There’s no business like snow business

Headlines yesterday mentioned yet another new snowfall record: Moscow Covered by More Than Half Meter of Snow, Most Since 1966

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — Moscow’s streets were covered by 53 centimeters (20.9 inches) of snow this morning after 15 centimeters fell in 24 hours, putting Russia’s capital on course for its snowiest February since at least 1966.

Workers cleared a record 392,000 cubic meters (13.8 million cubic feet) of snow over the 24-hour period that ended this morning as precipitation exceeded the average February amount by 50 percent, according to state television station Rossiya 24. The city had 64 centimeters of snow cover on Feb. 23, 1966, the previous record, Rossiya 24 said.

In a story from Russia’s news agency, TASS, they mention that:

This year’s February is quite unique from the meteorological point of view. Not a single thaw has been registered so far and the temperature remains way below the average throughout the month.

I guess the Mayor of Moscow’s “Canute like” promise back in October didn’t work out so well. From Time magazine:

Moscow Mayor Promises a Winter Without Snow

Pigs still can’t fly, but this winter, the mayor of Moscow promises to keep it from snowing. For just a few million dollars, the mayor’s office will hire the Russian Air Force to spray a fine chemical mist over the clouds before they reach the capital, forcing them to dump their snow outside the city. Authorities say this will be a boon for Moscow, which is typically covered with a blanket of snow from November to March. Road crews won’t need to constantly clear the streets, and traffic — and quality of life — will undoubtedly improve.

So this winter’s heavy snow and cold in the NH is not just a US problem. It is interesting though to note that snow spin seems to span continents.

Before they were saying that increased winter snow is due to global warming, climate scientists were saying that decreased winter snow was due to global warming.  As discussed already on WUWT, climate models predict declining winter snow cover.  And a senior climate scientist predicted ten years ago :

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

There is no shortage of similar claims:

Decline in Snowpack Is Blamed On Warming Using data collected over the past 50 years, the scientists confirmed that the mountains are getting more rain and less snow http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/31/AR2008013101868.html

Many Ski Resorts Heading Downhill as a Result of Global Warming http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=363&ArticleID=4313&l=en

The prediction below was particularly entertaining, given that it was made during Aspen’s all time snowiest winter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DENVER — A study of two Rocky Mountain ski resorts says climate change will mean shorter seasons and less snow on lower slopes…. The study by two Colorado researchers says Aspen Mountain in Colorado and Park City in Utah will see dramatic changes even with a reduction in carbon emissions, which fuel climate change …. .  Skiing at Aspen, with an average temperature 8.6 degrees higher than now, will be marginal. http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/131044

Global Warming Poses Threat to Ski Resorts in the Alps Climatologists say the warming trend will become dramatic by 2020
Global Warming Poses Threat to Ski Resorts in the Alps – New York Times

Himalayan snow melting in winter too, say scientists Himalayan snow melting in winter too, say scientists – SciDev.Net

Global warming ‘past the point of no return’ Friday, 16 September 2005 Global warming ‘past the point of no return’ – Science, News – The Independent

So what are they saying now?

Global Warming could equal massive snow storms Great Lakes and Global Warming could equal massive snow storms

Snow is consistent with global warming, say scientists Britain may be in the grip of the coldest winter for 30 years and grappling with up to a foot of snow in some places but the extreme weather is entirely consistent with global warming, claim scientists. Snow is consistent with global warming, say scientists – Telegraph

Climate Scientist: Record-Setting Mid-Atlantic Snowfall Linked to Global Warming

The Blizzard of 1996 does indeed qualify as one type of extreme weather to be expected in a warmer climate Blame Global Warming for the Blizzard – NYTimes.com

The great thing about global warming is that you can blame anything on it, and then deny it later.

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132 Responses to There’s no business like snow business

  1. Ian E says:

    There is a short Sci-Fi story I read many years ago with a title something like ‘I have no mouth, but I must scream’. I know just what the author meant!

  2. Allan M says:

    “The great thing about global warming is that you can blame anything on it, and then deny it later.”

    Saves them having to take responsibility for their dumb policies. Or helps them evade it.

  3. Don Shaw says:

    This from page 107 of the 2009 Climate Impacts report for the NorthEast
    Note that it says LESS snow.
    “The Northeast has significant geographic and climatic diversity
    within its relatively small area. The character and economy of the
    Northeast have been shaped by many aspects of its climate including
    its snowy winters, colorful autumns, and variety of extreme events
    such as nor’easters, ice storms, and heat waves. This familiar climate
    has already begun changing in noticeable ways.
    Since 1970, the annual average temperature in the Northeast has
    increased by 2°F, with winter temperatures rising twice this much.150
    Warming has resulted in many other climate-related changes,
    including:
    More frequent days with
    • temperatures above 90°F
    • A longer growing season
    • Increased heavy precipitation
    • Less winter precipitation falling as snow and more as rain
    • Reduced snowpack
    • Earlier breakup of winter ice on lakes and rivers
    • Earlier spring snowmelt resulting in earlier peak river flows
    • Rising sea surface temperatures and sea level

    Where do these folks get the claim that we said more snow due to global warming. Are they Lying?

  4. Imran says:

    This whole thing has become such a joke ….. the whole AGW theory has become so toasted …… seeing eco-activsts trying to make anything out of nothing would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time …. but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Relating to the kind of nonsense above … this should now read …. you can’t fool any of the people anymore.

  5. Espen says:

    Thomas Friedman suggests calling it global weirding. That’s a convenient way to cover the fact that alarmists have been talking about snowless winters for a few years now. Even here in the southern half of Norway, where we’re now experiencing the strongest winter in several decades, we were told that we could expect snow free winters in the lowlands in a few years…

  6. Of course Global Warming causes every weather event we see, stupid! Rest assured, every time a notable weather event occurs, we will remind you of that in every public medium including comic books. In between, we’ll display artworks and posters to remind you of our eternal truth. We will sponsor schoolchildren’s movies as long as they raise “awareness” of the perils of Global Warming. We’ll hang effigies of penguins and polar bears. We will bear public witness to the goodness of the Churchh of Climate Change. We will rail against all unbelievers, heretics and blasphemers. Deniers all, who have sold their souls to the devil and his evil bqad-business henchmen.

