Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Model Recreates The Storm That Sank The Edmund Fitzgerald

Date:
November 16, 2005
Source:
University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
On Nov. 10, 1975, Lake Superior swallowed the Edmund Fitzgerald, along with her 29 crewmembers and cargo of almost 26,000 tons of ore. The wreck evolved into a Midwestern legend. Thirty years later, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a simulation of the storm using the latest forecast technology.

This computer model, developed at the Space Science and Engineering Center, recreates surface wind speed (knots) and direction about seven hours before the last communication from the Edmund Fitzgerald freighter on Nov. 10, 1975. Northwesterly gale force winds (34 to 40 knots, in red) are indicated in the eastern Lake Superior region where the ship was lost. These types of simulations help build the accuracy of severe weather computer models and are valuable teaching tools.
Credit: Image courtesy of University Of Wisconsin-Madison

On Nov. 10, 1975, Lake Superior swallowed the Edmund Fitzgerald, along with her 29 crew members and cargo of almost 26,000 tons of ore. The wreck evolved into a Midwestern legend. Thirty years later, researchers at UW-Madison have built a simulation of the storm using the latest forecast technology.

November storms tend to roll across the Great Lakes, gathering strength and fury. The one that sank the Fitzgerald was no exception. Simulations of weather events like this allow scientists to identify and study characteristics of severe storms. Looking back also helps forecasters and weather modelers improve severe weather prediction techniques.

Robert Aune, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stationed at the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), recently created a simulation of the storm that swept across Lake Superior on that November evening.

Satellite technology was brand new in 1975, so Aune obtained conventional observations through an ongoing project at the National Center for Environmental Prediction and the National Center for Atmospheric Research that uses modern techniques and technology to reanalyze weather data from 1949 through the present.

Aune plugged reanalyzed data from November 8-11, 1975 into a model in operation at Madison's Cooperative Institute of Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS). The model uses atmospheric observations from several different instruments, including those aboard satellites, to produce weather forecasts.

Aune says these models normally require satellite data, so the biggest challenge was in building this model from other data sources. The effort has broader potential, he says: "Running retrospective cases like this - especially on extreme events - is a good exercise to see if we can reproduce features of a particular storm that happened years ago."

Aune's case study will be used to teach fundamental winter storm dynamics in Professor Steve Ackerman's basic meteorology course in Madison.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Computer Model Recreates The Storm That Sank The Edmund Fitzgerald." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051116082940.htm>.
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. (2005, November 16). Computer Model Recreates The Storm That Sank The Edmund Fitzgerald. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051116082940.htm
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Computer Model Recreates The Storm That Sank The Edmund Fitzgerald." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051116082940.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins