Worst Winters of All Time?




Historically, winter in Central Ohio has been a mixed bag. Some years it seems that winter never really arrives, while others never seem to end. The 2010s have been a perfect example, with some years being some of the coldest and snowiest on record, while others were some of the warmest and least snowiest.
The last few winters haven’t been particularly harsh, but where do they rank historically? To find out, I came up with a ranking system for meteorological winter only- December 1st through February 28th. Here was the criteria:

Temperature: 1 point added for each occurrence-
– # of 32 or Below Highs
– # of 32 or Below Lows
– # of 0 or Below Highs
– # of 0 or Below Lows
And 1 point removed for each occurrence-
– # of 60 or Above Highs
– # of 50 or Above Lows

Precipitation: 1 point added for each occurrence-
– # of Days with Measurable Snowfall
– # of 1″+ Snow Days
– # of 2.5″+ Snow Days
– # of 5″+ Snow Days
– # of 10″+ Snow Days
– # of Measurable Precipitation Days overall

I then added the temperature and precipitation points together to come up with a ranking for how miserable each winter really was.

Here are the 30 worst winters of all time and their total points.

1. 1976-1977: 240
2. 1977-1978: 238
3. 1969-1970: 230
4. 2002-2003: 228
5. 1978-1979: 226
6. 1880-1881: 225
7. 1917-1918: 223
8. 1935-1936: 220
9. 2013-2014: 219
10. 1892-1893, 1962-1963: 218
11. 1909-1910: 217
12. 1995-1996, 2009-2010: 208
13. 2010-2011: 207
14. 1903-1904: 204
15. 1981-1982: 202
16. 1911-1912, 1963-1964: 197
17. 1886-1887, 1919-1920: 196
18. 1904-1905: 195
19. 1984-1985: 194
20. 1916-1917: 193
21. 1894-1895: 191
22. 1883-1884: 189
23. 2000-2001: 188
24. 1947-1948, 1961-1962: 187
25. 1993-1994: 186
26. 1884-1885, 1939-1940: 185
27. 1983-1984, 1987-1988: 183
28. 1902-1903, 2014-2015: 182
29. 1954-1955: 180
30. 1878-1879, 1882-1883, 1960-1961, 1985-1986, 2003-2004, 2008-2009: 179

Do any of these surprise you? Both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 are in the top 30 worst, but only 2013-2014 is in the top 10. In fact, other recent winters like 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 are all ranked worse than that. There have been a surprising number of recent winters in the top 30, however. There have been 8 total since 2000. No other similar time frame has produced as many.

And here are the 30 best winters (if you like warm, snowless, dry winters, that is).

1. 1931-1932: 74
2. 1889-1890: 75
3. 1879-1880: 86
4. 1997-1998: 102
5. 2016-2017: 107
6. 1881-1882, 1943-1944: 111
7. 2001-2002: 112
8. 1996-1997: 115
9. 1948-1949, 1953-1954: 118
10. 1941-1942, 1982-1983: 120
11. 1918-1919: 122
12. 1936-1937: 123
13. 1932-1933, 1991-1992: 124
14. 1930-1931, 2015-2016: 125
15. 1905-1906, 1972-1973: 126
16. 1949-1950: 128
17. 1897-1898, 1986-1987: 129
18. 2011-2012: 130
19. 1938-1939: 131
20. 1937-1938: 134
21. 1908-1909, 1920-1921, 2005-2006: 135
22. 1924-1925: 137
23. 1896-1897: 138
24. 1927-1928, 1929-1930, 1940-1941, 1990-1991: 139
25. 1952-1953: 140
26. 1921-1922, 1945-1946, 1998-1999: 141
27. 1988-1989: 143
28. 1891-1892: 144
29. 1946-1947, 1971-1972: 145
30. 1912-1913, 1934-1935: 147

Look how many of the warmest/least snowy occurred between 1920 and 1945. Historically, this period had the fewest number of cold and/or snowy winters on record of any such 25-year period.

And what about winter 2018-2019? Well, that remains to be seen. However, the developing weak El Nino, combined with other Pacific and global indices suggests that it will be both cold and snowy. It’s already getting off to an early start with November 2018 potentially ending up as a top 10 or 15 coldest on record. We’ll have to see if this continues into December and beyond, but such early cold is often associated with harsher winters, though there are certainly exceptions to that.

To see lots of other winter statistics, check out the All-Time Weather page.

Today in History: The End of WWI in Columbus





100 years ago today, World War 1 came to an end. Known as the Armistice, the agreement was officially complete on November 11, 1918. In Columbus, as in the rest of the nation, the mood was, to say the least, happy.
In what was then said to be the “Greatest Demonstration in History”, Columbus citizens were up before dawn on that Monday morning, consumed in riotous celebration. At least 200,000 people marched through the streets of Downtown.  An article on the celebration described the scene in poetic detail:

The lid that throttled pentup enthusiasm during the last few fateful days was blown off with a bang. Bellowing whistles, screeching sirens and jubilant shouts of early risers ushered in the greatest Monday in the world’s history. With each passing minute the pandemonium became greater.
An expanding, bulging, distending, heaving, heightening, thrilling crowd that by mid-morning numbered itself in the thousands, swirled, swayed and twisted itself in one long line of humanity through the ins and outs of High Street.
From every nook and cranny of the city’s far-lying borders came added increments of men, women and children, mad with joy, delirious with triumph, exalted as never before.

Celebration on High Street, November 11, 1918.

WWI had lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918 and had taken about 20 million lives.

Cool Link of the Day: Election Patterns Mapped

https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/congress/

In light of the upcoming Midterms, here’s a great site that maps congressional districts since 1840. You can see how the districts have changed in size and shape, and how those districts have voted in each election.

Cool Link of the Day: Student Debt Mapped




https://mappingstudentdebt.org/#/map-1-an-introduction

This link shows the amount of student debt by zip code for the entire country. Scroll down to any city to find out student debt delinquency rates, incomes and loan balances.

The Week in Review #3




Last week’s big news was one that has me very excited. The Columbus Metropolitan Library announced that it had reached an agreement with The Columbus Dispatch and its parent company to purchase the rights to its entire newspaper collection, which it will make available in digital form on its website as early as November. The Columbus Dispatch has been publishing since 1871, but the library has had Dispatch content from 1985-present only, and only in text format for a limited number of articles. The agreement will allow the library to offer every issue of the paper online since 1871 in its entirety, including its enormous photograph collection.
This is an massive win and game-changer for researchers and history buffs alike. This information has largely been difficult to access. Microfilm at the library was impossible to search through unless you knew the exact date of an article. The digital collection will allow for easy searching for any content with just a simple search box, as it has with its other digital collections.

The other news this week was the ongoing saga with the North Market Tower project. A few weeks back, I posted renderings that were released, perhaps be accident, on an architect’s website. Well, this week we saw yet another rendering, seen below:

All I can say is… I hope to god this isn’t the final design. Not only is it shorter (and the planners promised that the project would absolutely NOT be reduced in height regardless of the final design), but it has none of the interesting architecture of any previous renderings. It’s just another box on top of another box. I call this style Modern Vanilla. It’s so painfully boring and architecturally sterile that to see this being built would remove all the excitement from this project. The height reduction would be pure Columbus.