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Titanic Weather

April 15, 2012

titanic

Much has been written regarding today’s 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. You may be curious as to the weather during the ill-fated trip. From everything I’ve read, from the time the Titanic left England on April 10th until the night of April 14th, the conditions were fine, with temps in the 50s, and light to moderate winds. The ship passed through a minor cold front on the 12th, but it had little effect.

A second, more powerful cold front was waiting to the west. The Titanic passed through it during the morning of April 14th. The winds became brisk, out of the northwest at 20 knots. Temperatures started to drop from the upper 50s to about 50° by noon…..and would fall steadily through the afternoon and into the night. By 7:30 p.m., the temperature was down to 33° …. and by 10:30 p.m., it had dropped slightly below freezing.

A little over an hour later, the ship hit the iceberg. The temperature of the water, owing to the salt in it, was very cold. Salt helps lower the freezing point of water, and the North Atlantic Ocean that night was a frigid 28 degrees.

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