Atlantic Storm - October 1918 Can anybody help with details
Posted 06 January 2012 - 14:06
I am interested in finding out more about a north atlantic storm that took place in the first week of October 1918. At the time the storm was described as the worst in 40 years. I have looked at some weather maps but I don't really understand them. The storm seems to have begun as low pressure over Greenland on 30 September 1918 and the storm peaked on the 6th or 7th of October over the Hebrides and Northern Ireland. The US Metreological Station at Malin Point registered winds of 99mph with an average of 75mph. Does anybody have any information about the storm? Was it really as bad as it was described or is it a fairly typical storm for the area? I am not even sure if I have the progress of the storm correct. Any help, comments or information would be much appreciated.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 18:15
London may have been out of the picture for most of it but it only recorded 29mm of rain for the whole month with a daily max of just 5mm on the 11th.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 18:25
Not sure about the worst storm for 40 years, I think that might be a bit of an exaggeration unless they are referring to "for the time of the year" but the report from that month does say the opening week was very stormy with gales of considerable severity for NW coasts. A figure of 39m per second or 85mph is quoted for Quilty in County Clare on the 7th. Other than that not a lot is mentioned about the storm.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 18:42
“the storm reached the zenith of its fury, wind andwave having grown wilder and mightier until in its awful power and action theocean became majestic, enthralling. A whirling, typhonic gale… That afternoon amountain of water came over the ship's larboardside. From prow to stern our stumbling but gallant little craft trembled underthe awful impact. Windows and doors were riven. Furniture and men in the upperdeck lounge were swept across the room in wild confusion. Passengers werebruised, shocked and wrenched. Mighty seas, thus shipped, swirled down stairslike cataracts, carrying everything before them. Consternation ensued. Men inthe lower decks believed the boat doomed, but pumps were put to work andcomparative calm was finally restored."
It was suggested that it was a force 11 Gale, the Commander of the Royal Navy escort said:
“The visibility at this time ie.6.00am was about 1½miles, wind WSW force 7 with squalls of force 8 to 10 and a very high sea. …The sky was dark and lowering with a lurid dull orange glow showing atintervals to the North Westward and Northward and the air thick with flyingspray. … it appeared doubtful whether any vessel could make headway againstsuch a sea in which the largest ships showed their keels as far aft as theforemast whilst only the topmast of a destroyer was visible when she was in thetrough of a wave.”<br clear="all">It was the commander of the escort who said it was the worst storm since the convoy system began.
I can't understand why you can't find any sign of it. HELP
Posted 06 January 2012 - 18:50
Posted 06 January 2012 - 18:55
Posted 06 January 2012 - 19:55
Posted 06 January 2012 - 19:59
My feeling from the report is that it went on longer than a squall though.. it could well have been a freak wave in the middle of a sting jet scenario.. and it did reach land as befits the 99mph gust reported at Malin Hd with 75mph mean.. a classic sting jet scenario that we saw just the other day.. the WSW wind reported suggests that it was to the south of the centre and the direction is a classic one for SJ based winds
Posted 06 January 2012 - 20:06
this from Norwich, which , whilst the reportage above suggests storms they did not affect most of the UK.
Edit : Yes, I agree Dave though the point I'm following is that this was a system that ran to the north of the uk and not over it..... I would like to see some of the meto records for the northern isles around this time.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 20:07
their chart for day after does show a much deeper/tighter low.
This post has been edited by PK2: 06 January 2012 - 20:08
Posted 06 January 2012 - 20:32
1918 Oct 6. he was commanding HMS Mounsey, an M-Class Destroyer and was called to the aid of HMS Otranto, an armed merchant cruiser ferrying American soldiers to Europe. Otranto had collied in rough seas with an escort ship off the Western Isles, and was sinking. 351 American troops died, and 80 of the British crew. Craven managed to rescue almost 350 Americans and landed them at Belfast.
DSO gazetted to Lieut. Francis Worthington Craven, R.N. In recognition of his services when H.M.S. " Otranto " was wrecked on the 6th October, 1918. H.M.S. " Otranto" Was damaged in collision with the s.s. " Kashmir " whilst carrying a large number of American troops. Lieutenant Craven displayed magnificent courage and seamanship in placing H.M.S. " Mounsey " alongside H.M.S.." Otranto " in spite of the fact that the conditions of wind, weather and sea were exceptionally severe. After going alongside and embarking a certain number of men, it was reported that the " Mounsey" had sustained considerable damage, and that there was a large quantity of water in the engine room. Lieutenant Craven, therefore, left the " Otranto," but on finding the damage was not so serious as had been reported, he again went alongside, though he had previously experienced great difficulty in getting away. His action resulted in the saving of over 600 lives which would otherwise have certainly been lost. His performance was a remarkable one, and in personal courage, coolness and seamanship ranks in the very highest order.