    And don’t blaspheme by judging our Holy Climate Change Church on the accuracy of our climate change forecasts. Climate works in mysterious ways! So keep on paying your offerings to the Church of Climate Change. It’s easy – we will simply include it in your taxes. It won’t hurt a bit…

    http://www.herkinderkin.com/2010/01/anthropogenic-global-warming-as-organised-religion/

  7. mrpkw says:

    Much,much worse then we thought !!!

  8. James Crisp says:

    Global Warming makes it colder. These kind of stories make the average person start to question if the “overwhelming body of scientific evidence” that shows AGW really is that overwhelming.

    While there are many people who will believe this I suspect there are many more who will not be fooled. Most people are apathetic, not stupid, and this sort of story makes them ask questions. And when they find the answers, they’ll see that the truth is not as they were led to believe.

    So long may these ridiculous stories continue I say.

  9. Misterar says:

    What is so confusing?
    Weather is climate only if the Glorious Supreme Council of The People’s Climate Bureau decrees it so. Any suggestion otherwise is filthy propaganda.

  10. Daniel says:

    Tomorrow will be both rain and not rain or both snowing and no snowing. Please try to prove that I am wrong that is the question about.

  11. Joe says:

    Don’t be surprised if Al Gore an IPCC do a complete flip and say…
    “I told you so that global warming would create more precipitation because of more evaporation.”
    What happened to the more evaporation in the past?
    All of a sudden it starts?

  12. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Perhaps that “fine chemical mist” was derived from bovine excrement?

  13. Pamela Gray says:

    Are we having satellite problems again? The shadow has returned!

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/daily.html

  14. AndyS says:

    Maybe IPCC could turn its hand to something useful and establish an worldwide repository to safely store falsified AGW climate models. That, I suppose, would be all of them.

  15. Propaganda artists must be very busy trying to adjust their “predictions” to fit nature’s reality.

  16. RockyRoad says:

    If we didn’t have “Global Warming”, this Third Rock from the Sun would be a complete ball of ice. But man, even though some individuals are pompous to the extreme, has had nothing to do with the current temperature, which has varied considerably before man’s arrival and will do so long after man is gone.

    AGW is a lie; GW is confirmed.

  17. Jay says:

    Inspired by Steven Goddard’s recent analysis of winter snow cover for the Northern Hemisphere I thought I’d answer the question ‘so what?’ – and not just for isolated weather events witnessed on different continents, but for the whole northern hemisphere. So I popped the data from Rutgers into my spreadsheet – ran a filter to pick out January and February and put a trend line on my plot. Guess what. All things considered Jan – Feb snow cover is declining, despite recent cold snaps.

    And then I had a look at one of your quotes. “Snow is consistent with global warming, say scientists.” Surely some mistake – that’s just saying anything right?
    “The great thing about global warming is that you can blame anything on it, and then deny it later.” you conclude.

    But Dr Myles Allen of Oxford University actually goes on to say (in the article you linked to)

    “If it wasn’t for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly. What is interesting is that we are now surprised by this kind of weather. I doubt we would have been in the 1950s because it was much more common.”

    Which is rather more sensible don’t you think.

    So there’s you, confusing weather with climate and confusing quote mining with what scientists say. Good work Mr Watts!

  18. Carbon Dioxide says:

    OT, but has anyone else noticed that Mars’ south polar region is icing up big time, while the northern ice extent has reduced?

    OK, it may just be NH summer on Mars at present, but isnt the same happening here on good old Earth?

  19. Carbon Dioxide says:

    Dont forget that this is water ice, not frozen CO2 as we used to be told.

  20. Rhys Jaggar says:

    There’s two reasons for no snow: too warm or too cold.

    Too warm and it’s rain. So on the margins, global warming will reduce snow.

    Too cold and it just doesn’t snow much, due to stable High Pressure. So warm it up a bit and you might be likely to get MORE snow. So where temperatures are well below zero, global warming will increase snow.

    I guess the question is: is this merely a redistribution of snow profile from lower to higher places and what is the likely effect of that in terms of systemic response??

    No-one seems to answer this question.

  21. Buffy Minton says:

    It’s not just the U.S – here, in Sweden, where we expect quite a bit of snow, we’ve had the hardest winter in about 40 years. We haven’t seen a single positive temperature since early December.

    It was -22C, on Sunday night, according to the thermometer outside my kitchen window.

    Even though, as we know, this has been “the warmest winter on record” etc.

  22. Harold Ambler says:

    Regarding Arctic ice, NSIDC and Nansen aren’t seeing eye to eye at present:

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi_ice_ext.png

    Meanwhile, another snowy day in much of Texas …

  23. Draughtsman says:

    Comments from scientists like those commenting in the Telegraph register strongly on the ordinary persons bullshit meter. In spite of the efforts of the our so called government here in the UK, squandering our tax money on this garbage with preposterous TV adverts and ‘initiatives’ many disgracefully aimed at young children, the whole thing has become a bad joke with the public. People now laughingly talk about shovelling away a foot of global warming from their driveways.

    These scientists simply cannot try to rewrite what they have been spouting at us for years now that their predictions have been seen to be wrong. This whole MMGW theory has passed from the realm of science into that of a religion.

    Yes, extra CO2 in the atmosphere will cause some warming, but where is the evidence that the CO2/water vapour positive feedback on which all of the catastrophic predictions rest actually exists in nature? Mainsteam scientists say the Sun has had virtually no effect on the warming seen between 1975 and 1998, so what then caused the Medieval warm period, the Roman warming, and all of the other warm and cool periods that the Earth has gone through since the Holocene Optimum?

