Another amazingly snowy winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:18 PM GMT on February 11, 2011

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As northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas dig out from the two feet of snow dumped this winter's latest epic snowstorm, it's time to summarize how remarkable the snows of the past two winters have been. So far this winter, the Northeast U.S. has seen three Category 3 (major) or higher snow storms on the Northeast Snowfall Impact (NESIS) scale. This scale, which rates Northeast snowstorms by the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm, runs from Category 1 (Notable) to Category 5 (Crippling.) This puts the winter of 2010 - 2011 in a tie for first place with the winters of 2009 - 2010 and 1960 - 1961 for most major Northeast snowstorms. All three of these winters had an extreme configuration of surface pressures over the Arctic and North Atlantic referred to as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this situation, the band of winds that circles the North Pole weakens, allowing cold air to spill southwards into the mid-latitudes.

In the past twelve months, we've had six major Category 3 or stronger storms on the NESIS scale, by far the most major snowstorms in a 12-month period in the historical record. Going back to 1956, only one 12-month period had as many as four major snowstorms--during 1960 - 1961. New York City has seen three of its top-ten snowstorms and the two snowiest months in its 142-year history during the past 12 months--February 2010 (36.9") and January 2011 (36.0"). Philadelphia has seen four of its top-ten snowstorm in history the past two winters. The Midwest has not been left out of the action this year, either--the Groundhog's Day blizzard nailed Chicago with its 3rd biggest snowstorm on record. According to the National Climatic Data Center, December 2010 saw the 7th greatest U.S. snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, and January 2011 the 5th most. December 2009 had the greatest snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, January 2010 the 6th most, and February 2010 the 3rd most. Clearly, the snows of the past two winters in the U.S. have been truly extraordinary.


Figure 1. The six major Category 3 Northeast snowstorms of the past twelve months. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A cold January in the U.S.
January 2011 was the coldest January in the contiguous U.S. since 1994, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and ranked as the 37th coldest January in the 117-year record. Despite the heavy snows in the Northeast U.S., January was the 9th driest January since 1895. This was largely due to the fact that the Desert Southwest was very dry, with New Mexico recording its driest January, and Arizona and Nevada their second driest.

A cold and record snowy winter (yet again!) in the U.S. does not prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming, as we must instead focus on global temperatures averaged over decades. Globally, January 2011 was the 11th warmest since 1880, but tied for the second coolest January of the past decade, according to NASA. NOAA has not yet released their stats for January. The cool-down in global temperatures since November 2010, which was the warmest November in the historical record, is largely due to the temporary cooling effect of the strong La NiƱa event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. This event has cooled a large portion of the surface waters in the Pacific, leading to a cooler global temperature.

Some posts of interest I've done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy the coming warm-up, those of you in the eastern 2/3 of the country!

Jeff Masters

Snow and icicle sun (emilinetdd)
Snow and icicle sun
Cardinal City (dypepper)
Another exciting day for me, shooting the Cardinals in the Snow!
Cardinal City

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MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s LAT
deg LON
deg DEPTH
km Region
MAP 2.7 2011/02/12 00:09:02 36.824 -121.546 4.0 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s LAT
deg LON
deg DEPTH
km Region
MAP 5.1 2011/02/11 23:59:18 27.274 143.084 13.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
MAP 6.3 2011/02/11 23:39:21 -37.181 -73.484 13.5 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
MAP 2.8 2011/02/11 22:59:42 59.961 -152.936 100.0 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 5.3 2011/02/11 21:46:00 -36.544 -73.047 28.8 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
MAP 4.8 2011/02/11 21:01:19 -36.323 -73.314 27.6 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
MAP 2.7 2011/02/11 20:58:52 64.516 -147.173 6.1 CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP 6.8 2011/02/11 20:05:31 -36.479 -73.000 28.0 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
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344, this MIT paper suggests 13,000,000 turbines could possibly replace 10% of needs in 2100, but there is a catch ! It also suggests large scale usage would alter the climate. Go figure :)

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/2053/2010/acp-1 0-2053-2010.pdf

Now this is interesting !

