Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A forgotten 1942 Freaque wave/Meteotsunami case in Lake Erie

This is a rare find, from Google Search, a news on freaque waves of June 1, 1942!  It is here from The Pittsburg Press, published on "Monday, June 1, 1942"

in Page 6 with the headline:

It was reported by the United Press.  Of particular interest to note is that it was something already being called "Freak Wave" long before the term became academically popular decades later and it was also characterized by the now familar description -- "Giant wall of water"!   The essential of the report is this:
Cleveland, June 1 -- Scientists and weather observers agreed today that a sudden shift in wind was the probable cause of the giant wave which swept the Lake Erie shore line east and west of Cleveland early yesterday drawning at least seven persons and injuribng several more.
So the happening in Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio was on May 31, 1942 -- a case no one seemed to have remembered that it had happened.  When the famous Lake Michigan squal line case near Chicago happened in Junem26, 1954 with 8 fishermen drawned, there's clearly resembles to the Lake Erie case dozen years earlier, but no one ever made the connection.  They should all be the new topic of meteotsunami study.  But this one is a forgotten case!  Thanks to Google Search that by chance brought it to my attention. (Understandably 1942 was in the early stage of WWII, people clearly were less inclined to pay attention to some Lake Erie shore happenings, even with 7 lost souls.)  This was not the first case or another similiar meteotsunami case.  This one does provided some important information not alluded in other cases -- the sound effect!
One fisherman described the wave as an enormous black wall that blotted out everything and rushed in with a deep rolling rumble.  The only warning he said was a shrieking noise like a siren which preceeded the wave. (Emphasize added.)
I think not all similar cases will have this sound effect clearly noticed as this one here by the very observant fisherman in 1942.  But by all means sound effect shoud be also an element to be considered in the Freaque wave/Meteotsunami research!

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