    If the Solar scientists are right then we could be in for two or three decades of a radical cooling which would be far more serious for humankind particularly in relation to food production, but our governments are fixated on averting warming and will have a lot to answer for by not planning for such an eventuality.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Carbon Dioxide:

    Is there a link to a Mars polar image anywhere? It would make an amusing ‘weather report’ article ;-)

  25. jack morrow says:

    They’re at it again. Science Daily posting says the Antarctic ice sheets are melting and “could” raise the sea level. Alas. Run for the hills-rather, start “hillwalking”.

  26. R. de Haan says:

    Funny that the Russians having a “Russian Winter” has become world news.
    It’s fascinating.

  27. roger says:

    Pamela Gray
    Try this for a happy alternative
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    We set such store by the products of our technology, only to find that from simple thermometer measurements to complex satellite overviews, our faith is abused by the manipulators of data.
    I watch three sites that offer the February CET anomaly and they are -1.0; -1.4; and -1.85C. Needless to say the warmest offering is from the Met office.
    Despite this enormous discrepancy between three separate agencies measuring the past 22 days temperatures in a small part of England we are asked to be very worried over 0.7C warming measured globally for the past century.

  28. P Gosselin says:

    And heres a video link:

  29. Gary says:

    “…the Russian Air Force to spray a fine chemical mist over the clouds…”

    I’m confused. I thought governments weren’t doing stuff like this? Ya know, like using planes/jets to lace the skies with chemical mists? I remember people in this very forum ridiculing folks who mumbled such nonsense. Which is it? Yea or nay? Spraying or no spraying?

    Snip away, but I said my piece. At least one person read it.

    REPLY: Weather modification via precipitation catalysts is a well known science and is something entirely different that the conspiracy and crazy laden “chemtrails”, which we don’t discuss here and any further mention of them will be snipped. -A

  30. mani says:

    “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change” September 2004.

    “Global warming (or climate change) is, without elaboration, a much debated and contested issue. Not only is it contested among scientists, but also among all those with vested interests.

    We suggest that, in the realm of the public, forces act to maintain or denounce a perceived reality which has already been constructed. That is, an issue introduced by science (or media for that matter) needs continual expression of confirmation if it is to be maintained as an issue.

    In this paper, we explore under what conditions belief in global warming or climate change, as identified and defined by experience, science and the media, can be maintained in the public’s perception.

    As the science itself is contested, needless to say, so are the potential policy changes. So how then do people make sense or construct a reality of something that they can never experience in its totality (climate) and a reality that has not yet manifest (i.e. climate change)?

    To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.

    Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change if the issue is framed as global warming.

    Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.

    We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.”

    From the comment here:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

  31. starzmom says:

    don shaw:

    We aren’t getting very many days above 90 in the summer time either.

  32. Predicador says:

    In Riga, snow cover reached 62 cm at one moment yesterday – to my knowledge, it was the deepest ever since 1908.

    Our Met present news in weird formats though, and I’m too lazy to mail them for a confirmation. :)

  33. P Gosselin says:

    Inhofe says “thanks” to bloggers and talk radio (and the British media).

  34. keith in hastings UK says:

    Thanks to an earlier thread, it now seem to me that for GW to bring more snow, it would have to be the case that temperature differentials between warm air masses and cold air masses would have to increase, so as to realise the ” extra” moisture as precipitation which falls a snow.
    If everything was just a bit warmer – differentials the same – why more precipitation? And for it to snow, the moist warm air would have to cool/be cool enough for vapour to freeze out as snow crystals – or else one gets frozen rain/ice storms?
    If I’m at all right, the “warm = moister=snow” is rubbish??
    Related, the current pattern surely means loosing a lot of heat, with warmer far North radiating to space, and snowy mid lattitudes reflecting solar energy? (i’m aware that snow albedo in IR is lower, but much energy is in visible spectrum)
    If true, I’m puzzled why none of this is said in MSM etc : Washington Post had an editorial yesterday pressing the AGW case (“its obviuosly CO2, you expect one or two errors in a huge document like the AR4, and anyway we ought to be getting off foreign oil” Bit of panic?)
    Actually, my “If true” above is funny really! (write 100 times “must not trust MSM, must not trust the BBC, must not…)

  35. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    You claim that Jan-Feb snow cover is declining. Here is the data for the last 20 years.
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/oimg?key=0AnKz9p_7fMvBdHNSSnFsbUdZX1NmWDNmdExtNEdzWWc&oid=1&v=1266937450096

    Are you hiding the incline?

  36. NoAstronomer says:

    “The great thing about global warming is that you can blame anything on it, and then deny it later.”

    You don’t even have to deny it!!! Remember : global warming causes everything. Less snow and more snow – all at the same time. It’s raining here in New Jersey at the moment – global warming. It was sunny at the weekend – global warming. We may get snow later in the week – global warming.

  37. Steve Goddard says:

    Predicador,

    I have a friend from Riga who was a sailor from 1950-1990. He says he can’t ever remember the Bay of Riga being completely frozen over and impassable.

  38. Pascvaks says:

    This is NOT a “political” statement, it is a cure: Anyone who wants to stop the insanity of politicians and movie stars making like “Chicken Little” and getting the barnyard in a tizzy need do only one simple thing –support someone else and vote for them.

    PS: Stars (the human variety) need to be treated the way they have usually been treated throughout human history–as something only a little higher on the scale than dirt.

  39. R. Gates says:

    Amazing what a warming clmate will do…more heat in winter=greater snowfall.

  40. Espen says:

    Jay (06:11:42) :

    But Dr Myles Allen of Oxford University actually goes on to say (in the article you linked to)

    “If it wasn’t for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly. What is interesting is that we are now surprised by this kind of weather. I doubt we would have been in the 1950s because it was much more common.”

    Which is rather more sensible don’t you think.

    Which is cherry picking, don’t you think? Nobody doubts the late 50s and the 60s had harsh winters. But what about the 20s-40s?

    It’s hard to find long-running stations in Great Britain in the GISS database, but at least I had a look at Valentia Observatory in Ireland, which has an impressing 1880-2010 record.

    Here’s what I got when I downloaded the GISS data and ran a 11-year centered moving average on the Dec-Jan-Feb temperatures:
    http://i45.tinypic.com/167l4hx.jpg

    Here I have applied a 31-year moving average which really makes the long cycles stand out:
    http://i48.tinypic.com/x3czdt.jpg
    Interstingly, applying the same to summer (June-July-August) temperatures, gives a similar pattern, but it seems to be a few years delayed:
    http://i46.tinypic.com/2112jck.jpg

    If this pattern repeats itself, the current cold winter may just be the start, and in a few years the summers will turn colder too…

  41. Patrik says:

    Here in Sweden sports centers are demolished by the weight of the snow, schools and day care centers and even companies are closing because of the risks associated with the enormous amounts of snow…
    And all this in a country that really should be prepared for snow.

    I suppose all the building contractors fell for the AGW scare and supposed that buildings don’t need to be able to withstand large amounts of snow anymore. :(

  42. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Putin thought he could reduce snow in Moscow. He was going to start doing it this year.

    DOH!

  43. Pascvaks says:

    “Moscow’s streets were covered by… snow this morning…, putting Russia’s capital on course for its snowiest February since at least 1966.”
    ______________________
    I seem to remember some French Dude had a problem with Russian snow, and then this German Dude had a problem with it too. Now the French guy lived in the 18th-19th Century, and the German guy lived in the 19th-20th Century. And here we are talking about Russian snow in the 21st Century.

    Hummmm… (probably shouldn’t say this.. go ahead.. no.. go ahead.. ok)… “NOTHING’S CHANGED!!!”

  44. Phisher says:

    From Sweden at my location the average temperature so far is: -8,4C
    Same period 2009: -2,8C
    Same period 2008: +1,7C
    That’s a nice trend, not…

  45. Henry chance says:

    Looks like Texas is facing a longer ski season.

    Should have sold more full season lift tickets.

  46. IsoTherm says:

    This is very apt because I’ve just been looking at our weather forecast to see when the snow is due to arrive tonight. This is certainly the worst winter we’ve had in Scotland for the decade, people who have lived here longer were saying it was the worst since the 1960s – that was before this latest freeze!

    And in case any one doesn’t know, the UK Met Office were forecasting this as a mild winter, and like the wash out summer forecast they have got this and a succession of other forecasts wrong.

    Fortunately the press seemed to have woken up to the fact that these climatologists have no more ability to forecast the climate than voodoo witchdoctors – and I fully expect the Met Office’s pronouncement on climate to be met with a howl of laughter from the press!

  47. Alex says:

    I have carried out the following ‘scientific’ experiment, based on warmists’ claims that one can have cooling during global warming: I switched on my oven, after a few minutes i put my hand inside to try to find some area within the oven that could be felt that it is cooling instead of warming.

    I am now waiting at the general hospital, in the emergency room for burn treatment.

    The warmists argument is heads-I-win-tails-you-lose type of argument.

  48. View from the Solent says:

    Breaking, Fox News via http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/2/23/rip-it-up-and-start-again.html. UK Met Office to statt again with temperature data.

  49. B.Spin says:

    For anyone interested in Global Warming Pre-1900 it`s worth visiting this site, http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/wxevents.htm This is an extract from that site for 1868,—- (Persistently warm weather by CET series over period May to July. The summer of 1868 was very hot & dry, with some of the highest temperatures ever recorded for the second half of July occurring in this year. There was a remarkable spell of hot days, with temperatures over 30degC in England. For the south-east of England specifically, a maximum temperature above 32degC was recorded in each of the months from May to September, and in July specifically, the temperature exceeded 32degC on 9 days; the soil was very dry (lack of precipitation), which would of course mean that solar energy was most effective.)—- Please Note this site mainly covers British Weather and some parts of Europe (back to 4000B.C.)

  50. davidmhoffer says:

    Pascvaks
    I seem to remember some French Dude had a problem with Russian snow, and then this German Dude had a problem with it too. Now the French guy lived in the 18th-19th Century, and the German guy lived in the 19th-20th Century. And here we are talking about Russian snow in the 21st Century.

    Hummmm… (probably shouldn’t say this.. go ahead.. no.. go ahead.. ok)… “NOTHING’S CHANGED!!!” >>

    Well actually something has changed. The French don’t march on Moscow anymore and neither do the Germans (though they took two cracks at it before really getting it). Now this brings up an obvious question. Are the Russians faking their winter data in order to keep the French and the Germans from marching on Moscow?

  51. kwik says:

    Pascvaks (07:25:34) :
    “I seem to remember some French Dude had a problem with Russian snow, and then this German Dude had a problem with it too.”

    Hopefully these “Statist’s” dudes are gone forever in Europe, replaced by trade and free markeds.

  52. IsoTherm says:

    Espen “Here I have applied a 31-year moving average which really makes the long cycles stand out:
    http://i48.tinypic.com/x3czdt.jpg
    Interstingly, applying the same to summer (June-July-August) temperatures, gives a similar pattern, but it seems to be a few years delayed:”

    Espen, a warning: Be very careful with climate data because long-term noise will give the apearance of cyclic-like behaviour where non really exists. The problem is that long term natural variation is greater in amplitude than short term variation. This is different to other many common physical systems, where they have similar amplitude, and you can use the relative size of short-term variation to guestimate the expected size of long-term noise and work out whether a long-term trend is within the normal noise limits, or greater than normal noise aka “abnormal”.

    In contrast, climatic variation has a high long-term noise component so it has long ups and downs (I need a graph) which are part of the natural variation, and because of the relatively large size of these natural random long-term term ups-and-downs, you can easily mistake them as cycles or indeed a long-term trend in the signal.

    This is particularly bad if you then filter the signal to remove the short-term noise, because it makes the long-term noise component stand out and that gives all the more appearance of it being “something”.

    The way I like to describe is that normal noise is a bit like a disco dancer, who bobs around a lot, but basically stays in a fairly predictable place (at least that’s how it used to be). In contrast, climatic noise is a bit like a drunk walking down the street. They’re movement is also erratic, but they follow long sweeps to one side, then the other, forget where they were going and continue on. If you plot their movement, for a short period, it would appear they were intensionally heading onto the road, then heading back to hit the shop window, etc.

