• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... the great Arctic Freeze of 1899.


CURWOOD: The hundredth anniversary of the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899 is just a few weeks away. And by looking at wind patterns and sunspots, some scientists say conditions are perfect for a repeat of the chilliest cold snap ever recorded in the United States. In 1899, records show temperatures in Florida dropped 2 degrees below zero. Ice blocked the Mississippi River at New Orleans, and Washington, DC got a special Valentine's Day gift of 20 inches of snow. Weather researchers say that periods of high solar activity with strong winds from the West increase chances of what they call an arctic outbreak. And this February, they say, solar activity will be extremely high and winds from the West extremely strong. While weather forecasters have been fairly accurate in predicting artic outbreaks, politicians have been reluctant to heed warnings of bad weather. President William Henry Harrison died shortly after he was sworn in during a biting cold inauguration in 1841, and frostbite afflicted some of the 1976 swearing-in of Jay Rockefeller as Governor of West Virginia. As one onlooker put it, "We always knew it would be a cold day in Hell when a New Yorker got elected Governor of West Virginia." And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth