Rare snowstorm hits Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on December 12, 2008

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A rare early December heavy snowstorm hit Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi yesterday, setting several records. It was the earliest measurable snowfall in recorded history at Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Lake Charles. Also, this snow event set the all time record snowfall amounts for the month of December at Beaumont, Port Arthur, Lake Charles, Lafayette, and New Iberia, and was the first measurable snowfall in recorded history for the month of December at Lafayette. In Mississippi, up to 5 inches of snow fell on areas south of Jackson. The snow knocked out power to 83,000 and caused numerous traffic accidents and road closures across Southeast Louisiana. The snow was caused by an upper-level low pressure system that deepened over the Gulf of Mexico. The snow was unusual because it occurred when the surface temperatures were 32 to 35 degrees.

The one inch of snow reported in New Orleans was that city's earliest snow on record. The previous earliest date for measurable snowfall in New Orleans was Dec. 22, 1989. New Orleans' last snowfall, in 2004, was a dusting. The record snowfall for the city is about 5 inches, recorded Dec. 30, 1963.


Figure 1. Yesterday's snowstorm brought a festive blanket of white to Magee, Mississippi. Image credit: SouthernLady.

A few selected snow amounts from yesterday's storm:

Louisiana
-------------
Amite 8.0 inches
rossroads 6.0 inches
Hammond 6.0 inches
Mount Herman 6.0 inches
Opelousas 6.0 inches
Washington 6.0 inches
Covington 6.0 inches
Baton Rouge 3.0 inches
Plaquemine 2.5 inches
New Orleans 1.0 inches
Lafayette 1.0 inches
New Iberia 0.8 inches
NWS Lake Charles 0.4 inches

Mississippi
---------------
Columbia 5.0 inches
Jayess 5.0 inches
Brookhaven 5.0 inches
Prentiss 4.0 inches

Texas
--------
Lumberton 4.0 inches
West Beaumont 4.0 inches
Woodville 3.0 inches
Beaumont City 2.5 inches
SE TX regional Arpt 1.8 inches
Orange 1.0 inches
Port Neches 1.0 inches
Jasper 0.5 inches

So what happened to global warming?
Record snow events inevitably bring comments like, "so what happened to global warming?" First of all, no single weather event can prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming. One needs to look at the entire globe over a period of decades to evaluate whether or not climate change is occurring. It might be instructive to look at what global snow cover is doing this season (it's about 10% below average, Figure 2), but this doesn't mean global warming is occurring. This year's reduced snow cover could be due to natural seasonal variations. Only global average temperatures, when viewed over a time scale of decades, can prove or disprove the existence of global warming. Global average temperatures, when averaged over a decades-long period that removes the "bumps" associated with natural seasonal weather fluctuations, show that global warming is occurring.

Secondly, as both myself and wunderground climate change expert Dr. Ricky Rood have pointed out, global warming won't necessarily lead to a decrease in snowfall in all regions. If it is cold enough to snow, we may actually see increased snow in many locations. Global warming puts more moisture in the atmosphere, due to fact that higher global temperatures evaporate more moisture off of the oceans. I expect that coming decades will bring many record snowfalls, due to the increased moisture available in the atmosphere.


Figure 2. Northern Hemisphere snow cover on December 9, 2008 (blue areas) compared to average (green line). Northern Hemisphere snow cover was about 10% below average the first week of December. Since October, Northern Hemisphere snow cover has been about 5% below average. Bob Hart at Florida State has put together a nice set of regularly updating images showing the current state of global snow cover.

Subtropical Storm Rene possible in the Atlantic next week
The trough of low pressure that brought snow to the deep south will track eastward over the Atlantic over the next few days, reaching the central Atlantic north of the Lesser Antilles Islands by Monday. On Monday or Tuesday, the computer models unanimously agree that the southern portion of the trough will pinch off and form a "cut-off low"--an extratropical storm that is cut off from the jet stream. This low is expected to track slowly westward to a point midway between Bermuda and Puerto Rico by late next week. The low will be over waters marginally warm enough--25°C--to support formation of a subtropical storm, and phase space diagrams from Florida State indicate that this storm will be warm-cored. Wind shear is forecast to be low enough to allow a subtropical or tropical storm to form, and I give a medium (20-50% chance) that we will see Subropical Storm Rene in the Atlantic next week.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Metairie, LA (saintsfan06)
Levee in Metairie
Snow in Metairie, LA
New Orleans Snow Storm (locust)
New Orleans Snow Storm
Snowing in South Ms! (dwmckenzie)
Snowing in South Ms!
Texas Snow (sdmanis)
Pearland Texas Snow on my car
Texas Snow

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Have fun Orca - see you when you get back
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Have fun Orca! See ya soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting zoomiami:


ah - so that's what happened. That makes Orca responsible for my kid with no electric - think you should go home Orca, and make sure you close the doors on your way back.


I am innocent.. as per normal :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting zoomiami:
Nothing better than a fire on the beach - we do a lot of small fires here - have one of those fire burning pits.


