Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa on December 31, 1936 · Page 140
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Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa · Page 140

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Mason City, Iowa
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Thursday, December 31, 1936
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Page 140
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8—Sec. D MASON CITY GLOBE-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 31 • 1936 Weather Antics in 1936—Blizzards, Drought and Heat—Made History BUT, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, MOISTURE HAS BEEN ABOVE NORMAL Globe-Gazette Records Throw Interesting 1 Light on Remarkable Year; Temperature Ranged From 30 Below to 111 Above Zero. S MALL wonder that the news authorities these days in evaluating the "best stories of 1936" give ranking in the top five to the weather. They have in mind the unprecedented cold and snow of last February, the floods of last spring and the devastating drought of last June, July and August. An inspection of the Globe-Gazette's own weather figures for Mason City revea! some most amazing facts. Chief among these is lhat in spite of this passing year's reputation for unequalled drought conditions, more than three and a half inches of moisture in excess of ihe average precipitation for fifty years fell on Mason City. It just the right time. didn't come at The normal precipitation here is * "9.56 inches; the 1936 total up to S o'clock Thursday morning stood at 33.14 inches. The table below provides an interesting study in •moisture comparisons, the month by month precipitation figures being given for 1934, 1935 and 193S. alongside the ;"0 year average for each month. It will be recalled that 1934 was the year which in the intensity oi its drought most nearly approached the past summer's. The table follows: MOISTURE COMPARISONS 1934 1935 1936 Nor. .Tan 66 1.58 1.18 .92 Feb 13 .75 2.15 1.01 March . April .. May ... June .. July . .. August Sept. . . October Kov. .. Dec. Totals 26.50 33.12 33.14 29,56 Scarcely less interesting than the figures on moisture for 1936 is a study of the temperature ex- Record Extremes The lowest temperature on record in Mason City 37 degrees below zero, registered on the morning of Jan. 23, 1912. This is 7 degrees lower than .this year's low. The coldest in recent times was 31 below zero on Jan. 22, 1930. Other low readings include: 29 below on Jan. 23, 1935, 26 below on Feb. S, 1933 and 25 below on Feb. 20, 1929. The 111 degrees of last July 14 has no close runner-up in recent years, excluding other days of last summer. . .1.30 ..1.05 .. .80 ..2.62 ..E 91 ,.3.68 . .6.74 . .1.S17 ..3.69 ..1.35 1.17 2.76 3.58 7.68 3.36 2.42 1.63 3.48 3.20 1.51 1.04 .64 3.37 2.63 .70 7.83 8.33 1.68 1.44 272 4.16 4.62 3.21 I 3.84 3.31 i 2.00 i !.92 1.38 1.67 .97 Warm Christmas The extreme balminess o£ Christmas day led (o much argument in Mason City as to whether a higher temperature had been experienced in recent years. The Globe-Gazette went back through its records and found Christmas day of 1928 to be the closest approach, with a maximum temperature of 45. The extremes of Christmases since 1924 follow: Max. 1924. 1925. 1926. 1927. 192S. 1929. 1030. 1931. 1.9321933. 1934. 1935. 1936 15 9 16 37 45 34 25 39 26 -4 29 4 55 Min. -7 -13 1 10 30 21 21 31 21 -17 -15 -14 40 month's total of 2.63 inches was credited to the very first day o the month, leaving only about an inch and a quarter of precipitation for the remaining 29 days, many of them scorchers. A number of trees in Mason City were damaged by a heavy wind storm which occurred in the late afternoon of June 16. But the rain totaled only .17 of an inch from that storm. Sixteen days were listed as clear, 4 as cloudy, 10 as partly cloudy and on 9 there was measurable precipitation. JULY temperature of 14.7 degrees in ._ . , Mason City, the 1936 January av- treme=, ranging from the 30 below j erage was 6.9 degrees. The lowest of last Jan. 22 to the 111 above; temperature of the mcnth, and of of last July 14. An extended per- i t h e year, was 30 below, recorded iod of unprecedented cold was i j n tne ear i y morn ing of Jan. 22. July will be looked back on as the climax of the drougnt of 1936. Only .70 of an inch of rain fell in the 31 day