May 13, 2012

Eastern WI - May 10, 1990 & the LRC

The latest snowstorm on record to affect our area took place on May 10, 1990. I was living in Suamico, WI at the time and remember it well. Obviously, these record conditions sparked my interest of following it through the cycle to analyze the behavior of our atmosphere that year.


Below is the archived map from May 10, 1990. Easy to see from the map that there was a potent low pressure centered in Lower MI streaming cooler air into WI helping to produce the snow that fell.


Analyzing the data and maps from 1989-90 I concluded the cycle averaged around 54 days. Starting with May 10, 1990 moving back through the year I ran into these dates.

Oct-10, 1989 - 19891009-19891015.djvu
Dec-02, 1989 - 19891127-19891203.djvu - 54 days
Jan-25, 1990 - 19900122-19900128.djvu - 55 days
Mar-19, 1990 - 19900319-19900325.djvu - 54 days
May-10, 1990 - 19900507-19900513.djvu - 53 days

By using the archived maps above I was able to pick out the storm in every cycle with ease. I would suspect this storm could have been labeled a 'signature storm' that season. It recurred on schedule in the Great Lakes each and every time. Simply amazing. See the image below. Right click, select open in new tab/window to see a larger version.


The image below is of a tree that fell onto our garage that day due to the weight of the heavy snow.

(Suamico, WI - May 10, 1990)

Besides that particular storm the late winter season of 1989-90 had an extreme warm-up on March 12, 1990 that melted snow quickly creating flood conditions. I suspect that is me in the flood waters and I am sure I was wearing knee high rubber boots in the photo below.

(Suamico, WI - March 12, 1990)

Sticking with the same duration of around 54 days I was able to pick the dates listed below when following this particular pattern through the cycle. I am questioning my January comparison as it wavers from the average a little bit, but with this comparison the average is around 53 days. It is darn close.

Oct-05 - 19891002-19891008.djvu
Nov-27 - 19891127-19891203.djvu - 53 days
Jan-17 - 19900115-19900121.djvu - 51 days
Mar-12 - 19900312-19900318.djvu - 54 days
May-04 - 19900430-19900506.djvu - 53 days

By using the archived maps above I was able to pick out the western trough in every cycle with ease. It recurred on schedule and brought a southerly flow into the Great Lakes each time. Again, simply amazing. See the image below. Right click, select open in new tab/window to see a larger version.


If there are any questions or thoughts on my research and analysis of the material just let me know in the comments section of the blog. Thanks for reading! To see the archived maps click on the links next to the dates. You will need the Djvu Browser Plug-In to view the maps.