Talk:January 1998 North American ice storm

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Former good article January 1998 North American ice storm was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 22, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
September 28, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
March 23, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Today is the Tenth Anniversary, pleese update[edit]

Have we learned anything new or important about how to handle them? Was Quebec unprepafred? Radio Guy (talk) 18:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Here is a clipo from CBC —Preceding unsigned comment added by Radio Guy (talkcontribs) 18:21, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


We might want to rewrite the seconsd paragraph under "effects": it's a bit self-repeating now. --Circeus 21:24, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Inclusion of US[edit]

Although the meterlogical information is Canadian based, should the fact that the storm also affected parts of the States also added? Kanadier 19:13 6 Mar 2005

Obviously. Being from quebec myself, I am likely much more aware of the effects here than south of the border Circeus 22:42, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

i recently spoke to a friend who lived in vermont during this time and told me of his expirences. i can't seem to find any accounts of what happened in the u.s. part of the storm. if anyone has any info on this i think it should be included as well. i'll keep looking--Tainter 21:11, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I know this is a long time after this short discussion, but... this was one of the major local events of my childhood growing up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York's North Country. There were major impacts from this storm in the Plattsburgh/Burlington region especially - Clinton, Franklin, Essex, and St. Lawrence counties were especially hard hit. It wasn't as hard and as long as what occurred in Ottawa and Quebec, but it was significant and severe just the same and should definitely be included in the article. And to answer a gripe from below - yes, the US military did offer assistance to Canada. I'm going to see what I can dig up on both fronts. - RPIRED 03:49, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

There's plenty of info online about the affects of this unprecedented storm on the NE USA: I lived through it & helped forecast it in advance when I was living in VT at the time. Guy1890 (talk) 06:44, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Deletion of "Timeline" section[edit]

I deleted a placeholder Timeline section from the article. There was no real content. If somebody has the start of a timeline, feel free to add it, but please don't clutter up the article with placeholders. (This talk page is a good place for placeholders.) - Cafemusique 11:04, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Agreement with Merge[edit]

I agree that the Operation RECUPERATION article should be merged into this. Simply put, Op RECUPERATION was part of the response and as such should be treated within the bulk of a larger context. --Esseye 09:16, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree as well. --20px Spinboy 21:21, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

American Ops?[edit]

If anyone has the names and details of American military operations related to the '98 storm, they should have articles and correspondingly be mentioned within the article... --Esseye 09:19, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

They didn't help, so I don't understand why Canada is helping the US during their hurricanes. --20px Spinboy 00:16, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
We're not talking about Christmas card lists here. Humanitarian aid should not be doled out on the basis of "So what have you done for me lately?", or eventually no one will help out anybody. We send help because it's the right thing to do, and I like to think that's the way we do things here in Canada. SigPig 17:00, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Flooding in the Southern US[edit]

The same storm also produced major flooding in the southern US, primarily in the Appalachians from Georgia to West Virginia. Should that also get a strong mention on the page (such as a full section), knowing it killed 12 and caused hundreds of millions in damage? CrazyC83 17:10, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Does said flooding have a separate article already?Circeus 23:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
AFAIK, no it does not. CrazyC83 21:29, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Affected Maryland[edit]

In teh Baltimore region there was also an ice storm at about that date (I was only 8 at the time, but my family has dated photographs of trees in the area from the 8th of Jan 98). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:13, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Canadian collaboration of the week[edit]

Since I knew this was comming up, I started early. I moved the article from 1998 Ice Storm to Ice Storm of January 1998 to fit in more with the new styling. Also note Ice Storm of December 2005. I moved some things around and changed man of the categories. I also fixed up some things on the Ice Storm section of Winter storm. Zhatt 20:52, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Another Canadian=[edit]

I'm a meteorologist with Environment Canada from Montreal office that lived and forecasted during the Icestorm of '98. I've modified the description of the phenomena and the event setup. Pierre_cb Feb 4th, 2006.

