The Great Lakes consist of five large lakes that cover over 90,000 square miles and contain one fifth of the world’s fresh water supply. Out of these five lakes, Superior is the coldest and deepest.It has a surface area greater than any other freshwater system in the world and comes in third for volume.Superior’s shoreline is about 2,800 miles long and has a depth of over 1300 feet.
Because Lake Superior is so large it has quite an effect on the weather, and an even bigger effect when winds blow across its surface. Particular to Lake Superior are “northeasters”.These “northeasters” are gales that are common in November and form when low-pressure systems pass over the lake.
With hurricane-force winds, its no wonder the storms are refereed to by the locals as “the witch of November”. Having these viscous storms plus one of the busiest shipping industries in North America can sometimes lead to trouble (Wreck).This could be one of the reasons there are more than 6000 ships scattered about on Lake Superior’s floor.
(Lienhard) One of the most interesting shipwrecks is the Edmund Fitzgerald. This ship was a record breaker, it was 729 feet long, the longest ship on the Great Lakes until 1971 according to boatnerd.com (Quick).Also, according to Raymond Goniwika, a worker at Great Lakes Steel in Detroit, Michigan, It took 12 hours to unload.”I put the Captain one hour behind, It takes five days to make the trip you know.” (Goniwika).
However, If the weather forecasting technology were more advanced, the ship’s equipment had been repaired, and had the decisions made by the captain been better. Chances are we probably would not be reading about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. According to Jonathan Martin, assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the storm the Edmund Fitzgerald experienced was far more intense than predicted. While the Weather Service forecast winds …