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: Census Record Transcribing




http://usgwcensus.org/cenfiles/

Okay, so this might not be the coolest link I’ve put on this site, but it may be one of the most important. The US Census records go back all the way to the 1700s, and a lot of these records have either not been digitized at all, or only rough copies exist in many different formats. Due to age, use, insect and water damage, etc., some of these records are in danger of disappearing forever. Many others are difficult to use because of the varying formats. Because of this, transcribing them into a standardized digital form is critical.
This site allows anyone from the general public to choose individual records and volunteer to transcribe them digitally. No experience necessary! The site gives basic walkthroughs and other how-to information, so anyone can do it, and at their own speed in their free time. Just click on the state and area of your choice and go from there.

Random Columbus Photos #5

Photo Location: Broad and High
Photo Date: Sometime in 1849
Photo History: This photo, one of the earliest ever known to have been taken in Columbus, shows a group of bystanders looking at several people on horseback. The year this was taken, 1849, is significant in that it references the events taking place. 1849, of course, was the year that gold was discovered in California. The men on horseback are 49-ers, getting ready to depart Columbus to join the great California Gold Rush, and the crowd was gathered to see them off.

Click on the image for a better look.

Unfortunately, not much else is known about the photo, who the people were, or in what direction the photo was even taken.




Historic Building Database Major Updates!




A multi-day library research trip has been fruitful! I gathered enough new information to create 3 new pages: Short North, South Side and West Side. While some of the entries were just moved from the mixed Other page, among the currently 125 homes featured on the 3 new pages, there are more than 2 dozen completely new homes added. There are many more coming to all 6 of the current residential pages.
In addition, many of the previously-added homes were updated with better photos and links that allowed for larger images when clicked on, so details are clearer than ever. Many also received updated histories.
Neighborhoods that previously had no featured homes that now do include German Village and the Hilltop.

A great example of the many new homes included in the new South Side page, this one in German Village.

Photo taken in 1978.

Check out the history of this home and more on all the Database pages-
Historic Building Database- Residential: Olde Towne East/King-Lincoln
Historic Building Database- Residential: Downtown
Historic Building Database- Residential: Short North
Historic Building Database- Residential: South Side
Historic Building Database- Residential: West Side
Historic Building Database- Residential: Other Places