period and the hottest weather of record, both" as to a single day and for an extended period, occurred in July. Sixteen of the 31 days had maximum temperatures of 100 or higher. The average maximum temperature was 97.9 degrees and the average temperature for both night and day was 81.8 degrees, almost 10 degrees above the normal July average. Only five days had measurable precipitation. Twenty-six days were clear, 4 partly cloudy and 1 cloudy. What a month it was. Will we ever forget it? And to think it came only five months after the coldest month ever known in Mason City! month's minimum of 8 below was 6 degrees lower than the 14 below minimum set last December. Snowfall was almost exactly half as great this December as last. The day to day weather figures on the month just closing follow: Max. Min. Precip. Dec. 1 33 Dec. 2 34 Dec. 3 40 Dec. 4 34 Dec. 5 19 Dec. 6 27 Dec. 7 -1 Dec. 8 11 Dec. 9 29 Dec. 10 35 Dec. 11 19 Dec. 12 18 Dec. 13 36 Dec. 14 40 Dec. 15 45 Dec. 16 44 Dec. 17 32 Dae, 13 26 Dec. 19 27 Dec. 20 37 Dec. 21 34 Dec. 22 31 Weather Extremes of 1936 Recalled in Pictures Dec. 23 Dec. 24 Dec. 25 Dec. 26 Dec. 27 Dec. 28 Dec, 29 Dec. 30 ......44 Dec. 31 41 .34 .51 .48 ,55 .55 .26 34. , vith a m ; mmum a b ove zero _ offset by an extended period of j Precipitation totaled 1.18 inches unprecedented heat, with the re- j anc j snowfall totaled 10.5 inches suit that the average temperature | Jan . 19 started a 15 day p erio d in for the year—45.43 degrees—was u -hich there was not a single almost exactly the normal yearly mean temperature in Mason City —45.40 degrees. Here again some tables are presented for a recollection of the temperature conditions oC 1936 AUGUST FEBRUARY and a comparison between these figures and corresponding months of the previous two j'cars as well as the normal year: TEMPERATURE BY MONTHS Jan. .. Feb. .. March April . May .. June . . July . . August Sept. . . October 1034 ..22.0 ..20.8 . . 33.7 ..45.8 . .69.0 . .74.3 . .76.1 . .63.7 ..57.4 Dec Averages 17 1935 13.4 25.5 35.8 43.9 53.3 63.9 77.6 72.3 63.9 •15.6 31.3 17.9 Nor. 14.7 1936 6.9 1.8 18.6 33.22 32.5 41.8 46.7 58.1 67.1 72.1 69.4 62.1 49.1 34 20.8 February was the month though! Was it cold? Was it windy? Was it snowy? You tell August brought a break in the drought—but not until almost the middle of the month, too late for most of Iowa and almost too late here. The spell was broken with a rain of 1.90 inches which began in the early hours of Aug. 13. And by the first of September the total had been raised to 7.83 inches,, making it one of the wettest Aug- 64.1 67.3 81.8 76.2 65.6 -13. 32.4 26.1 'em. The average temperature for usts of record. In one 48 hour pe- the month was 1.8 degrees above | nod toward the end of the month a total of 3.97 inches of rain was recorded. Under the heading of "miscellaneous phenomena" on the Globe-Gazette's weather sheet, note was made Aug. 5 of the presence of forest fire smoke in the air. Thirteen August dates were listed as clear, 8 as cloudy and 10 j as partly cloudy. .48.1 45.6 45.43 45.4 zero, compared with 18.6 degrees above zero, the February normal in Mason City. Nights averaged 7 below zero and only 8 of the 29 nights did the mercury fail to drop to the zero mark. Twentysix below on the morning of Feb. 5 was the lowest recorded. Snowfall totaled 28.75 inches. At the start of the month snow on the ground averaged 7.50 inches, by! the middle of the month it was 22 inches and at the end of the month it was 19 inches. And you'll remember what it did to railway and highway traffic. DROUGHT STRUCK HEAVIEST BLOWS N SOUTH IOWA Des Momes Weather Bureau Calls It Hottest Summer in 117 Years. DES MOINES, Of)—That thing a humorist once said everybody "talks about and no one does anything about it"—the weather- drove old Iowa records into oblivion and made some hew ones which may stand for some time. S. E. Decker, assistant weather bureau meteorologist here, summed up the year's weather today by saying "few days passed when some record somewhere in the state wasn't broken." February, Decker said, was the coldest ever experienced in Iowa; that is, in the 117 years for which records are available. The coldest five weeks of the year, Jan. 18 to Feb. 23, when the mercury averaged 2.4 degrees, below zero, also broke all records, he XORTH IOWA SMALL GRAINS WERE SURPRISINGLY GOOD— Althoufh the torrid