  53. John Blake says:

    Global warming is due to a cyclical rebound from Earth’s 500-year Little Ice Age that ended in the 1880s. Since then, warming-cooling episodes have occurred with shorter frequencies, higher amplitudes, on a 50-40-30 and now 20-year time-scale. Heading into a probable Dalton if not a 70-year Maunder Minimum, we are also overdue for an end of the current 12,250-year Holocene Interglacial Epoch, a well-defined “interstitial” remission of Ice Time that has reliably characterized the Pleistocene Era these last 2.6 million years.

    Climate Cultists fondly assert that, “If it’s cool, it’s weather; if it’s warm, it’s climate”. Regarding Warmists’ massive deceit and fraud, they state that regardless of measurements, that is of any objective, rational scientific fact, “It’s warming– warming, we tell you! Quickly, cough up ten trillion dollars before the world becomes a baking desert by January 2010″ (UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, September 2009). Alas for the Green Gang, Lorenz’s Chaos Theory proves that linear extrapolations from “complex dynamic systems” such as Earth’s atmosphere are impossible (1964), while Boltzman’s Law of Thermodynamic Entropy prohibits any runaway Greenhouse Effect due to cumulative CO2 emissions, anthropogenic or otherwise (1880s).

    In reality, Nature takes her course. Odds are that Planet Earth is tipping rapidly into a new Ice Time lasting a statistical 102,000 years. Having sabotaged, subverted, global energy economies from the late 1960s, the Green Gang’s ranting Luddite sociopaths have much to answer for.

  54. IsoTherm says:

    Sorry forgot to smell check my post – apologies!

  55. Alexander says:

    As the Russians like to say: “What, no invaders this year? Such a good snow is wasted…”

    Anyway, can someone comment this?

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/23/britains-weather-office-proposes-climate-gate/

    How reliable is the information?

  56. RockyRoad says:

    Looks like the Met is waving the white flag. They’re told to do it all over again:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/23/britains-weather-office-proposes-climate-gate/

    Maybe this time they’ll allocate enough money for a terra-byte drive to store their data (or even a pair for redundancy)!

  57. View from the Solent says:

    Ian E (05:12:15) :

    There is a short Sci-Fi story I read many years ago with a title something like ‘I have no mouth, but I must scream’. I know just what the author meant!
    ————————————
    Replace ‘but’ with ‘and’. A post-apocalyptic short by Harlan Ellison back in the 60s. It’s good.

  58. Lloyd says:

    Has anyone asked on RC or something similar what new scientific discovery prompted the change in predictions between less snow models and more snow models? I would think that such an august body surely wouldn’t change the models just because the climate is changing.

  59. Richard M says:

    I think what we are seeing is quantum climate change. All possible interpretations of climate change form a wave function. Only when viewed by the observer Al Gore does it collapse into the current CC interpretation.

  60. Jay says:

    Hi Steve,
    Nope, I used *all* the available data. I think it’s already been shown here and elsewhere that ditching half of the data as you seem to prefer doesn’t yield statistically significant results. You don’t get confidence at the required 95%.

    Do you have a problem with using all the data? Was there some change in the physical properties of climate that invalidates the data from 1967 to 1989?

    As an aside – how do you arrive at your 2010 data point? – it looks to be about 5 million square km over and above the available Jan & Feb data from Rutgers.

    Espen – you’re asking about individual decades, but using a 30 year moving average. I’m not sure that’s altogether helpful. It’s a little before my time, but the 1940s were noted for being bloody awful.
    http://www.prestwichandwhitefieldguide.co.uk/news/4860957.Brothers_recall_snowfall_in_the_1940s/

    http://www.topfoto.co.uk/gallery/1947Winter/default.htm

    Feel free to take it up with Dr Allen if you disagree with him though.
    Hope this helps.

  61. Richard Sharpe says:

    Pascvaks (07:25:34) said:

    “Moscow’s streets were covered by… snow this morning…, putting Russia’s capital on course for its snowiest February since at least 1966.”
    ______________________
    I seem to remember some French Dude had a problem with Russian snow, and then this German Dude had a problem with it too. Now the French guy lived in the 18th-19th Century, and the German guy lived in the 19th-20th Century. And here we are talking about Russian snow in the 21st Century.

    Hummmm… (probably shouldn’t say this.. go ahead.. no.. go ahead.. ok)… “NOTHING’S CHANGED!!!”

    Ah ha. I know how to solve global warming. We just need to invade Russia!

  62. Espen says:

    IsoTherm: I’m not quite sure if I understand you right, but I agree that I should have been careful with the word ‘cycle’ if that’s what you meant. I tend to think that climate is too much of a chaotic system to show real cyclic behavior.

  63. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    Given that the planet is neither covered with snow, nor bare, it is quite safe to assume that the long term trends of snowfall are flat. It is also quite clear that snowfall declined between 1978 and 1989, and then increased towards the present. The reason that I find the last twenty years interesting is because it is an upwards trend and because that is the period when climate models forecast that it should be declining.

    I came up with my February estimate last week based on the available weekly data.

  64. JonesII says:

    Neither Napoleaon nor the Germans had the power Al “Baby prophet” has to control weather. I think the mayor of Moscow should invite his Climate Highness to buy a “Dasha” over there.

  65. mercurior says:

    its snowing in the north west of the uk ooops i was wrong its not snow its global warming piling up on the floor in global warming drifts .. 23 rd of feb

  66. R. Gates says:

    I live near Denver, CO. Our snowiest months during the snow season occur during March-April. Why? Because the more heat (relative to Dec-Feb) allows more moisture to be picked up from the Pacific and Gulf and dumped along the front range.

    It takes heat to evaporate the moisture that gets turned into snow. Anarctica is one of the driest places on earth in terms of precip just because its one of the coldest.

    Heat=moist
    Cold=dry

    Last glacial period on earth was cold and dry.

    Simple physics.