Magnetic Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability at the Sun
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Break,Break,

Squawk Message incoming,

from: Wunderground Cairo,Egypt



DATA BACK ON LINE





Promised Land..for Freedom in Tahria Square


Oh baby - can't eat, can't sleep, can't understand a love song
Drive me crazy 'cause my feet won't quit as I go slidin' in the sweet zone
Round round like you want me to do
Down down like you're beggin' me to
The floor's small and the wall's too steep
I can kiss your mouth when I go to sleep

Oh, baby, got those personal moves so deep inside my move groove
I go crazy - my head won't quit as I crawl inside your love groove
Down down like you want me to do
Round round like you're beggin' me to
The floor's small and it's much too steep
I can kiss your mouth when I go to sleep

I feel alright, 'cause my little girl wants to dance all night
What can I do - I know my little girl wants to dance with you

Oh darling, come on baby, come on and mess with me
Oh woman, I'll make it up to you, if you just drive me wild, child
Down down like you want me to do
Round round like you're daring me to
The floor's small and the wall's too steep
I can kiss your mouth when I go to sleep

I feel alright, 'cause my little girl wants to dance all night
What can I do - I know my little girl wants to dance with you
I feel alright - my little girl wants to dance all night
What can I do - I know that girl wants to dance, dance, dance

Round round like you want me to do
Down down you're beggin' me to
The floor's small and much too steep
I can kiss your mouth as I go to sleep

I feel alright, 'cause my little girl wants to dance all night
All my life - you know my little girl she wants to dance, dance, dance
I feel alright - my little girl she wants to dance all night
What can I do - my little girl wants to dance
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
thank you, JFLorida.

it WAS shallow.
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Wait how did this get into a blog about Free Masons?
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Quoting Grothar:



Try 4. (hmmmm)


Musta been my connection then,those NSA Guys are always on my butt.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
thank you grothar-

I checked the world seismos, time line is further, gentler in southern hemisphere, two decent bumps, less than 30 seconds, can't figure out a location.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting Patrap:



Indeed,and the right shoulder from that one stretch in Spain in 1503 I believe,well my MRI is next Friday,at the NOLA VAMC,,and thanx to all you tax payers for the HEalth Care,..much appreciated.


I believe we covered dat in private last evening during the MASONS conference call.

Congrats on 33rd too



Try 4. (hmmmm)
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Quoting aquak9:
ok, well there's been a 5, maybe a 6 somewhere. Barbados? I don't know. Hasn't registered on the main rev yet.

I'll check back later if anyone wants to do some tectonics.


I tried those, aqua, and almost put my back out. I'll stick to Pilate. j/k
(Let you know of any seismic activity)
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ok, well there's been a 5, maybe a 6 somewhere. Barbados? I don't know. Hasn't registered on the main rev yet.

I'll check back later if anyone wants to do some tectonics.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Sometimes It's how the person was raised.Just becuase a person was raised around ignorance,doesn't mean they have to be ignorant themselves.Sadly not everyone makes do the smart choice and say "well hey I really want to act like that?"If that was the case we wouldn't have some of the kind of hatred we do now in the world.People who go around insulting others,and have nothing better else to do have no life,or their just miserable souls.


Yes, I agree. It is very sad to see this type of behavior anywhere.
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Quoting Grothar:


LOL! Well, at least during the Inquisition they only stretched your body. Here they stretch your blog.

McCarthy wasn't that bad. Although I thought Edgar Bergen did most of the work. (smiles) Oh, that McCarthy.



Indeed,and the right shoulder from that one stretch in Spain in 1503 I believe,well my MRI is next Friday,at the NOLA VAMC,,and thanx to all you tax payers for the HEalth Care,..much appreciated.


I believe we covered dat in private last evening during the MASONS conference call.

Congrats on 33rd too
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
ok, I'm guessing northern hemisphere

c'mon c'mon...someone toss the dog a bone here
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Quoting Grothar:


I wouldn't know, I have never insulted anyone. Not that the thought has not crossed my mind. It is part of being an adult. I have never used my tongue as a weapon, but I have used the pen; it is mightier than the sword you know. Just look at all the recent blogs. Very hurtful words. They parents and family must be very proud of them.
Sometimes It's how the person was raised.Just becuase a person was raised around ignorance,doesn't mean they have to be ignorant themselves.Sadly not everyone makes do the smart choice and say "well hey I really want to act like that?"If that was the case we wouldn't have some of the kind of hatred we do now in the world.People who go around insulting others,and have nothing better else to do have no life,or their just miserable souls.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
Quoting Patrap:
9 past the hour Grothar,,east coast.

I say by :30 past


McCarthy and the rest of the Inquisition shall be back,,Mountain Dew in hand,,

F5,F5,F5,....


LOL! Well, at least during the Inquisition they only stretched your body. Here they stretch your blog.

McCarthy wasn't that bad. Although I thought Edgar Bergen did most of the work. (smiles) Oh, that McCarthy.
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someone PLEASE check the seismos

I can't figure out a location yet- still a goood rummble somewhere
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9 past the hour Grothar,

I say by :30 past


McCarthy and the rest of the Inquisition shall be back,,Mountain Dew in hand,,

F5,F5,F5,....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting washingtonian115:
but names won't hurt me".That's not entierly a true statment.Have you heard that the tounge can be a weapon.Sometimes words stay with a person for many many years.Especially insults.


I wouldn't know, I have never insulted anyone. Not that the thought has not crossed my mind. It is part of being an adult. I have never used my tongue as a weapon, but I have used the pen; it is mightier than the sword you know. Just look at all the recent blogs. Very hurtful words. Their parents and family must be very proud of them.
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Quoting toddluck:
where in wash?
??
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
where in wash?
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Quoting Patrap:
Yeah,,all the Smart folk are watching the "Beck Comedy Hour",,things will pick up after the Loonie Tunes Theme at the end.

Trust,,but verify


Couldn't resist this one.

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Quoting Grothar:


I enjoy watching it. Reminds me of the playground when I was about 10. I am surprised no one has said, "Sticks and Stones may hurt my bones........

but names won't hurt me".That's not entierly a true statment.Have you heard that the tounge can be a weapon.Sometimes words stay with a person for many many years.Especially insults.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
Quoting Patrap:
Yeah,,all the Smart folk are watching the "Beck Comedy Hour",,things will pick up after the Loonie Tunes Theme at the end.

Trust,,but verify


I remember those. Hey, Pat. Read any good books by Marx. I just finished a good one. I think it was by Groucho. There is another one by Zeppo.
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317. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey skye, is that the area that was off to the NW of Oz? I can't see the lat/long info on this tiny screen I'm working with 2day...


It is NW of Australia. If you click on the pic should open a larger loop of it.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37337
Quoting twincomanche:


Hopefully it will get a little more adult later.


I enjoy watching it. Reminds me of the playground when I was about 10. I am surprised no one has said, "Sticks and Stones may hurt my bones........

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Yeah,,all the Smart folk are watching the "Beck Comedy Hour",,things will pick up after the Loonie Tunes Theme at the end.

Trust,,but verify
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Mmmmm well it's a good thing I wasn't on here a few moments ago with all the bickering,and name calling.Takes me back to the days when people on here would get so fed up with the 3 initial blogger,that they would strt going on a pointless rage.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Dammit Jed.I know you will never sleep again ...JFLORIDA is cutting you off.I can't think of anything worse in the world.Hang in there friend.I will save you


Oh crap, hes predicting my scientific career won't workout too well... You think I should drop out of MET school now?
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Oops, sorry, wrong blog. I thought I was entering the the weather blog. Didn't realize it was "Family Feud" I'll may lurk later to see who survived.
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Finally some precious rain is falling after 2 months of drought conditions
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Pay attention to the science. The overwhelming scientific evidence has been documented over and over yet you just as soon wipe your butt with it. Why are you being so obtuse about this? Don't like being confused with facts, eh? Those of us who believe in climate change and man's role in it just want to see mankind cut the polluting as much and as fast as possible. Has nothing to do with ego. It has to do with wanting a better place to live. I don't know about you but having grown up on the Gulf Coast I can tell you emphatically that I never wanted to see an oil spill much less one of the magnitude we saw with the Deepwater Horizon. Did you enjoy that oil spill? It was totally preventable. Instead of getting on here and ranting against those of us who actually care, get mad at the people who are willfully destroying our environment. Most of the time it's for money. How is that right? I think the "Christian" thing to do is take care of the planet. What would Jesus do? He sure wouldn't be polluting the crap out of the air, land and seas. What do you think?



Have you ever read my other posts? I am not an extremist like some wacked out GW fanatics are, I many times quote the fact that the Bible tells us to be good stewards of the earth. I am 100% for going green and developing better energy technology. However the problem is we can't just panic that the earth is collapsing and as a result collapse society in our panic to remove oil and all these other nasty pollutants.

I like to live in reality, and I realize what happens when you try to stir people into panic. They sure do panic. The problem with all of this, is as much as I'd like to say "get rid of big oil" and all the other outdated technology that we pollute our planet with. There are too many powerful people in high places for it. It will take a lot of time to remove all this junk. As much as I wish it weren't true. IT IS. So lets wake up and smell reality. GW fanatics are telling people we need to remove it all now and do whatever is necessary because the earth is gonna be inhospitable in the near future.

Right... Give me a break, how arrogant can these people be, yes we know human beings spew lots of CO2 into the air, which will and has caused warming to a degree. However, we do not know how this will play out. That's not how an honest scientist treats a scientific theory.
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Quoting RecordSeason:

If we were using nothing but wind, solar, and hydro, and with absolutely no carbon footprint, and the entire world obtained a living standard similar to the U.S. or Europe, the amount of waste heat generated by the extreme amount of sunlight needed to be absorbed to accomplish this (or by the friction from the number of wind turbines needed to accomplish this,) would exceed the waste heat and greenhouse effects generated by current world usage of Carbon-based combustion.



1. You have zero evidence. I didn't see anywhere in your post where you calculated the total amount of heat produced by all of the burning fossil fuels, nor did I see where you calculated how much heat would be produced if we ran solely on solar, or wind based energy. Nowhere in your post. Yet you still make the claim.


2. If everyone were living at the standard of living of Europe or US, the energy consumption would be at least twice as high. Clearly we would require more energy, so why in the hell would you compare it to current energy demands?



And, did you forget that one day we will run out of fossil fuels? I don't care what you say, we will have to switch eventually. A switch now is better than a switch at the last minute.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Bingiza

Looks like the W SInd is getting underway... IIRC, this wx pattern favors multiple landfalls on Madagascar...

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.from Dr. Masters entry above,,for those who missed it


A cold and record snowy winter (yet again!) in the U.S. does not prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming, as we must instead focus on global temperatures averaged over decades. Globally, January 2011 was the 11th warmest since 1880, but tied for the second coolest January of the past decade, according to NASA. NOAA has not yet released their stats for January. The cool-down in global temperatures since November 2010, which was the warmest November in the historical record, is largely due to the temporary cooling effect of the strong La Nina event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. This event has cooled a large portion of the surface waters in the Pacific, leading to a cooler global temperature.

Some posts of interest I've done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
@ Oviedo... YW.... after going through this the other day, I'm just paying it forward...
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Thanks Baha, Classic works for me! Anyway, I have submitted a bug report. Now back to lurking!

Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey Oviedo. Most of us with this problem discovered that if we turn off the Compatibility Mode in Tools and refreshed, the blog loads properly. Otherwise, the best workaround for the time being is to go back to the original format, found at http://classic.wunderground.com .

Best of luck....
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Gah!  I'm usually the pedantic so-and-so correcting other people's words.  Thanks for fixing that one for me.  :)


Quoting RecordSeason:


That's "sow".

Your point is taken, however, and well known by me.

The Christian community doesn't like me either. I'm not good for their "prophets" or their profits.

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...DISCUSSION...
UPPER PATTERN CHANGE APPEARS LIKELY THIS FORECAST PERIOD...WITH THE
ERN U.S. TROUGH DEPARTING...FOLLOWED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROUGH
OVER THE WRN CONUS. AS THIS TROUGH EVOLVES OVER THE WEST DAYS
5-6...LOW-LEVEL WARMING WILL OCCUR EAST OF THE ROCKIES BENEATH WEAK
MID-LEVEL RIDGING.

SUBSTANTIAL MODEL DIFFERENCES BEGIN TO OCCUR LATE IN THE DAY 6
PERIOD...AS THE GFS EJECTS A LEAD TROUGH INTO THE CENTRAL U.S. WHILE
THE ECMWF MAINTAINS ONLY A SINGLE LONGER-WAVELENGTH WRN TROUGH.
EVENTUAL EJECTION OF PART OR ALL OF THE WRN TROUGH SHOULD INCLUDE AN
INCREASE IN CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL GIVEN SEVERAL DAYS OF PRIOR
LOW-LEVEL WARMING/MOISTENING LIKELY TO OCCUR E OF THE ROCKIES.
HOWEVER...LARGE UNCERTAINTY PERSISTS AT THIS POINT.

Hey guys my question

Would this affect Chicago at all, or is it too early to tell?
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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.