heat and deficiency of moisture in combination played hob with North Iowa's corn crop, ihere was » surprisingly food yield of small grains. The drought was already well under way when on abouli July 10 (his picture was taken on the Paul Spotts farm In Portland township. A son,-Lester, is shown at the wheel of the tractor and in the circular view beneath, Mr. Spotts is shown exhibiting a couple bundle*. It was In July that the drought reached its climax in North Iowa, to be broken with approximately 8 inches of rain in both August and September. Everything is relative, of course. Compared with the normal corn yield, Cerro Gordo and other North Iowa counties fared rather badly. But compared with southern and southwestern Iowa, North Iow» was nothing short of a Garden of Eden, with Howard county showing the best percentage of normal yield of any county in Iowa. This county had somewhat less than a half yield. A'Cold Three Months. The winter—December, 1935 SEPTEMBER through February 1936, —was the second coldest in the state—average temperature during the period 'was 12.6 degrees, nine degrees below normal, the meteorologist The winter's snowfall. 42.9 inches, also was the most ever And now for a recollection in i s'.iitistical form of the tempera-1 lure, precipitation and snow totals j (>-• averages for the entire per'od | of 12 years since the Globe-Ga- j September's principal mark was its heavy precipitation, even heavier than that of August. It ran up j to 8:33 inches and brought the i year's total up to normal. All but | .37 of this, incidentally, occurred j in the first half of the month. The March came back a little nearer I heavy Sunday night wind which MARCH records: TWELVE YEARS RECALLED | f«<*-, Av. Temp. Prcc. Snow to normal than either of its prede- averaged a March normal temperature of 32.5 de- added up to only 1.04 inches, which is materi- the grandstand at the North 1P27 1928 1929 1830 1931 1932 1533 1934 1635 2 036 45.30 44.60 45.40 45.10 43.40 50.47 50.39 45.42 47.30 43.10 45.6045.43 28.: 23.83 27.19 42.32 26.89 23.86 30.28 33.28 24.01 26.50 33.12 33.03 heavy damage elsewhere in the city was a phenomenon of early September. That wind was accompanied by 1.32 inches of rain. i ally under the normal March _ _ __ 37.69; mois1t , ure ;, B >" J he middle of the I urable rain. "Nineteen days "were Eleven of the 30 days had meas- 15^35 i month all^of the^snow developed | clear, 7 cloudy and 4 partly — r - 1 -— U ~ J '"~ J ' cloudy. The lowest temperature recorded was 40 degrees, which is 24^92 i during February had vani; 60.95 i ce P t ' n protected places 60.9s | 25.80 23.20 55.70 .•Jfi.fiO 33.35 31.47 5-1.35 •anished ex- where there had been enormous drifts. On March 17 the weather observer tool; notice of dust in the air. By authorities on crops, the 1936 drought is credited with getting under way in March. down near the frost level. OCTOBER Averages. 4S.37 30.26 35.76 Tht-o tola) bv figures as to tiic S vears do not tell tne APRIL \vholc story for the reason that they arc based on the months of a calendar year whereas folks are pione in think iu terms of a winter which extends from October April was about 5 degrees bc- j low normal as to average temper' ature but the real mark of the month was the striking deficiency in precipitation. Whereas 2.72 inches of moisture is the average for this fourth month of the year. or November into March or April. ApriJ h , 1936 saw Qnly G4 Qf an ' The heaviest winter of snow known to Mason City in contemporary times was that of 19281929 when a total of 63.40 inches v/as recorded. Last winter, 1935- TKtB, ihc snow totaled 61.87 inches. Drifting, h o w ever, was greater last : born at any :<c"cn years before and the effects \\-trc further areent'-inted by sustained sub-zero temperatures. Now for a review ot the weather by months: THIS IS THE LAST ONE In this, the last of the series; of tables, temperature extremes j and the snowfall by months in! 1936 arc shown: j inch. Four and a half inches of snow were measured in the first week of the month but this precipitated into only .38 of an inch of water. This meant only .26 of an inch of moisture for the remaining three weeks of the month. play of northern lights was observed on the night of April 17. Eighteen djiys were listed as clear, 4 as partly cloudy and 8 as cloudy, with measurable precipitation on 10 da vs. October's second morning brought the first freeze of the year, with a minimum temperature of 31 degrees in Mason City (28 at the sugar plant north of the city). The morning of Oct. 22 saw the first heavy freeze of-the season. Precipitation N for the month dropped back under normal and the average temperature for the month, 48 degrees, made it slightly chillier than the normal October. On only 5 days did measurable precipitation occur. Thirteen days were clear, 9 partly cloudy and 9 definitely cloudy. NOVEMBER MAY 36 42 January February March 71 April 77 May 9'.; June 96 July HI August 101 September .. 94 October 78 November .. 62 December .. 55 High Low Snow in Temp. Temp. Inches May opened with the first good November was just another month, meteorologically speaking. The temperature was lower, but only slightly, than normal. The precipitation was greater, but not strikingly greater, than normal. The 5 above zero recorded in Mason City (1 above at the sugar plant) was cold but not as cold as has been recorded here. Three inches of snow fell in the month but there's nothing remarkable about that. Thirteen days were recorded, he noted. Likewise, average snowfall in Januaiy was 19.4 inches, and in February, 15.9 inches, the greatest ever reported for those two months. "Following the record cold winter, the state experienced the hottest summer in the last 117 years," Decker said. "Average temperature for July-August was 81.3 degrees, 3.2 degrees warmer than for the same period in 1901 when the previous record was made. August Set Heat Record. "The July average of 83.4 degrees was one degree warmer than the 1901 record, and the August average of 79.2 degrees was 1.8 degrees higher than the previous record set in 1900. "Precipitation for the year was below normal, and, all in all, last summer's drought was the worst on record." Decker pointed out, however, that farmers harvested much better crops of oats, other small grains, hay and forage than in 1934 when heat and drought caused widespread crop losses in the state. Late August and September rains, too, revived much corn that was not damaged too severely and increased materially the acreage of corn for silage and fodder, he added. Still a Shortage of Water. "There still was a great shortage of water in the state at the end of the year," Decker said. "Many wells were still reported dry in the drought areas and sub- j soil moisture was at a low point, "Incomplete data showed the temperature'for the year averaged slightly warmer than normal, the mean daily temperature being one degree above the normal average. "Average precipitation was about 25 inches, seven less than normal. "Hottest temperature reported officially during the year was 117 degrees at Atlantic and Logan on July 25. Sac City reported 114 on Aug. 18, the highest ever reported by an Iowa weather station for that month. "Lowest official temperature 12 COUNTIES IN ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE MEN Life Underwriters Look Forward to Prosperous Year in 1937. Mason City District Association of Life Underwriters looks forward to a very prosperous year in 1937, inasmuch as conditions seem to have righted themselves and there is more cash in the family budget to increse the amount of life insurance holdings, according to Roy L. Bailey, national committeeman for this district. The prises association which 12 North Central «om- lowa counties was organized in 1919 with the express purpose of pro- Doting better ethics in underwriting among the salesmen and companies and to bring about a clarified understanding between the public and agent concerning life insurance companies' services. President of the Mason City district is Max Kissick. F. W. Vorhies is vice president and L. H. Gilchrist, secretary-treasurer. Membership in this district has steadily risen until its present average is approximately 30. Present members of the association are as follows: Roy I. Bailey, Harry Brown, Jim Brown, C. E. Cooper, Jake Douglas, R. Fischbeck, L. H. Gilchrist, W. M. Huffman, C. R. Jensen, Max Kissick, Earl S .Leaman, F. W. Osmundson, Richard Pool, Scott Sherrets, W. D. Thrams, King Vanderwicken, F. W. Vorhies and Walter Walker, Mason City; Charles Bailey, Osage; A.. D. Brogan, Whittemore; E. W, Cheney, Rudd; D. W. Dunette, Sheffield; D. S. Kupker, Nora Springs; B, L. Prouty, Garner; M. S. Resor, Manly, Edward 1'haves, Hurt, and R. B. Reynolds and C. A. Sharp of North wood. VI £ ™l 5 F TJ «; STOKM— Thousands of pheasants paid with their lives during the unprecedented cold of February. Other thousands were saved through the mercy of conservation officers and the b rd-lovinf public. Jack Stevens is shown here with about a score of the feathered storm victims picked up to the northwest of Mason City, their open mouths filled with ice -30 -26 5 10 38 41 43 50 40 16 5 -8 10.5 28.75 1.85 4.5 3. 