempt to encourage cultural exchange and perhaps better understanding. After the Soviets had theirs in New York, the Americans held theirs and it featured a number of modern appliances and such. Nixon took Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on a tour. As Nixon was showing Khrushchev some new color TVs, the Soviet leader launched into a protest over a resolution recently passed in the US Congress that condemned Soviet “control” over “captive” peoples of Eastern Europe and called on Americans to pray for those people. After that, he dismissed the new technology and sniffed that the Soviets would have all of the same things in a few years. Nixon chastised Khrushchev for being afraid of new ideas and told him, “after all, you don’t know everything.” The exchange escalated with Nikita telling the Vice-President that the only thing he knew was fear of Communism. From that point, they headed into the kitchen of a model home and the debate got even more testy. The exchange became known as the “Kitchen Debate” and is one of the more entertaining but insignificant events of the cold war. However, it does perhaps illustrate the tensions between the two super powers when two of their political leaders turned up the heat in the kitchen. I”m not sure but I think that Khrushchev was just pissed off that they wouldn’t let him extend his trip to Disneyland. (snopes verification)
Weather Bottom Line: Today will be warm but still below seasonal averages. A front will be dropping down through the Ohio Valley on Saturday with rain chances increasing late in the day into the evening. Ahead of the front, we should have a southwesterly flow which will help elevate the temperatures into the upper 80’s. The SPC puts us on the edge of the severe threat with most of the activity from Louisville to the Great Lakes. Should the boundary approach a little faster, then the odds of us getting strong storms in the region will be increased but at this point, the expectation is that the line of storms associated would come late enough in the evening that the storms would be on the down side of their daily cycle with an abscense of heating. With our atmosphere relatively stable, I just dont think that there will be sufficient time to destablize the atmosphere sufficiently to create a scenario that would support strong storms overnight. So, if we get them it would most likely be if the line came through in the early evening. If we do not get to 90 on Saturday, which is not likely, then this front will serve to bring in slightly cooler air and increase the probability that we will not hit 90 by the end of July, which would mean that this would be the first time in recorded history that Louisville did not hit 90 during the month of July in any given year. BTW…Invest 97L is dead, Jim.
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1245 AM CDT FRI JUL 24 2009
VALID 251200Z – 261200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS PARTS OF THE OH
…OH VALLEY/MID-MS VALLEY/OZARKS …
AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE SEWD INTO THE GREAT LAKES
REGION SATURDAY. SOME THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY SHOULD BE ONGOING
SATURDAY MORNING ASSOCIATED WITH A WELL-DEVELOPED LOW-LEVEL JET. SFC
HEATING…LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE AND STRONG LARGE-SCALE ASCENT
SOUTHEAST OF THE UPPER-LEVEL LOW SHOULD RESULT IN SCATTERED TO
NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT AROUND MIDDAY AHEAD A FAST-MOVING
COLD FRONT FROM OHIO SWWD ACROSS THE OH VALLEY. THE ACTIVITY IS
FORECAST TO DEVELOP IN THE EXIT REGION OF A WELL-DEFINED MID-LEVEL
JET WHICH SHOULD CREATE 35 TO 45 KT OF VERTICAL SHEAR EVIDENT ON
FORECAST SOUNDINGS. THIS COMBINED WITH MODERATE INSTABILITY AND 40
KT OF FLOW AT 850 MB SHOULD BE FAVORABLE FOR ISOLATED WIND DAMAGE.
COLD AIR ALOFT AND THE VERTICAL SHEAR MAY ALSO BE ENOUGH FOR HAIL
WITH THE STRONGER UPDRAFTS. ALTHOUGH LOW-LEVEL FLOW AND VERTICAL
SHEAR WEAKEN WSWWD ACROSS THE MID-MS VALLEY INTO THE OZARKS…ENOUGH
INSTABILITY IS FORECAST SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR STRONG UPDRAFTS WITH
A MARGINAL SEVERE THREAT MAINLY NEAR PEAK HEATING.
…ECNTRL CO/SE WY…
AN UPPER-LEVEL RIDGE IS FORECAST TO BE IN PLACE ACROSS THE SRN
ROCKIES SATURDAY. NORTH OF THE RIDGE…SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS
SHOULD DEVELOP IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF ECNTRL CO AND SE WY BY EARLY
AFTERNOON. FORECAST SOUNDINGS ALONG THIS CORRIDOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON
SHOW MODERATE VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES MAINLY FROM SPEED SHEAR ABOVE
500 MB. THIS ALONG WITH STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES MAY BE ENOUGH
FOR MARGINALLY SEVERE HAILSTORMS DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON.
AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE NEWD ACROSS THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST SATURDAY. AHEAD OF THE UPPER-LEVEL LOW…AN AXIS OF
INSTABILITY IS FORECAST TO BE LOCATED FROM NW WY EXTENDING NWWD
ACROSS WRN MT. VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO INCREASE ACROSS THE
REGION AS THE UPPER-LEVEL LOW MOVES EWD. THIS COMBINED WITH STEEP
LAPSE RATES MAY BE ENOUGH FOR MARGINALLY SEVERE STORMS CAPABLE OF
STRONG WIND GUSTS AND HAIL.