  67. Jay says:

    Thanks Steve.
    The problem with starting from 1989 though, is that you lose statistical confidence – so your ‘trend’ becomes meaningless. Simply regressing your trend-line backwards shows that it’s a pretty hopeless fit. Snow cover is clearly pretty variable – so it’s easy to see trends that don’t stack up if you’re not careful. Perhaps moving averages would be a better approach for you to take.

    “I came up with my February estimate last week based on the available weekly data.”

    Yes, but I wondered *how* you arrived at your estimate for Jan/Feb 2010. To my eye it seems to be about 5 million square kilometers over and above what’s in the Rutgers data that you linked to last week. Perhaps you’re using different data or a different method to arrive at your figure?

  68. davidmhoffer says:

    Steve Goddard;
    The reason that I find the last twenty years interesting is because it is an upwards trend and because that is the period when climate models forecast that it should be declining >>

    Well start preparing for some headlines here in North America in the next couple of weeks. The flood forecasts for the Red River (watch for Fargo, North Dakota in the US and Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada) have just started to come out. The catchment area I’m speaking of has a “Moscow like” climate in that snow starts falling in November and doesn’t start melting until March/April, forcing the entire winter’s snowfall from 30,000 km2 throgh the Red River.

    In Winnipeg, there was virtually no flooding from the late 1800′s until a major flood in 1950. Then a couple more in 1970′s. Then we got hit in 96, 97, 04, 05, 06 and 09. Initial forecasts for 2010 are for flooding similar to ’09, but as us locals know, a late blizzard can change everything really fast.

    So back to Steve’s point…. most of the discussion has been about snow extent which is a lot different from cumulative snow fall, BUT the snow fall in the last 20 years in a 30,000 km2 region spanning parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota is a LOT different from the 100 years or so prior to that.

  69. bushy says:

    The point here is the temperatures. Global warming may well increase moisture content of the atmosphere but the temperatures are also depressed. Global warming causes cold? Enough now.

  70. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    I’ll ask you the same question I just asked Leif. Do you agree with Tamino that winter snow cover has not increased over the last 20 years?

    The final reading of February, 2010 snow cover will make very little difference to the shape of the graph.

  71. Steve Goddard says:

    R. Gates,

    Your claims are incorrect. The closest station to Denver is the suburb Littleton. December is the snowiest month (12.7 inches) and it is also the coldest.
    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?co5056

    You might want to rethink your “simple physics”

  72. Jay says:

    Hi Steve.

    I think winter snow cover has both increased and decreased at various times over the last 20 years – which makes establishing a meaningful trend difficult. Clearly 2008 had quite a bit of snow and 2010 has got off to a good start. But snow cover is variable – so it’s difficult to know (I don’t) if this is the exception or the rule.

    It’s good to know that the final reading of Feb 2010 snow cover will make little difference to the shape of the graph. But I wonder if you’d explain what method you used to get to your Jan/Feb 2010 figure – only it looks very high when compared to mine.

    All the best.

  73. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    You are avoiding the question. Do you agree with Tamino that the overall trend for the last twenty years is not upwards?

    R. Gates,

    Not only does Moscow have record snow, but temperatures are running far below normal.
    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/UUEE/2010/2/23/MonthlyHistory.html
    Now explain your “simple physics” again about how warmth equals snow.

  74. Myron Mesecke says:

    Getting some of that warming causes snow falling in central Texas today. Looks a lot like it did back in the 70s. You know, things that have happened before and will happen again.

  75. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    When I did the February calculation last week, it was based on available weekly data combined with the current day.

  76. Robert Kral says:

    We have had much more snow than normal here in North Texas this year. It has also been much colder than normal. Somehow I suspect these two things are correlated. I note that the record snowfall in Moscow is also accompanied by unusually cold temperatures.

    Jay, you badly need to develop a concept of geologic time. Arbitrarily picking a period of time beginning when your preferred instrumentation became available, and then pretending that said period is a particularly significant length of time, is specious. This is particularly true when other types of instrumental observations (thermometers and tidal gauges, maybe?) have been in continuous operation in many places for much longer periods of time. As we have seen repeatedly in posts on this site, records of that kind have a strong tendency to indicate that current observations are nothing unusual. Nothing unusual = no need to invoke human causation.

  77. The OtherDan says:

    Rain today in northern Vermont, mixed tomorrow, One of the poorest snow seasons in memory. No bitter cold to speak of all season. Just “flatlander” cold.

  78. Jay says:

    Hi Steve.

    Thanks for accusing me of avoiding your question after I answered it. I could point out that I’ve asked you to explain your method for arriving at your Jan/Feb 2010 three times now without answer, but I won’t. Oh wait I just did. Make it four (see below).

    I do not dispute, other than a remaining query about the 2010 plot, that you have plotted an upwards trend line for the last 20 years of winter snow cover, but I do not know whether your trend reliably tells us something useful about variable data like snow cover because it fails basic statistical significance tests. Do you dispute that the trend for snow cover in the N.H. from 1967 is down? It is because it is possible to identify trends in all sorts of directions that it is important to properly gauge statistical confidence in any trend – otherwise one might be lead to draw conclusions that aren’t properly backed up by the data.

    Now back to that Jan/Feb data point. I think I’m using the same data as you (it’s the data you linked to from Rutgers last week) but I have got very different results to you for Jan/Feb 2010. I’d like to find at why – and to that end I’m curious as to your method for arriving at a figure for Jan/Feb 2010. Perhaps you’d be good enough to, very briefly, explain how you did it so I can attempt to reproduce your figure.

    You’re not going to make me send a FOI request are you?

    All the best…

  79. At least Russians have an equipment and an experience to deal with the snow, they don’t lose power supply every time it’s snowing, and they don’t think it’s the end of the world as we know it — unlike some jar-eared ventriloquist’s dummies in Chicago on Potomac.

    Having said that, I must admit that Moscow traffic is truly nightmarish, and that Moscow mayor Luzhkov is one of the most unscrupulous, brazen thieves on the face of our planet, bristling like a porcupine with organized crime connections. He and Al Gore would understand each other without words: no interpreter needed.

  80. Jay says:

    Robert Kral.

