Interesting Weather Information

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Ohio River Flood of 1937

January, 1937 was the wettest month in Cincinnati history with 13.68" of rain. Heavy rains were common during the second and third weeks of January, 1937 all over the Ohio River Basin and most of the Ohio River drainage area had precipitation totals 300% to 400% of normal.
This resulted in the most devastating flood in Ohio River history. In Cincinnati the river was above flood stage for 431 consecutive hours and at the record setting crest OF 80' above datum (i.e. the reference level) for 8 hours.

I plotted hourly river stages for you through the high water episode and re-drew a map from the FEB 1937 issue of "Monthly Weather Review" showing the heavy rain area.
In addition I graphed the highest and lowest river stages for each year from 1858 - 2014 and illustrated some highlights.

Note when the Markland Dam went into operation. Contrary to popular myth the dam system on the Ohio River is to control low water levels and keep the river navigable and not for flood control.

Reds Pitcher Gene Schott - left - and Lee Grissom boating in Crosley Field
John Roebling Suspension Bridge, Jan 26, 1937.
John Roebling Suspension Bridge, Jan 26, 1937.
Cumminsville - The ramp is from Central Parkway.

Rainfall, amount and percent of normal, January 1937. Monthly Weather Review, Feb. 1937
Simplified version of map above. Steve Horstmeyer

Graph of data above - Hourly Stages of the Ohio River at Cincinnati. Steve Horstmeyer

High and Low Ohio River Stages at Cincinnati 1858 - 2014. Steve Horstmeyer

No comments:

Post a Comment