Re-Examining the Storm that Sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald | North Coast Chronicles

November 28, 2023

Decoding Weather: The Night Fitzgerald Sank

Joining host Helen Brohl is Tom Hultquist, the Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service in Minneapolis, Minnesota.On November 10, 1975 during a severe storm, the Great Lakes bulk cargo vesselSS Edmund Fitzgerald sank with the loss of all 29 crew members in eastern Lake Superior about 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay, Michigan. The vessel sank quickly without sending a distress signal and, as we all know, the tragedy inspired Gordon Lightfoot to write his famous song. Was it the "perfect storm" or a typical "Gale of November?" What did Tom and his colleagues learn when they used modern technology to analyze the more limited meteorological data from 1975?

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Helen Brohl

Helen Brohl is a Great Lakes gal, having grown up on the south shore of Lake Erie and a lifetime of summers on Middle Bass Island. Helen understands the Great Lakes as a valuable resource with a Master's Degree from The Ohio State University in Great Lakes Land and Water Use Policy and as an economic engine for the nation with almost 40 years of experience in maritime transportation and trade development. Helen previously worked as professional staff on the U.S. Congressional House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, with NOAA's Office of Coast Management, did trade development for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, was the Director of Marketing for the Port of Chicago, the Executive Director of the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association, and retired in January 2023 after almost 17 years as the Executive Director of the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System in Washington, DC. Follow along as Helen shares the nature, folk lore, and charm of the Great Lakes!