    Thanks for your comment Robert. I simply used the data and methodology (as best as I can fathom it) Steve Goddard kindly provided to in his posts at WUWT last week. Is there some problem with this approach?

  81. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    As soon as I start getting Federal funding (or any other funding) feel free to file an FOI request.
    http://www.state.gov/m/a/ips/

    Prior to 1989 the trend for winter/summer snow cover was down. (How many times do I have to repeat that?) Since 1989, winter is up, summer is flat. (How many times do I have to repeat that?)

    Simple yes or no will do. Do you agree with Tamino that winter snow extent has not increased since 1989?

  82. MJ Penny says:

    My question has always been what weather event would not be consist with global warming theory? It seem every time there is a weather event that is hotter/colder, wetter/dryer it is consistent with AGW.

    Fortunately I work with several other engineers that are AGW skeptics. Engineers seem to have a good grasp of the fallacies of AGW theory.

    MJ Penny, PE

  83. R. Gates says:

    Steve said:

    “R. Gates,

    Your claims are incorrect. The closest station to Denver is the suburb Littleton. December is the snowiest month (12.7 inches) and it is also the coldest.
    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?co5056

    You might want to rethink your “simple physics”

    Again Steve, with the insults. Do you think I would post data here unless I was pretty darn certain of what I speak? Do you think you can find data that disputes what a long term native of Colorado (who also studies weather in depth) knows? The height to which your self-certainty soars knows no bounds. Here’s the official Denver records going back to the 1880′s:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=denver_snowfall

    Please note: I do stand slightly corrected though: It is March, November, and then April as Denver’s snowiest months…but certainly not December…and CERTAINLY not our coldest months…January and February…since any novice student of weather and climate knows that COLD=DRY. November is warmer than December and January, so it makes sense it would have more snow, but only very slightly more than April here in Denver.

    And finally Steve, there is no way that December is Littleton CO coldest month…every weather student in the world knows that the end of January into the very beginning of February is the coldest part of the year at this latitude of the N. Hemisphere. See:

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USCO0105?from=search

    Warm=Wet, Cold=Dry…physics and climate 101.

  84. Steve Goddard says:

    The OtherDan,

    looks like you need to move south for cold. Here are the last five months.
    http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/products/maps/acis/WaterTDeptUS.png

  85. E.M.Smith (06:28:13) : | Reply w/ Link

    @Carbon Dioxide:

    Is there a link to a Mars polar image anywhere? It would make an amusing ‘weather report’ article ;-)

    Here’s mine from 2003 (on the left) if it is any help
    http://arnholm.org/astro/mars/mars_20030831_0117ut.jpg

    It shows the Mars polar ice cap as seen through an amateur telescope + attached webcam. Mars was unusually close when the image was taken in August 2003.

  86. rbateman says:

    Can of Compressed Weather
    Warning: contents under extreme pressure
    Do not use outdoors.
    Implosion Hazard.
    Keep out of the reach of children, politicians, and wannabe Dr. Frankensteins.

  87. Espen says:

    Jay: Espen – you’re asking about individual decades, but using a 30 year moving average.

    Not really, I was using a 11 year MA (though I added 30 year graphs in addition).

    Anyway, my message is really that pointing to the 50s is cherry-picking, since that was well into a colder period.

  88. Steve Dallas says:

    Warm also equals rain, not snow.
    Living most of my life near Wash. I can tell you that big snow events like this are rare because Wash generally has high temps above freezing in the winter, and have for as long as data has been recorded. A major snowstorm in DC is rare, despite Bobby Kennedy’s memories, two or three major storms is once or twice in a lifetime stuff. A foot of snow in DC will shut the place down for days, a couple hours north and a foot of snow is seen as a fun day to take your Subie out for a spin.

    I just wish these guys could say, yea, we fudged it, let’s start over and do it properly rather than start spinning like Dirvishes on crack.

  89. Gerry says:

    The AGW people keep yelling “Local weather isn’t climate!” whenever anyone mentions the massive snowfalls this year.

    ….but they conveniently forget that it’s not just the entire US that was blanketed, but Europe all the way over to Russia as well. Records busted THROUGHOUT the entire Northern Hemisphere. That is NOT ‘local weather’…..

  90. Steve Keohane says:

    WE had a nice foot of white-warming over the weekend. As soon as it cleared we dropped to -8°F this am. This makes two days below zero after 2/14 for the first time I’ve seen in 38 years here. From 1972-2009, I first observed, then learned to count on no sub-zero mornings after that date.

    E.M.Smith (06:28:13) : NASA has archives of a bunch of martian imagery, here is one quick link I found:
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/images/image-collection_archive_1.html

    A few years back I found a huge NASA montage of the 360° horizon in color and had a large format printer to output it at 28″ X 120″, photographic quality.

  91. Ecotretas says:

    Snow is bad for business and drives stock exchanges down:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aB0PF.Eg5OCo&pos=1

    Ecotretas

  92. Steve Goddard says:

    R Gates,

    I spend most of my time in Colorado too.

    Sorry you don’t like the WRCC data for Littleton – you should complain to NOAA, not me. The Denver link you provided showed that for the last three years December snow has been almost 3X March.

    I calculated snowfall for all 318 Colorado WRCC sites from here:
    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/co/co.sno.html

    Averaged across the entire state the snowiest months in Colorado are:

    March 12.5 inches
    December 11.4 inches
    January 11.2 inches
    February 9.8 inches
    November 8.8 inches
    April 8.7 inches
    October 3.7 inches

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/oimg?key=0AnKz9p_7fMvBdGhHc01yT25Ic0Nvcnc4SWNCWTlnSWc&oid=1&v=1266958485734

    You are going to have a tough time proving your assertion that snowfall increases with temperature. Three of the four snowiest months are also the three coldest (December-February) You said April is #2 – it actually is #6.

  93. Jay says:

    “Simple yes or no will do.”

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s relevant Steve, and I really don’t think pushing it is going to help your case.

