Why was the cold front on March 28 called a pneumonia front?
Thanks, Jeff Parry, Valparaiso
It’s not a technical meteorological term, and it has nothing to do with pneumonia. It refers to a strong northeast-to-southwest cold front racing down the western shore of Lake Michigan, usually in the spring or early summer when the lake water is still very cold. It is accompanied by the sudden onset of gusty northeast winds that precipitate a sharp temperature drop at the lake shore, with readings sometimes plummeting more than 30 degrees from the 70s into the 40s in less than an hour. The term was first used by the Milwaukee Weather Bureau Office in the 1960s and was probably coined by Rheinhart W. Harms, who is also credited with originating term “Alberta clipper.” The March 28 pneumonia front dropped temperatures from the 60s to around 40 in just a few hours.