An account by an American Edward O'Hara reads
The Otranto made for the Irish coast off Belfast, while the Kashmir put on all steam and continued toward Glasgow. The Captain of the Otranto attempted to beach her, but instead hit one of the rocky precipices that skirt the shores of northern Ireland, and the ship was pounding herself to pieces when the two English destroyers came to her aid. Lieutenant Francis Worthington Craven, commanding the destroyer Moursey, made a frantic attempt at rescue, but the other destroyer's captain, evidently believing discretion the better part of valor, refrained from standing by. Otranto's captain, knowing his ship was doomed, besought Lieutenant Craven not to come over, declaring it meant certain suicide for himself and his crew "Well, it must be suicide then," was his reply, " for we ae coming over" Then followed most awful and heartrending scenes. Pinched between sinking Otranto and rocky shores Lieutenant Craven's ship was torn and wrenched while men flung themselves from the deck of the Otranto to that of the destroyer. Miscalculating, in their frenzy, many fell into the sea, others were crushed to death between tossing ships, while others in jumping to the Otranto's deck sustained broken legs, arms or ribs or were otherwise injured. Three trips were made by the heroic Craven, landing alternately his injured, dying or dead cargo at Isley near Glasgow or at a point opposite Belfast, Ireland. Each time Otranto's captain protested it was down-right madness, only to receive from Lieutenant Craven, who himself was badly hurt, the same cool, firm and unvarying reply that so long as his own boat could be kept afloat or the Otranto remained above water, he would keep coming. Just as he was leaving the Belfast pier for a fourth trip. Lieutenant Craven saw the Otranto make one frightful plunge and sink into the sea. And the mighty breakers rolled on in all their anger over the spot where the ill-starred Otranto had madly tossed and struggled a few moments before. It was providential that Lieutenant Craven had proceeded no further in his fourth errand of mercy, as in making for Belfast with all possible speed he was barely able to reach there. Experts declared that had he continued on into open ocean waters, his vessel could never have lived, so badly was she damaged. While Lieutenant Craven's ship went into dry dock for repair at Belfast, he entered a hospital where his injuries received attention and where, six weeks later, we found him, with many others whom he had rescued, and learned from his own lips this story.
This post has been edited by Bois_de_Durou: 06 January 2012 - 20:42
Posted 06 January 2012 - 20:50
What is a Sting Jet Scenario? or a Squall line?
The log books for the ships involved with the convoy have not survived so I do not know when the ships first encountered the storm. From passengers comments the whole journey was dogged by rain and fog, but the storm was quite sudden, one of the troops on the convoy wrote that:
“The sea then began to get restless. We hadquite a bit of rain, and a heavy sleet fell upon us too. Everything wentwell until Saturday night of the 5th, when we found ourselves on a highsea. We didn’t sleep very much and Sunday morning found us on a ragingsea – a fearful sea"
To me this suggests that there was not much build up to the storm. The Admiralty documents suggest that whole thing was over by Tuesday the 8th.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 21:09
What is a Sting Jet Scenario? or a Squall line?
... To me this suggests that there was not much build up to the storm. The Admiralty documents suggest that whole thing was over by Tuesday the 8th.
Squall line - a good example was this week on Tue, where a brief period of strong winds affected much of southern UK.
Sting jet - again examples this week (but also last month)where a "feature" brings strong winds to an area of the UK. For a particular location (ie a ships position) likely to be much longer lasting than a squall line.
As Stephen mentions the low (future storm) doesn't look very strong on the 6th but by the 7th it's clear the low/storm has developed considerably.
Much more detail can be given and is already available on here (or elsewhere) but that should give you a rough overview I hope
This post has been edited by PK2: 06 January 2012 - 21:11
Posted 07 January 2012 - 00:53
So... instead of a storm forming somewhere over Greenland and then moving down across the Atlantic, the situation was that a low pressure system formed on the 5th to the north of the UK and was accompanied by a suden drop in pressure that caused a Sting Jet Scenario that continued throughout the 6th and 7th. That it was fairly localised over the North of Ireland and West of Scotland and the seas between, whilst the storm created by the cyclone of low pressure was really taking place to the north of the UK on the 7th. ????