Archive for October 8th, 2011
Legend has it that the fire was caused by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.
The official investigation by the Chicago Fire Department concluded that the Great Chicago Fire did begin in the barn of Mr. Patrick O’Leary on the South Side.
Whether or not it was Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, the Great Chicago Fire was a terrible disaster.
A terrible summer drought had left much of the Midwest, including the city of Chicago as dry as a tinderbox. Many areas of the city were very congested with narrow streets of wood frame buildings.
The fire started just after 9 p.m. and spread rapidly northward, driven by a strong southwesterly wind. The fire split into separate tongues of flame, consuming everything in its path.
The flames jumped the Chicago River around midnight. The fire knocked the city’s water works out of commission and then there was nothing to stop it.
17,500 buildings wee destroyed in the flames. 2100 acres were burned. 250 people were killed and 100,000 were left homeless in the city of about 334,000 residents. Damage totaled $196 million.
The fired raged out of control all day on Monday, October 9, finally being extinguished by the combination of a light rain and the natural obstacle of Lake Michigan.
Some feel that the fire was a blessing in disguise, that it wiped away the cheaply constructed wood frame buildings and allowed Chicago to be built back better prepared for the future.
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Looks like we remain warm and dry for the weekend. Temperatures have been gradually climbing for the last several days and this morning the lows across Central Alabama were generally around the 60-degree mark. The big forecast challenge for the first of the upcoming week will be the tropical moisture over Florida and the Bahamas which will come north, but the question will be how far west the moisture and showers move.
Today and Sunday should be dry and warm as afternoon high temperatures remain around the 80-degree mark, just a bit above typical values for early October. Monday we begin to see some changes as the surface high moves further to our east bringing a distinctly early flow and tapping into the moisture over Florida. I think the chances of rain on Monday are fairly small with the best day for showers coming on Tuesday.
On Tuesday the small disturbance in the upper atmosphere over North Florida gets picked up and heads northward as a deep trough begins to develop over the Central US. This trough drops into Missouri on Wednesday which will help to push out the moisture over the Southeast US. The trough axis moves by on Thursday ushering in some cooler and drier air as the Southeast US again comes under a strong northwesterly flow pattern.
The closed low opens up on Saturday, but we should stay on the dry and cool side of things through the weekend, so we should have fabulous weather for the WeatherFest at the McWane Science Center for next Saturday.
Rainfall amounts are likely to be somewhat spotty Monday through Wednesday. Amounts could be around half an inch for places that get a nice shower. Due to the tropical nature of the air, perhaps a few spots that get more than one shower might see an inch.
Tropics are quiet at Philippe gradually heads into the sunset, er, North Atlantic.
Long range projections suggest quiet weather for the middle and latter portions of October. Remember that October is our driest month climatologically.
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|James Spann||Jason Simpson||Ashley Brand|
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Sorry for the audio quality on the video this morning. Still trying to work out some kinks in going to the new Final Cut Pro X. Thanks for being patient with it. I hope you have a great weekend and Godspeed.
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