Well, there are some things on the beach that I like better than fire...but I'm a guy, I can't help that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RobDaHood:


Some folks just like to spoil all the fun...I remember beach fires...Long ago

As for the cold...rumour has it that some Canadian guy went on vacation and left the backdoor open...so all the cold is getting out and moving south.


Apparently they did it to Victoria also.. snow fall warning... now I am happy.. they are getting snow.. and I am not there :)

I have 4 minutes left...so this will be my last remark..I hope eveyone is having fun and staying safe :)

Chat to you all later.


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Quoting RobDaHood:


Some folks just like to spoil all the fun...I remember beach fires...Long ago

As for the cold...rumour has it that some Canadian guy went on vacation and left the backdoor open...so all the cold is getting out and moving south.


ah - so that's what happened. That makes Orca responsible for my kid with no electric - think you should go home Orca, and make sure you close the doors on your way back.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Nothing better than a fire on the beach - we do a lot of small fires here - have one of those fire burning pits.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Quoting Orcasystems:


The weather here has basically been cloudy with sunny breaks since we got here tuesday, but the last two nights have been stupid cold... tempted to light beach fires, but apparently they frown on that down here :)


Some folks just like to spoil all the fun...I remember beach fires...Long ago

As for the cold...rumour has it that some Canadian guy went on vacation and left the backdoor open...so all the cold is getting out and moving south.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MissNadia:
Hurry Home!

Forecast for GREATER VICTORIA
Updated: 5:00 am PST on December 13, 2008
Snowfall warning in effect

Today
Cloudy with sunny periods. Wind northwest 30 km/h (19 mph) becoming northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph) this morning. Temperature steady near 3C(37F).

Tonight
Periods of snow. Local amount 5 to 10 cm(2.0 to 3.9 in). Wind northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph). Low -2C(28F).

Sunday
A few flurries ending late in the morning then cloudy with sunny periods. Wind northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph). High -1C(30F).

Monday
Sunny. Low -7C(19F). High -2C(28F).



I was just reading that....
GW my butt.. I am in Mexico freezing...
It snowed in LA, and Texas... and its snowing in Victoria... yup.. GW is upon us.
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Too much multi tasking - washing floors, typing, giving kid directions & phone numbers...

Sorry to hear about the chill - its chilly here, but I'm loving it - (chilly for us)
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Hurry Home!

Forecast for GREATER VICTORIA
Updated: 5:00 am PST on December 13, 2008
Snowfall warning in effect

Today
Cloudy with sunny periods. Wind northwest 30 km/h (19 mph) becoming northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph) this morning. Temperature steady near 3C(37F).

Tonight
Periods of snow. Local amount 5 to 10 cm(2.0 to 3.9 in). Wind northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph). Low -2C(28F).

Sunday
A few flurries ending late in the morning then cloudy with sunny periods. Wind northeast 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph). High -1C(30F).

Monday
Sunny. Low -7C(19F). High -2C(28F).

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
124. IKE
Quoting Orcasystems:


We are actually at an all inclusive resort. Called the Viva Wyndham Maya, close to Playa del Carman.


You're safe then...lol.

Have fun...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting RobDaHood:
Hey Orca!

sun turned down to better see the moon?

Sun pretty bright here this am actually...a little cool still


The weather here has basically been cloudy with sunny breaks since we got here tuesday, but the last two nights have been stupid cold... tempted to light beach fires, but apparently they frown on that down here :)
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Quoting IKE:


Jump off of that boat and head home....NOW!

If you're on land, has anyone asked you for any money yet or to buy something from them(I remember Acapulco).


We are actually at an all inclusive resort. Called the Viva Wyndham Maya, close to Playa del Carman.
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Hey Orca!

sun turned down to better see the moon?

Sun pretty bright here this am actually...a little cool still
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
120. IKE
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hmmm mexican keyboards.. strange symbols... and no sun..

I sort of miss being home.. but not that much :)


........ has anyone asked you for any money yet or to buy something from them(I remember Acapulco).
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting zoomiami:
Sounds like a great plan Pottery - I even like the beach when its cool outside.

Sorry about the wedding - best laid plans of men and mice....

Hey Orca - thought you were on vacation!


I am.. I thought I would pop in for a couple minutes, and try and find out if the sun is coming back soon. last two nights have been cold enough to require jackets down here... no fun sitting on a beach... praying for a hot rum.
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Hmmm mexican keyboards.. strange symbols... and no sun..

I sort of miss being home.. but not that much :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sounds like a great plan Pottery - I even like the beach when its cool outside.

Sorry about the wedding - best laid plans of men and mice....

Hey Orca - thought you were on vacation!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
116. IKE
From this mornings San Juan,PR discussion...

Could still see a significant low level system form
across the west central Atlantic on Tuesday or Wednesday...which
will eventually be steered southward and towards the local
islands...but models have been trending further westward with
their solutions over the last several runs...so some uncertainty
remains.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Ola from Mexico...
who turned off the damn sun, and when is it coming back??
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114. IKE
This should become an invest....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Huh !!
I have just been Reliably Informed, that I am to attend a Wedding Festival, this evening.
There goes my beach plan......
Oh well, a night of dancing and prancing, with copious amounts of food and drink, pretty women, laughter and scandal. It all sounds just fine to me.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Doing great here Zoo.
Thinking of heading to the beach today, to soak some sore muscles and my confused brain.
Had a couple of frantic days around here. Work stuff.
Looking forward to some downtime......
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Just looking at the long range models for Florida, and it looks like we will remain warm (Like now) until at least past Christmas. This is kind of a relief for me considering I have been freezing by butt off here for quiet awhile. But no Christmas frost :(
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Hi Pottery - how are you? Haven't been around much lately - just lurking.

Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Fortunately they have two types of heat - one is oil that has an electric heat pump, but the other is a propane fire place, no electric needed. Their house is on the city water - last one of the line. Next house over is pump - so they have no water.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Morning all-

some days are diamond,
some days are stone.

Its a diamond one here this morning.
Hope everyone is having a good one too.
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Glad to hear your daughter's all right, even if she didn't expect a winter storm to be as bad as a tropical one. .. lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
Quoting zoomiami:
Morning Baha - the moon was so bright here it lit up the yard.

How's the temp over your way? cooler than I expected this morning - a chilly 56.

My daughter lives in Maine, York county, where the brunt of the ice storm went through. No power, blocked roads, and no generators to be found.

Asked her how a kid who who knows how to prepare for hurricanes got caught so unaware!
Morning zoo! It's around 68 out right now. Pretty darn cold, where I live! LOL
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
Morning everybody, btw. It's pretty cold out so far today, so I'll prolly be staying inside. . . lol

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687

Cyclonic Binary fission lol
I think Dolphins twin might be a problem for him
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2375
Morning Baha - the moon was so bright here it lit up the yard.

How's the temp over your way? cooler than I expected this morning - a chilly 56.

My daughter lives in Maine, York county, where the brunt of the ice storm went through. No power, blocked roads, and no generators to be found.

Asked her how a kid who who knows how to prepare for hurricanes got caught so unaware!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
Quoting RobDaHood:
The full moon Friday night will be the biggest one of the year as Earth's natural satellite reaches its closest point to our planet.

my blog #485 for more info
The moonrise here last night was gorgeous - and the mood did look really big. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me when I ran out to the store.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
Morning
Wilmington is clear
33, forecast to go to 49
Light NW wind
NO ICE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
"This is pathetic," said Bob Cott of Portland, Maine, who lost power. "I'm already sick of winter and we have nine days to go before it officially begins."


Ha ha ha...he's right!
What a winter already and it hasn't "officially" started yet!!
LOL



Ay, will only get worse. Wonder when our windstorms start crawling in...
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Quoting vortfix:
Glad to hear that.
Are you expecting more rain?



Hey, it's England, Vort.

The only things more certain than rain are death and taxes. :p
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Quoting vortfix:
That is a tremendous amount of rain Cotillion!
I hope you're not in the middle of that.



Thankfully not, it's damp here but not flooded.
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Phillipines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

The Tropical Storm East of Bicol region is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this evening and it will be named "ULYSSES".

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #1 (0900z)
==============================
At 5:00 PM PhST, Tropical Storm Ulysses (DOLPHIN) located at 13.9°N 135.5°E or 1,130 km east of Bicol region has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 km/h (45 knots) with gustiness up to 100 km/h (55 knots).

Additional Information
=======================
Tropical Storm "ULYSSES" is still too far to affect any part of the country.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46595
Extensive flash flooding has hit the south-west of England overnight, according to the emergency services.

Somerset and Devon were especially badly hit, with up to 18 inches of rain in places, said Norman Evans of Devon and Somerset Fire Service.

He said the service had received about 100 calls, and crews had been called out to deal with up to 10 rescues involving flooded homes or vehicles.

Mr Evans urged motorists to travel only if the trip was absolutely neccessary.

Road conditions were "atrocious", he said. The worst hit areas were said to be Chard, Ilminster, Shepton Mallet and Street.

Flood warnings

The BBC in Plymouth said four people were rescued from their cars in separate incidents when they became stuck in floodwater in Devon.

The environment agency issued flood warnings for the River Axe, the River Isle and the River Tone.

Mr Evans said the rain was expected to move away from Devon into Somerset during the morning, and then on into Dorset and further east.

The Environment Agency has one severe flood warning in place for the River Lyd in Lydney, Gloucestershire, and a further 26 flood warnings across south-west England. There is also a warning of severe rain for Wiltshire.
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Quoting reasonmclucus:
When are you going to recognize that "global warming" is nothing more than the warm portion of long term weather cycles. Even global warming believers admit that temperature during the 20th Century only changed by about 0.17%

Isn't it still global warming, regardless of the cause? I think regardless of whether scientists agree as to the underlying causes, i. e. naturally occurring vs. manmade, they do agree that a warming trend is occurring.

Thus your point is moot.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
87. Inyo
Regardless of global warming, the cold isn't limited to the eastern half of the US. We are expecting snow just about everywhere in Washington and Oregon, and in the hills above San Francisco and Los Angeles. Where I live in Santa Barbara, the Santa Lucia Mountains above the city could get several inches of snow, and even the Santa Monica Mountains (malibu area) may get a dusting. It's COLD!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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