Boise gets earliest snow on record, record cold in Oregon, Washington

From the Idaho Statesman:

Valley shivers as winter weather makes a premature appearance

Big snow flakes fell early Friday evening, turning Downtown Boise into a giant snow globe for people on their way home from work.

The snow caught many people off guard, including this bicyclist heading down Idaho Street between 8th and 9th around 5:45 p.m. Across the Treasure Valley, tree branches heavy with wet, snow-covered leaves fell on power lines, causing scattered power outages.

This is the earliest measurable snowfall in Boise since recordkeeping began in 1898, according to the National Weather Service. At 10 p.m., the Weather Service said 1.7 inches of snow had fallen. The previous earliest recorded snowfall was Oct. 12, 1969, when a little more than an inch fell. And if the snow wasn’t enough, meteorologists say winds across southwestern Idaho will average 25 to 40 mph through Saturday afternoon, with gusts up to 55 mph. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph are expected, which can make driving difficult.


There is also some early and record snows in Billings Montana

A snowfall record for Oct. 11 was set in Billings yesterday.
According the National Weather Service, Billings saw 3.1 inches of snow Friday. The old record of 2.8 inches was set in 1969.

BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

Vehicles drive through the snow and slush Highway 3 between Zimmerman Trail and the airport Friday October 10, 2008.


Here in Northern California, we are getting some much earlier than normal cold weather. As you can see on my Bidwell Ranch Weather Station, we got into the 30’s last night, not a record, but darned early for fall weather here:

Russ Steele reports on his Nevada County Watch blog that his first freeze came last night, about a month early. Also a hat tip to him for alerting me to this story.

Pamela Gray in comments points out this record report from the NWS:

000
SXUS76 KPDT 111801
RERPDT

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PENDLETON OR
1100 AM PDT SAT OCT 11 2008

…NEW DAILY RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES FOR OCTOBER 11TH…

NOTE: STATIONS MARKED WITH * INDICATE THAT THE STATION REPORTS ONCE
PER DAY. FOR CONSISTENCY…THESE VALUES ARE CONSIDERED TO HAVE
OCCURRED ON THE DAY THE OBSERVATION WAS TAKEN BUT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY
OCCURRED (ESPECIALLY FOR MAX TEMPERATURE) ON THE PREVIOUS DAY.

STATION PREVIOUS NEW RECORDS
RECORD/YEAR RECORD BEGAN

*JOHN DAY(CITY), OR 23 / 1990 21 1953
MEACHAM, OR 20 / 2002 15 1948 :SINCE MID
*MITCHELL, OR 26 / 2002 21 1949
PENDLETON(ARPT), OR 33 / 1990 25 1934 :SINCE MID
*PENDLETON(CITY), OR 24 / 1890 22 1890
*PENDLETON(ES), OR 23 / 1990 18 1956
WALLA WALLA, WA 35 / 1987 33 1949 :SINCE MID

Harbinger of a colder than normal winter perhaps.

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80 thoughts on “Boise gets earliest snow on record, record cold in Oregon, Washington

  1. The cold weather could be a finger print of the cool phase of the pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) which has started in fall of last year, see Nathan Mantua’s web site: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ to verify that.
    you may also look at the sea surface temperature anomalies. given by

    and realize a big chunk of cold water along the pacific coast and deep into the pacific ocean.
    The pacific decadal oscillation fits very well to the global temperature variations of the last century, better than ENSO, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/.

    The big question is, whether the cold phase of PDO will last as long as it did in the fifties and sixties.
    However, weather will improve again, according to our German weather web site:

    http://www.wetteronline.de/namkvor.htm

    and you may get the same beautiful Indian summer which we have at the moment, after a very cold September

  2. “BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE
    YELLOWSTONE COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES BILLINGS MONTANA
    RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BILLINGS MT
    934 AM MDT SUN OCT 12 2008

    THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
    YELLOWSTONE COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES BILLINGS MONTANA.

    LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES ARE REQUESTING EMERGENCY TRAVEL ONLY ON CITY AND COUNTY ROADS DUE TO THE HEAVY SNOWFALL.

    THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF BILLINGS. DO NOT VENTURE AWAY FROM YOUR HOME UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.”

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/byz/

    CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE
    DAWSON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
    RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GLASGOW MT
    1210 PM MDT SUN OCT 12 2008

    …CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE..

    THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE DAWSON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IN GLENDIVE MONTANA.

    THE DAWSON COUNTY RED CROSS HAS OPENED A COMFORT STATION FOR RESIDENTS WHO ARE WITHOUT POWER DUE TO THE WINTER STORM.

    THE EASTERN PLAINS EVENT CENTER AT 313 SOUTH MERRILL IS CURRENTLY OPEN. COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS ARE AVAILABLE.

    RESIDENTS WHO ARE WITHOUT POWER ARE REMINDED TO SWITCH OFF AND UNPLUG APPLIANCES TO PREVENT INJURY, FIRE AND/OR DAMAGES TO ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT SHOULD A POWER SURGE OCCUR WHEN POWER IS RESTORED.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/ggw/

  3. How long will it take to see a derivative of the following:

    “Global warming trends continue to wreak havoc with weather systems around the globe. Concentrations of C02 have caused major heatwaves near the equator, to the extent that much more heat than normal has been pulled from Northern Regions such as Boise Idaho and Billings Montana, forcing local governments to spend HUGE amounts of money for plowing and road treatments.”

    Can’t you just see it coming?

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

    JimB

  4. Those weather reports from Idaho and Montana are, of course, anecdotal and not indicative of climate per se, but they are consistent with the steep rise in Arctic ice development this year. Add to that Bay Area weather where it is running 5° below the average for the day and 2° below the monthly average. But the real chill is in the markets. The media is reporting concerns that concerns over the economy will forestall action on climate change initiatives. Imagine: no action is taken and the climate cools dramatically on its own and the effects (reduced crop production, increased demand on fuels, etc.) are considered undesirable, creating a desire for the Halcyon days of global warming.

  5. Here in Buffalo we’re experiencing Indian summer weather, with highs today around 75° and tomorrow pushing 80°. Which is rather sweet, considering that these two days mark the 2nd anniversary of the October surprise, when a band of snow running from Buffalo towards Rochester totaled up to 2′ of snow {yes, 2 feet}. The leaves were still on the thousands of trees that were destroyed by all that heavy wet snow; over 400,000 consumers lost power for up to a week.

    Naturally, AGW believers pointed to the event as proof of their position. Don’t you know, we never ever had extreme weather events until mankind pumped all that nasty CO2 into the atmosphere and suddenly every extreme weather event became a proof of their beloved theory.

    In any case, since the weather will do whatever the weather does best, I’m prepared for this winter with a brand new snow shovel – and I’ve named it Al Gore. So this winter season, I’ll be using ‘Al Gore’ to shovel … snow.

  6. Well this has got to due to global warming right or is this the start of a very cold and snowy winter which would be considered by the agw crowd as natural variences.

  7. Well just for the other side of the story; this summer has been warm in southeastern Michigan. Today it’s a very pleasant 80 degrees. Normal high for this date is 61. Personally I’ll take 80 over 61, and certainly over that cold junk they’re having in the west.

  8. Ed Berry’s latest view, from the global perspective…

    “…The characteristics of the global circulation have become solidly La-Nina.

    “Global relative AAM [Atmospheric Angular Momentum], updated through 9 October removing the QBO [Quasi-Biennial Oscillation] signal, is nearly 2 standard deviations below the R1 data climatology. This is the lowest value since boreal spring…”

    http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com

  9. I live in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains, Southwest of Billings about 56 miles. It has been snowing here since Thursday afternoon. I imagine we have at least 3 feet of snow. It is still up to my hips, and it has been melting from underneath the whole time. We have been in drought for many years, so even this storm is welcomed. Kum is right, though, it is just what was once (accurately) called weather.

  10. Kum,

    It looks like it has data until 10 Oct if you scroll the mouse up to the end of the 2008 curve. Is the text comparing 10/7/2008 to last year throwing you off?

  11. Yes its weather, but the correlation to PDO looks interesting. Anchorage Alaska also had a very cold summer. PDO?

    To me, the analyses about climate should be focused on these very interesting natural/regional cycles and predicting their impacts – regionally. I also suspect that the predictions could be done more or less empirically and wouldn’t need to rely on the not ready for prime time GCMs.

  12. Its warm in Germany – very warm today. Even this night with a clear sky. Will be a good wine this year. But we had a very good wine too in 1959 – I remember.

  13. When it’s cold out west, it’s warm here in Tennessee. We’re currently at 81.1° at 4 o’clock CDT. While I love snow and can’t wait to get some here, sure like this warm Autumn weather!

    Commented on my blog earlier that had this Wyoming, Montana, and other western states event been HOT weather, you would have had all the GW wacko’s coming out of the woodwork blaming it on humans.

    I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to tie this to how we must elect the empty suit Obama….if, God forbid, we Americans elect him…watch your freedoms go down the DRAIN and even more funding for the AGW freaks. By the way, his 95% of Americans will see a tax cut is LAUGHABLE….the jr senator from Illinois has NEVER (and I mean NEVER) voted for a single tax cut…hope I wasn’t unclear!

    http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

  14. Don’t you know, this is just anecdotal weather!
    I lived in Voss, Norway, we had snow on 5 th of October.
    This should also be a record breaking for first snow where I live, but I don’t know of the statistics.

    BTW, about some other weird weather events.
    According to the climate simulations supported by the AGW crowd, much of Spain will soon get a climate similar to that of Sahara.
    Right now they are receiving deluge of rain.

    A desert town in the middle of Sahara in Algeria, Ghardaia was the victims of flash floods. The flash flood killed over 30 people.

    This is a must see photos and videos from the event!

  15. Is the text comparing 10/7/2008 to last year throwing you off?

    Yes, I still can’t make it give up anything after 10/07/2008.

  16. What sucks for snow lovers out west is that winter is petering itself out now as there is a growing consensus that when the actual season starts winter weather will be favoring the NE and Mid-Atl more….Sorry westerners but this is our year! :)

  17. I don’t think people with power outages etc… etc… will have any patience to continue to buy the warming stuff. They know the whispers are about… I think it will only take one false move, one brave (or calculating) MSM, one quirk of fate, for this South-Seas-are-Bubbling bubble to burst. The question is, who are the fall guys going to be? Mann and Hansen at a guess. Al Gore will no doubt worm his way into florid retirement. He was only the messenger after all. IPCC? it will be quietly dissolved. BBC? If someone can organize a real debate, this could yet be the break point. I don’t think we need do anything but keep the whispers up. The next question is, will Climate Science be overhauled? Yes and no. But it will never be the same again.

    Human climate forecast over

    Keep up the long haul everyone.

  18. Per Strandberg (14:19:33) :

    BTW, about some other weird weather events.
    According to the climate simulations supported by the AGW crowd, much of Spain will soon get a climate similar to that of Sahara.
    Right now they are receiving deluge of rain.

    A desert town in the middle of Sahara in Algeria, Ghardaia was the victims of flash floods. The flash flood killed over 30 people.

    Wow, a model projection that is verifying? Rather, a human description of model
    output stated ambiguously.

  19. Yawn. Snow in Idaho. Well, that will make for an interesting rest of the football season/bowl games for Boise State University. Other than that, it barely registers with me. The real news here is that the early snows, if followed by a vigorous winter and a wet spring, will lead to more spring-time floods and predictions of ‘global disaster’ by Al Gore & Co.

    As Denzel’s character said in the movie, Training Day: “This (expletive) is chess not checkers.” More moves to come.

  20. I wonder if we’ll see a correlation between stock prices and global temperature.

    GISS–>DJIA r^2

    p prosperity so conceivably not co-indidental?

  21. Oh crap! Here in Ottawa, we are enjoying an Indian Summer.

    You have to remiond me of what’s comingg … ???

  22. If air temps are getting colder, there should be less moisture available to fall. That could by why ice is recovering but snow is not this year. The Arctic air is very cold, thus very dry at the moment.

  23. Funny how even with this massive global warming, the seasons still come and go just like they always have.

  24. We here in Arizona also set records yesterday AND today. It was 21 here at the house (5400′ MSL) northwest of Prescott , and the city itself set a record low High yesterday, and low this morning. Of course this is merely a weather event, and not climate…………. Please see below:

    SXUS75 KFGZ 121544
    RERFGZ

    PHXWRKRER

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF, AZ
    840 AM MST SUN OCT 12 2008

    …RECORD LOW HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR NORTHERN ARIZONA ON OCT 11 2008…

    CITY (PERIOD OF RECORD) NEW LOW HIGH PREVIOUS RECORD/YEAR
    BAGDAD (1929 – 2008) 55 64 IN 2000
    PRESCOTT (1898 – 2008) 54 56 IN 1985

    …RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES FOR NORTHERN ARIZONA ON OCT 12 2008…

    CITY (PERIOD OF RECORD) NEW LOW PREVIOUS RECORD/YEAR
    BAGDAD (1929 – 2008) 35 40 IN 1969
    COTTONWOOD-TUZIGOOT (1911 – 2008) 35 35 (TIED) IN 1986
    GRAND CANYON NP S RIM (1903 – 2008) 18 21 IN 1969
    PRESCOTT (1898 – 2008) 23 24 IN 1946
    WINSLOW (1898 – 2008) 21 25 IN 1969

    THESE RECORDS ARE PRELIMINARY PENDING OFFICIAL REPORTS.

  25. Ohio. 78 degrees. Oct. 12, 2008. We are all loving Indian Summer. Farmers Almanac predicts below normal temps thru winter and little accumulations. Just enjoying the nice day to clean out the garage, scrub the porches before it all hits the fan….

  26. Is the record cold due to UCI (Urban Cool Island) effect?

    Here in the thumb of Michigan we are enjoying an Indian summer, which looks to be going away by mid-week.

  27. Anthony, you reduce yourself to the fringes because you discuss weather, rather than global climate change. Our information is that this is due to global warming, There is nothing that happens on the planet that is not due to global warming.

  28. @Leon Brozyna (11:34:35) :

    You wrote: “In any case, since the weather will do whatever the weather does best, I’m prepared for this winter with a brand new snow shovel – and I’ve named it Al Gore. So this winter season, I’ll be using ‘Al Gore’ to shovel … snow.”

    I see a brand-building opportunity here and it should all belong to you. You could market “Erog-lA” brand snow shovels (c’mon, ya gotta be careful infringing on his climate territory here) with that cut-out mask image from a few days ago pasted on the blade. Then for brand extension, you could market a line of “Erog-lA” tined implements which are used to clean out livestock stalls (essentially horse-$*** shovelers). Finally, I see a successful line of bumper stickers and an effective marketing campaign waged via the ad space on the sides of transit buses.

    Get going. Your best opportunity to establish the brand and make your personal financial killing is during the cooling phase of the PDO. After that, who knows where the weather winds will blow? It won’t matter to you. You’ll be set.

    Meanwhile, in a gesture of solidarity, my snow shovel has acquired the moniker “Al Gore II” (or “too” depending on how dried out my sharpie marker is).

    Oh, P.S.
    If you use that mask image for the brand, you might want to put a black marker moustache on it so’s not to rile up the copyright lawyers. Good luck with your hot (cold?) new product.

  29. Global warming continues to cause people to talk about the man made climate change.

    this just in, man created the world!

    not :-(

  30. Is it that mild in Boise? Who’d of thought? Here in Denver (5,280 feet), it often snows before the end of September. Since 1948, it’s snowed during 20 Septembers, or one out of every three years on average. Seventeen inches in 1971. We always get a good dump during the month of October.

    Tonight’s forecast: Cold and drizzly with widely scatter-brained AGW.

  31. To Fred (14:22:20) :

    “Despite the “steep rise” in Arctic sea ice, the N. Hemisphere snowcover is way, way below normal.”

    Ice accumulation at sea level in the Arctic is temperature driven. Snow is precipitation. Colder than normal air masses contain less moisture producing less precip. I’m not surprised that snow cover at this time is below normal while the ice accumulation is steeply rising.

  32. “Buy all of thge agriculture related futures that you can… another cold winter on the way.”

    …. What? Agriculture has a future?

    Here in Australia, the farmers have been blamed for ruining the continent.

    But the Socialists are going to save our continent and reputation it seems. By buying out farms and water allocations…. Allow the rivers to run free and the wilderness to return…. I’m not quite sure what the people are supposed to do though?

    …. There’s a kind of madness stalking the land. :-0

  33. Well global temperatures are not rising, arctic, antarctic are going back to “normal”, the sun has got 24 spots so what… nothing has changed. I wish “climate scientists” would acknowledge…. because most meteorologist, being very cautious people, have not made alarming statements…LOL

  34. I know it makes no sense comparing local climates, but anyway it’s very hot in Western Europe. In my country we’re something like 7 degs celsius above average.

  35. Pingback: Boise gets earliest snow on record, record cold in Oregon, Washington « An Honest Climate Debate

  36. We didn’t get snow in western Colorado, but at 16F at 5am it is cold. It got up to 45F Sunday, a good 30 deg. drop from the day before. Denver was 43F during the game, but only dropped to 33F overnight. We must be subject to the RCI (Rural Cooling Influence) on this side of the Mtns.

  37. Wait a minute. I was in Idaho Falls in 96, we had snow on July 4th. Snowed for 6 hours straight. Does that count as the “latest” snow fall or the “earliest”.

  38. I notice that the NOAA three month prediction is forcasting above average climate through 2/09 in the US. It is especially likely to be warm in the Dakotas, Minn., Mich., Mont., Wyo., Neb., and Iowa. In the eighteen months I have been checking this feature of theirs, it never forcasts anything but warmer than normal, or an equal chance of being above or below normal.

  39. Here in San Antonio TX we are having milder fall weather (IMO) – but the oddest thing has happened to the ducks at the lake I live near. They never went into breeding plumage this spring (but there were many ducklings), and in the past 3 weeks they have gone all-out with the breeding plumage, complete with males fighting over females, lots of crazy mating… and one of the ducks has *8* ducklings! Last year there were absolutely no ducklings after September, and they were no longer in breeding plumage.

    I have no idea what environmental cues birds use when they ‘brighten’ up into breeding plumage – I would’ve thought that increasing daylight hours or something would be the cue – but I find this really, really weird (especially after our extremely hot/dry summer).

    ???

  40. Pingback: Did Al Gore just visit Boise? : Pursuing Holiness

  41. The signifigance of this storm is obvious. If GHG AGW is driving our climate, the natural source regions for both Maritime Polar and Continnental Polar air masses should be modified to such an extent that they would either fail to build up large pools of cold air, or at the very least those pools would remain bottled up well above 55 degrees North Latitude.

    Instead, Cp air masses have been building steadily all summer across the NW Territories and portions of Alaska. It is now early October and the first push of Mp air made its way into the mid-latitudes. While this isn’t significant if your time frame is a 100 or 200 year period, it does create problems for the Alarmists who’ve moved thier interval from decades down to seasons. According to Hansen et als., we are within a decade of reaching the Tipping Point. If that was truly the case, La Ninas would be few and far between and cold airmasses would remain far to the north in Canada.

  42. It looks like we can stop scrutinizing the climate models now because they’ve fixed them…
    ——-

    Scientists resolve long-standing puzzle in climate science

    A team led by Livermore scientists has helped reconcile the differences between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics.
    Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from computer model simulations archived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL researchers and colleagues from 11 other scientific institutions have refuted a recent claim that simulated temperature trends in the tropics are fundamentally inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.

  43. Fred: “It looks like we can stop scrutinizing the climate models now because they’ve fixed them…”

    S’funny how they so hotly denied that such a discrepancy even existed (the data must be wrong!) …until they came up with a suitable ‘explanation’ for it.

  44. Another ancedote from central MN:

    Reached low eigthies yesterday, today low 50’s. The jet stream and high pressure held up the western weather since Friday on a stationary front right over our heads.
    It’s been rather grey, with light rain every other day for weeks now. Not unwelcome, just different than weather over the last decade.

  45. And in Ohio, it’s 82F. Anecdotal evaluations of what’s happening on a particular fall of a particular year don’t really tell you all that much about global weather patterns. What matters is the overall average temperature of the planet and even the fastest climate changes happen over the course of centuries. This is ignoring the forest for the trees.

    One cannot legitimately use tactics of gotcha politics when it comes to to things like climate science. you need to put together 50 to 100 years of measurements across the world, average them together and compare them over long stretches of time. Individual weather can be and is erratic, following local fronts and atmospheric conditions. Climate is much bigger than that.

    REPLY: Who said anything about “climate” in the original posting? The post is tagged as “weather”. I posted it because I found it interesting, and because weather is my passion and my livelihood. I think you are reading too much into it. – Anthony

  46. Fred, I am just an amateur, but it seems to me like if you follow their method for resolving this to their full implications, you are going to get a lower climate sensitivity. Which has been the skeptic’s argument all along.

  47. RE: your reply to gfish’s comment: I’m not an AGW proponent, but I think that the implication of this post is pretty clear: the recent unusually early and cold weather is a sign of whats really happening (i.e., global cooling). At least, that’s how I read it (with no small amount of hope that the implication is correct). I think the point of your post in general is valid: annecdotal accounts of weather events, one way or the other, do not prove or disprove climactic trends. But I feel compelled to comment given how often AGW proponents are criticized on this site as being intellectually dishonest. Maybe you did really only post it because it’s an interesting weather story, but I wonder whether you’d have posted stuff about a heat wave (or another weather event that could be seen as “evidence” of global warming).

    I also sympathize with gfish – here in Texas I’m waiting for the recently-changed PDO, the imminent La Nina, and the decline and solar activity to amount to some cooling that I can feel. All we’ve got right now, however, are highs that are 5-10 degrees above average. And it blows.

    Your site is fantastic, and I will continue to be a daily visitor long after Cycle 24 disappoints us all and picks up to relatively normal levels. Thank you!

  48. Farmers MUST pay attention to at least regional trends that most consider to be weather and not climate. Why? Because we have to decide what to plant and how many cows to pasture and inseminate all based on a risky bet on temperatures and precipitation a year ahead of time. A site like this helps us to make better decisions that what can be gleaned from reading the Farmer’s Almanac.

  49. Just as an example, it takes 3 years to establish a vineyard that produces wine grapes at the quality required for wine. If a farmer can’t make an educated guess about what the weather/climate might be in the next 6 years, they run the risk of losing their vineyard before they can harvest for profit for the first time, and they risk losing the next 3 years that would establish the grapes as a dependable crop. AGW’s tell us the global warming is a done deal so go ahead and plant in these marginal areas because the temperature and growing season will eventually be warmer and longer, just perfect for grapes. However, this past very cool and short growing season resulted in many vineyards not doing well. If you were a farmer, what bet would you make right now? Will it cool again next growing season, or will warming return? And by the way, the growing season isn’t your only worry. If the ground freezes deeply during the winter, your vines will die.

  50. Yep. Irrigation costs for fruit crops, the possibility of losing the developing fruits to a late frost or a windstorm….farming is a gamble. The local cotton fields were badly damaged by flooding from TS Fay, and it isn’t sure whether the planting, fertilizer, and picking costs will be covered, let alone make a profit. A little further north, the crops were damaged by drought.

  51. APM,

    Not all atmospheric oscillations render predictable results in all areas. El Nino can cause droughts in the Northeast Plains, but flooding in California, and winter snowstorms in New England. In Texas, La Nina is most evident in late Winter and Spring (in the form of severe thunderstorms), but normally does not effect temperatures (with the exception of West Texas high country during the winter). During periods dominated by La Ninas, the “cooling” is gradual and not very noticeable for people living in the Southwest. But what you will see is changes in precipitation patterns.

    In a regime dominated by El Ninos, the dynamic synoptic weather patterns that give the eastern half of the US its major midwest snowstorms, deep freezes, and severe weather are shifted significantly northward. Winters become warmer, night time lows not as cold, and many areas become drier. There is also a better chance of long term drought/summer heat waves.

    But climate is never that easy. Scientists are just now realizing how the combination of long term oscillations in both the Pacific and Atlantic can determine short term to decadal climate variations. The Great Plains Dust Bowl years during the 30s, many scientists believe, was caused by a warm Atlantic (postive AMO), and a Pacific that either had a neutral change in temperatures or a slightly cooling at the Equator. By the mid 1940s, both the Atlantic Basin were cooling and La Ninas began to dominate the Pacific. The 1930s saw record heatwaves, droughts, and tropical cyclone activity.

  52. Pamela,

    I think it may depend on your grape variety. Here in northern IA, the ground certainly freezes in the Winter, but you can get grapes and there are (some, really!) vineyards.

    To continue the weather topic, we turned from very nice in the morning to nippy during the last 24 hours. Leaves have been turning and dropping for over a week. No frost yet, but getting close.

    Mike86

  53. Wow and wow backwards! Record lows are being set all over the inland NW and parts of the pacific NW! With this much cold air, we might start to see a DECREASE in snow fall since cold air is less moist than warm air. The winter of 2006 saw temps in the double digit minus area for days at a time in Wallowa County, freezing pipes everywhere, even the freeze resistant deeply buried pipes. We didn’t get much snow either, forcing us to use way less water then we needed for late fall pasture and third cutting fields. I certainly hope that winter does not repeat itself.

    http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=pdt

  54. But climate is never that easy. Scientists are just now realizing how the combination of long term oscillations in both the Pacific and Atlantic can determine short term to decadal climate variations. The Great Plains Dust Bowl years during the 30s, many scientists believe, was caused by a warm Atlantic (postive AMO), and a Pacific that either had a neutral change in temperatures or a slightly cooling at the Equator. By the mid 1940s, both the Atlantic Basin were cooling and La Ninas began to dominate the Pacific. The 1930s saw record heatwaves, droughts, and tropical cyclone activity.

    I was told by the History Channel (on a show with Hansen and Gore) that the dust bowl of the 30s was caused by humans.

  55. gfish: One cannot legitimately use tactics of gotcha politics when it comes to to things like climate science. you need to put together 50 to 100 years of measurements across the world, average them together and compare them over long stretches of time.
    Which 50 to 100 years did you have in mind? Oh, right, the past 50 to 100 years (excluding the last 7 or so). How convenient. Did you know we have had significant cooling in the past, as recently as the LIA, as well as warmer periods? What could have caused them?

  56. Apropos to nothing I suppose, but a nurse who works at my Dad’s nursing home has been snowed in at her place up in the hills since Saturday or Sunday. People are having to use tractors or Caterpillars to plow themselves out in this area of Southern Montana. Kind of early for all this.

  57. It takes time for large massive things to change course.

    Cold started way up north, took a long time getting south, but now its here. You try getting from Alaska down to Florida at a fast walking pace ;-)

    This is just a taste of what’s to come. Still no sunspots again today…

    It will be fascinating watching this slow motion ‘arctic express’ sweep over Washington D.C.

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