January 1913 Atlantic coast storm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cyclone of January 3, 1913
TypeExtratropical cyclone
DurationJanuary 3, 1913 (1913-01-03)
Lowest pressure955.0 mb (28.20 inHg)
Highest winds
Areas affectedNew Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia

The January 1913 Atlantic coast storm was a strong extratropical cyclone that affected the eastern coast of the United States on January 3, 1913. It resulted in heavy damage due to the high winds and produced record low pressure readings.[1] The lowest confirmed barometric pressure reading, 955.0 mb (28.20 inHg), for a non-tropical system in the continental United States (CONUS) was recorded during this storm at Canton, New York.[2][3] This broke the record low of this type set by the January 1886 Blizzard. The lowest pressure reading of this type was later equalled on March 7, 1932 at Block Island, Rhode Island.[2] The next lowest record, 955.2 mb (28.21 inHg), was during the October 2010 North American storm complex on October 26, 2010 at Bigfork, Minnesota.[2][3]

Meteorological history[edit]

The storm formed suddenly on the night of January 2–3 and developed into a severe storm with destructive gales and record low pressures on January 3 over eastern Pennsylvania and Virginia.[4][5] The high winds and low pressures continued over New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.[6] It passed over Maine by the next morning.[4]

Weather Bureau forecaster Scarr reported in The New York Times that the storm produced a record low pressure of 968.9 mb (28.61 inHg) and wind speeds of 90 mph (140 km/h) in New York City. He also said "the storm had been caused by several small depressions ... combining and forming a cyclone."[1]

Philadelphia recorded its lowest pressure, 970.9 mb (28.67 inHg), for the month of January.[7]

Wind and related damage[edit]

The schooner Future, heading toward Washington, D.C., was heavily damaged by the storm. The captain and three crewmen were lost overboard. The rest were not rescued until January 6 by the Asuncion de Larrinaga, but three of them did not survive.[8]

The Lillian, one of several open coal barges being towed by the tug Eli B. Conine in the North River, sunk near Battery Park in Manhattan.[1][9]

Newport News and Norfolk, Virginia were without communications as the telephone and telegraph lines were down. There were reports of water in the James River resembling a tidal wave.[10]

It blew over the steeple of the historic Readington Reformed Church in New Jersey.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Staff (January 4, 1913). "WIND HITS NEW YORK AT 90 MILES AN HOUR; Freak Storm Is Accompanied by Lowest Barometer Ever Recorded Here". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "National Overview – October 2012. Historical Minimum Central Pressure Readings". NOAA.
  3. ^ a b "Pressure Records: The October 26–27, 2010 Significant Extratropical Cyclone". National Weather Service.
  4. ^ a b Water Power Chronicle. The Water Power Chronicle Company. March 1913. p. 130.
  5. ^ von Herrmann, Charles F. (1914). "District 2, South Atlantic and East Gulf States". Monthly Weather Review: Climatological Data for January 1913. Weather Bureau. p. 14.
  6. ^ Wilson, Wilford M. (1914). "District 1, North Atlantic States". Monthly Weather Review: Climatological Data for January 1913. Weather Bureau. pp. 2–3.
  7. ^ "Historical Weather for Philadelphia/Mt.Holly,NJ WFO". National Weather Service.
  8. ^ "Officers and Seamen Aboard the Asuncion de Larrinaga Saved Survivors of Schooner Future". Boston Evening Transcript. February 10, 1914.
  9. ^ "The Eli B. Conine". United States Circuit Court of Appeals Reports. 1917. pp. 661–2.
  10. ^ "Terrfic Storm On the Atlantic Coast". Aspen-Democratic Times. January 3, 1913.
  11. ^ Readington Township Historic Preservation Commission (2008). Images of America: Readington Township. Arcadia Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7385-5679-6.