Article title[edit]

The title of this article, as it stands, is too ambiguous. It would help if there was a location in it (such as, say, North American ice storm of 1998). --Coredesat talk! 00:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I was bold and moved it. I'm fixing double redirects, and I'll fix the listing on GAC shortly. --Coredesat talk! 00:20, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
North American Ice Storm is much to vague as Ice Storm can and will happend any where from Oregon/British-Columbia to Virginia/Newfoundland during the winter. A better name would be Eastern Canada and Northern New-York Ice Storm of 1998.Pierre cb 00:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
True, but it is less vague than the original title. Perhaps we can discuss moving the article to a better title when it finishes its GAC run. --Coredesat talk! 00:57, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
This storm affected way more than just Eastern Canada & NY state. It stretched from the Saint Lawrence Valley of both the USA & Canada East through much of VT, NH & ME. Guy1890 (talk) 06:46, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

This article will be put on hold (for 7 days) until these minor adjustments can be made :

1. Well written?: Pass (but could be better)
2. Factually accurate?: O. K. (missing citations)
3. Broad in coverage?: Pass
4. Neutral point of view?: O. K.
5. Article stability? Pass
6. Images?: Pass

Additional comments :

  • Exacerbating the problem was a steep drop in temperature that immediately followed the passage of the freezing rain., did it really exacerbate the problem? if so, a reliable source is needed to confort such a statement.
I was there (in Old Montreal, one of the worst-hit areas) and I can confirm, the drop in temperature made the ice freeze solid. Huge tree branches started to break, and hundreds (if not thousands) of cars were crushed by falling trees, as well as electric wires. The cold created a higher demand to the already overloaded power system, which couldn't handle it (transformers at the Beauharnois power station blew up; this was the last "line of defense" for Montreal). Hugo Dufort

A few references:

  • IMO, the sentence Prior to the 1998 storm, the last major ice storm to hit Montreal (1986) deposited around 30 to 60 millimetres (1½ to 2¼ inches) of ice. should be part of the Background section but it goes with the rest of this paragraph so I'm not sure ... leave it as it is if you feel like it.
  • Giving numbers for For further comparison, the amount of freezing rain falling over the affected area in just these three days was double the average annual amount of freezing rain the area normally receives. would really help the reader figure out what is the amount or freezing rain that hit the region.
  • Re-phrasing this line Three weeks after the end of the storm proper, there were still 700,000 people without electricity would be helpful in figuring out why the word proper is used.
  • There is a lack of citation for the paragraph :
Three weeks after the end of the storm proper, there were still 700,000 people without electricity. Estimates of material damages reach around $2 billion Canadian for Quebec alone. Overall estimates are around $4-6 billion US for all the areas affected.
  • Do rivers of ice really exist or is it a metaphore?
  • Point #1 of the Trivia section isn't really notable for the storm's article, maybe it is useful for the band's page.

Lincher 00:35, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I re-wrote those sections. CrazyC83 03:01, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

GA awarded[edit]

Nice work on the article to bring it to GA status. Keep up the good work, I can see this article has the future to become a FA by an expansion and by finding more references to add material. Good luck with the rest. Lincher 11:27, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Public Domain Pictures[edit]

Here is a link to a bank of public domain pictures covering the province of Quebec. Images of the 1998 Ice Storm can be found by making a search with "verglas" as keyword. Hugo Dufort 23:10, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

These pictures are not free, as commercial usage are at a 50$CAN fee and needs to be arranged with the original photographer, as mentioned in the "usage rights" ("droits d'utilisation") section. Boréal (talk) 01:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

New article title?[edit]

Well, I said earlier that I'd wait to discuss moving this again until after the GAC run, so here I am now. I understand the current title is vague, so would there be any objections to Eastern Canada ice storm of 1998 or something similar? Coredesat 23:35, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Good to change the name to a more precise, but the Ice Storm has touched mostly the corridor between Ottawa and Montreal which is in Central Canada, Eastern canada being more the Maritimes and Newfoudland. On top, it has touched a bit in NY, Vermont, Maine and Nova Scotia. It is difficult then to suggest you a name. Pierre cb 22:21, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
The Quebec province is usually considered as part of "Eastern Canada". Hugo Dufort 23:12, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Wrong section?[edit]

Hey all, I believe this line: "which combined with the extreme power outages led to numerous indirect deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning from generators and other sources as people desperately tried to remain warm.[1]" - which is currently under the 'storm description' title, would be more appropriate under Impacts, as it does not serve as a very good concluding sentence for the storm description. Just a thought.

