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The Midwest’s Most Violent Storm

Atmospheric scientists use modern meteorology to detail the cause and damage of the 11/11/11 weather disaster.

Saturday, Nov. 11, 1911 saw what was probably the most sudden and dangerous cold blast in American history.  People who enjoyed a summer like morning froze to death in heavy snowfall that evening.  Blue skies changed to low clouds, driving rain, sleet, hail, thunderstorms, tornadoes and blizzards in half a day.  Winds were so violent that they turned buildings into trapezoids.

To better understand what created the storm and chronicle its impact, University of Missouri atmospheric scientist Patrick Market and a team of students have analyzed the storm with both modern meteorological tools and dives into the historical records.  They’ve created a three-dimensional 21st Century model of what happened in the atmosphere to trigger the blast and an online map of the destruction that it brought to Missouri.

Market, an associate professor in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences in the School of Natural Resources, has for more than a year studied what climatologists call the Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11.