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Even though footnote 4 cites the EPA website, this information appears to be incorrect. I have contacted the EPA to learn their source. This appears to be a confusion with the "Big Blow" of 1913 (See Wikipedia article "Great Lakes Storm of 1913") I can find no other record of a large four day storm in 1912 in which ten freighters were lost and 400 men. If that were the case, then the Big Blow of 1913 would not be the greatest storm in Great Lakes history, as it is almost universally reported to be. User:RDavS
That's an interesting find, thanks. I'm not sure if November is usually "storm season" on the Great Lakes but it does seem coincidental that we have Nov 1912 here when Big Blow was Nov 1913. I'll have a little go at rewording it. violet/riga(t) 07:08, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
According to the records of the Weather Bureau (http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/040/mwr-040-11-1649.pdf), November 1912 had been unusually pleasant, with above average temperatures and fewer than average storms. Only two exceptions are noted; namely, a two day storm on the 13th and 14th that affected primarily southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio, and the storm during which the Rouse Simmons foundered on the 23rd and 24th that affected Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron. No unusually significant damage to shipping is noted in the report as is reported in the record of the storm of 1913.
Although violent storms have occurred also in other months, often taking ships with them, November is notorious for violent storms on the Great Lakes. The water retains more heat than the land, and when the cold blasts of early winter come charging in, that extra heat stirs things up. Particularly violent November storms were produced in 1880, 1905, 1913, 1940, and 1975. The storm of 1975 probably did not match up with the others, but because of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald, gained notoriety.
More than one person has confused the events of 1912 and 1913. A number have pushed the reputation of the Big Blow of 1913 into 1912 and the account of the Rouse Simmons, including one who wrote the web page for the EPA. Another pulled the account of the Rouse Simmons into the aftermath of the 1913 storm. The two events have little to do with each other, except that both happened in November. While the earlier storm of November 1912 did not hold much of a word of warning to captain and crew, the notoriety of November storms in general should have been on their minds, especially so late in the month. RDavS 20:40, 2 September 2007 (UTC)