5.85 JANUARY puary opened with a week of ?ero weather but in the last pks of the month, a tern- above zero was indeed a rain of the year, totaling 1.32-1°,^ 6 partly cloudy and 1 was re P° rted ** Sibley-35 de- i'nr,h« -,nrl (l, 0 ,v,^r,tl,' I - r™,,;,,,-*., . .' O pdlUy ClOUOy 3nd 11 _____ l^l-,,r -jo™ -r, TToV, 1 fi inches and the month's precipitation reached a total of 3.37 inches, which was less than an inch below the normal May moisture of 4:16 inches. The second good rain of 1936 occurred on May 22, totaling 1.09 inches. A maximum of 92 degrees on the afternoon of 'May 16 .vas a herald of the scorching temperatures to follow in the summer. May's lowest temperature was 38 degrees. Seventeen days were listed as clear, 7 as cloudy and 7 as partly cloudy. JUNE June saw a continuation of the moisture deficiency which had be- cloudy. On 6 days there was measurable precipitation. I DECEMBER" December's principal claim to distinction bottoms on its final week or so of balmy weather. On Christmas day and the i.ay following, the mercury climbed to the 55 degree mark. The limit, however, \vas reached Wednesday morning \vhen a thunder shower took the.fcoards, a storm for all the e one of April or May. week of December little more than a half ihcb'^Bfprccipitation, in the form j grees below zero on Feb. 16. July 14 Hottest Single Day. "The hottest single day waE July 14 when the average of 113 Iowa weather stations was 108.7 degrees. '^Average of H4 stations on Aug. 18 was 106.5, the hottest August day on record. "The mercury registered 58 degrees in Des Moines on Christmas day and the day following, breaking former high records for those two days. Other stations also reported high temperatures for the two days." . : Decker reported the following as among the most destructive Run to make itself felt as early as i b C £C. U wna I lju<-t^u « i ftwu I" ilKll^l, Iko^lJ. XT_lt <l.-l Cdl t fi normal mean I March. Nearly one half of while the last week more than an inch in the rain, sleet and mist The Iowa took two lives and injured seriously 30 additional persons. Estimated damage was three- quarters of a million dollars. Lots of Wind, Little Rain. "On June 9 wind squalls moved cast from southern Nebraska through two-thirds of the southern half of the state to do an estimated $100,000 worth of damage. "On July 19 the state suffered many local squalls and thunderstorms, one of which tore off the state fair amphitheater roof in Des Moines. Storms during the summer tore off roofs of several county fairgrounds' amphitheaters. "On August 15, a storm did an estimated $125,000 worth of damage in Hancock county. "On Aug. 25, a storm swept southeast from Marshall county southeast to Louisa county, causing'-an estimated $100,000 worth of damage. $150,000 Damace Here. "On the night of Aug. 26 a storm caused $100,000 worth of damage in O'Brien county and continued the next day in north- central counties centering around Mason • City, causing $150,000 worth of damage. "On Sept. 6, a storm in counties centering around Mason City caused an estimated $125,000 MODERN SNOW-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT—This huire rotary snowplow was worked overtime keep the Milwaukee lines in North Iowa open for traffic. The oldest railroader in Mason City can remember no winter when this task was as difficult as last February.. storms which swept through Iowa worth of damage.'' during the spring and summer months: Decker said the bureau's tentative estimate of 1936 hail damage "In April tornados in northwest! in Iowa is $600,000. WHEN IOWA'S KOADS WERE SNOW-BLOCKED—These luckless motorists were caueht by the snow along- by the Schermerhorn farms at the south ««Sfe of Mason City on Feb. II. It need not be that the car.v did not move until a rotary snowplow put in appearance a day »r two later.

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