Canadian Point of View[edit]

I think this article needs some reworking. The problems as I see them are that this article is trying to cover the entire storm yet reports only on the issues facing Canada. I understand that Canada was harder hit, but The United States we very hard hit as well, and this artle seems to swich from North American to Canadian without clearly indicating which it's talking about. 07:28, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I definitely agree with this assessment. I've found some US Government pictures which might add to the article [here], and the same site has some information about the US impact and reaction. - RPIRED 20:01, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Freezing Rain[edit]

Just clarified the description of "freezing rain" to make sure it's clear how it works. The old explanation seemed to imply that because things on the ground are so cold, the rain freezes when it touches them. Surface temperatures do play a role, but the rain will only instantaneously freeze if it is supercooled. (talk) 22:50, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Kentucky area[edit]

As others have mentioned above, I also wish to see more information on the U.S. impact of this storm. It was an extremely difficult experience for many in the central and northern Kentucky area, as well - I do not have information on fatalities, but can personally attest that many, many people went without electricity or food for days and even longer, myself included, due to exploding electrical transformers and downed power lines from the cold and ice. Since everyone was unable to leave their homes (either from doors and windows being literally frozen shut, or from vehicles being stuck to the ground and immobile), stores within walking distance engaged in price gouging and other such practices. Property and tree damage in the area was extensive, and I'm sure that many other U.S. areas other than those mentioned in the article were similarly affected. I only have my memory to rely on; can anyone find properly sourced information and add it? My internet connection is pretty spotty, but I'll try and help when I can. *Vendetta* (whois talk edits) 05:52, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

It was a rain event in USA with from January 4th to 10th 1998, except near the Canadian border. I think you are confusing with another freezing rain event! Pierre cb (talk) 14:55, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

The second paragraph of section "Storm description" starts with this sentence, which I cannot parse:

 A series of surface low pressure past in this circulation between January 5 and January 10, 1998.

Two problems: I think "past" should be "passed", and there is no noun to go with the adjective phrase "low pressure". I think it would be more grammatical to say

 A series of surface low pressure systems passed in this circulation between January 5 and January 10, 1998.

but that still sounds awkward and overly technical. Another take:

 A series of surface low pressure systems passed through the area between January 5 and January 10, 1998.

That is much clearer to me, but I do not know if it is technically accurate. If someone with meterological expertise can vet the change, I would be happy to make it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Greg Ward (talkcontribs) 00:40, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The first suggestion is the right one since the text talk about the upper flow. One has to refer to it but the term "Atmospheric circulation" will make it more clear. I'm changing the text.Pierre cb (talk) 00:33, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: On Hold[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I'm specifically going over all of the "Meteorology and atmospheric sciences" articles. I believe the article currently meets the majority of the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. However, in reviewing the article, I have found there are issues concerning sourcing that need to be addressed. I have made minor corrections and have included a point below that need to be addressed for the article to remain a GA. Please address them within seven days and the article will maintain its GA status. If progress is being made and issues are addressed, the article will remain listed as a Good article. Otherwise, it may be delisted. If improved after it has been delisted, it may be nominated at WP:GAN.

  1. The article was passed in 2006, and since then, the GA criteria have changed concerning sourcing. The first two sections are lacking sources for the information present and there are also several "citation needed" tags found in the rest of the article. For the article to maintain its GA status, inline citations need to be added for the statements that have statistics, information that may be questioned by a reader for its verifiability, and the current "cn" tags. I would recommend using the current sources/external links to see if any of the information can be used for sourcing the other statements in the article and looking for other web/book sources for assistance.

This article covers the topic well and if the above issues are addressed, I believe the article can remain a GA. I will leave the article on hold for seven days, but if progress is being made and an extension is needed to complete the work, one may be given. I will leave messages on the talk pages of the main contributors to the article along with related WikiProjects so that the workload can be shared. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 (talk) 02:05, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

This is only tangentially related to the above post. I found some references that may have useful information to incorporate into this article:
If someone has the time or inclination, they should consider incorporating it into the article. Mindmatrix 15:01, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: Failed[edit]

Since the issues I raised were not addressed, I have regrettably delisted the article according to the requirements of the GA criteria. If the issues are fixed, consider renominating the article at WP:GAN. Good job to Mindmatrix for adding the sources above, hopefully they are integrated into the article soon. If you disagree with this review, you can seek an alternate opinion at Good article reassessment. If you have any questions let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 (talk) 05:06, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


A photo of the collapsed high tension pylons in Quebec would be nice, it'd be more illustrative of the power of this ice storm that the current trees in the info box, if someone has the rows of collapsed metal towers. (talk) 11:58, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Request accomplished. Photo added. --CyclePat (talk) 23:59, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind. Photo was deleted for copyright purposes. The request still stands. Sorry. --CyclePat (talk) 18:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Check out for more sources here[edit] --CyclePat (talk) 22:55, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

dead link enquired about at EC[edit]

I wrote EC to ask them why this link was dead and if there's another copy: - I couldn't find anything by a quick search. --TheAnarcat (talk) 01:29, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:January 1998 North American ice storm/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Meteorology:

Substituted at 04:44, 24 July 2016 (UTC)