    It’s not my strong subject by any means, but the point of a trend is to fit the data. One judges confidence in a trend by how well it fits. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t say what the data is going to do in the future – but without doing anything fancy I can compare your trend line with data from before 1989 and it’s very obvious it’s way off. Way, way off.

    Unless something significant happened in 1989 it looks like your trend line isn’t helpful. There’s nothing in that data that makes me thing snow isn’t likely to fall off as you claim the models predict. And you’ve not provided an alternative understanding of the physics either – so there’s nothing else to go on.

    When you plot the entire data set from 1967 the truth is, it looks like particularly low snow cover in the 1990s and a few peaks in the 2000s are skewing your conclusions. It’s premature to say that it looks like the models are right or wrong based on your analysis.

    All the best again.

    “Anyway, my message is really that pointing to the 50s is cherry-picking, since that was well into a colder period.”

    Espen, That may or may not be, but similarly my message is really that quote mining isn’t the same thing as being representative of what scientists say.

    As an aside the Met Office have station data for the uk
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/
    Looking at some of the longer running stations like Lowerstoft and Durham don’t seem to support the idea that the 50s were a unique period. The 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s all look much of a muchness to my quick eyeball. The 60s look chilly but warming doesn’t really pick up until the 70s. I don’t see anything in those Temperature records to suggest Dr Allen was being wayward.

  94. Steve Goddard says:

    R Gates,

    I tried a slightly different experiment, where I averaged monthly snowfall for the 50 snowiest sites in Colorado. December and March tied as the snowiest months at 32.0 inches.
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/oimg?key=0AnKz9p_7fMvBdGhHc01yT25Ic0Nvcnc4SWNCWTlnSWc&oid=2&v=1266962445434

    The snowiest sites are at the highest elevations and are generally the coldest. Snowfall increases at colder locations and is identical in March and December.
    How does that fit into your theory?

  95. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    I don’t think the trend is linear either. It appears to have an upwards curvature during the last five years indicating that the increase in snowfall is accelerating.

    I also have no idea what next year will be like. Might be the beginning of a 30 year drought. Who knows? Certainly not the climate modelers.

  96. kwik says:

    On the news this evening;

    Coldest winther in Oslo since WWII.

    hohoho. And a new cold-period coming.

    I hope the Nobel-commitee is freeeeeezing.

  97. vigilantfish says:

    OT but not entirely: I’ve just come across a short discussion of the “snowball earth” theory (earth in a complete deep freeze with all land-masses and oceans ice-covered) in a book I’m reviewing and am wondering if anybody here has devoted any attention to that theory. I’ve Googled the theory, and note that while it has been debunked by at least one scientific study , Connolley will not permit the Wikipedia article to be modified to reflect this. It occurs to me that CO2 concentrations argued to be necessary to have pulled the earth out of this condition at 130,000 ppm puts the warmists in rather a self-contradictory position: while CO2 is hypothesized to have been the forcing agent that brought the ‘snowball’ condition to an end, the posited concentrations did not succeed in making the earth come to a boil – they merely allowed the ice to melt sufficiently to allow the Cambrian explosion! Presumably the subsequent reduction of CO2 concentrations to modern concentrations was facilitated by autotrophs (i.e. photosynthesizing life forms). Just food for thought.

  98. Philip Mulholland says:

    vigilantfish (14:21:10)

    Start here for Snowball Earth studies.

  99. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    R. Gates (07:10:56) :

    Amazing what a warming clmate will do…more heat in winter=greater snowfall

    Thou shalt not fib.

    There has been no warming fo 15 years on earth. And there has been cooling for 5 years. This increase in snow is from cooling. What would have been rain in the past is now snow because of the cooling.

    The earth is cooling. Global warming is not happening.

  100. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    Jay (09:40:19) :

    I think winter snow cover has both increased and decreased at various times over the last 20 years – which makes establishing a meaningful trend difficult

    Fistly, what you ‘think’ doesn’t matter. The data is not hypothesis, it is not a computer model, it is not a guess. It’s just a set of real numbers.

    Secondly, if you are not able to determine any trend in the data then just take a math class. You will learn how to do it. It’s not ‘difficult’ as you say.

  101. wayne says:

    Steve Goddard (09:51:55) :

    If I have followed correct, Jay seems to base his conjecture on a false assuption, to me anyway. Yes Antarctica is as a desert and rarely snows but it’s because there is little humidity, all moisture has snowed out long before. It is the lack of moisture in the air, not that it is some -59+C degrees that keeps it snowless. Approach it from that direction. Can it be high humidity at -59C and not snow? If so, I am wrong.

  102. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    Alexander Feht (10:33:21) :

    …unlike some jar-eared ventriloquist’s dummies in Chicago on Potomac

    Gosh that seems to fit.

  103. john says:

    Jay,
    you site academia who are quickly losing their credibility. No matter what happens it is global warming. 5 years ago no one was saying that global warming would cause increased snow storms via declining temps.

    The jig is up. All you enviros look down your moss grown noses at those of us who question the “established theory”. And for what, b/c your embharrased to admit your wrong? Or perhaps your emotion clouds rational judgement. Have you ever noticed that proponents of GW get very angry, insulting and insecure really when questions are posed? Those posing the questions just want answers that aren’t following a green agenda. Get real and get a life.

  104. David Alan Evans says:

    Jay (13:52:36) :

    I can tell you for a fact that the Durham observatory site has seen a lot of building around it since the ’70s

    DaveE.

  105. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – R. Gates (08:55:51) :
    “Heat=moist… Cold=dry… Last glacial period on earth was cold and dry… Simple physics.”
    ________________________

    Don’t get me wrong, I was taught the same thing somewhen. But, haven’t you begun to ask yourself: “Where did all that ice come from?”
    I’m beginning to think that during a 100,000 year glacial period there are frequent periods of Cold=dry which have very quick and violent Heat=moist phases that spin all that wet stuff North and South to the pole. Kinda like Hurricanes. Know what I mean?
    During these phases, there’s enough cold to freeze all the rain on the way down to the surface, but a lot of heat to get all that stuff way up in the air. Remember that Spanish Armada storm?
    What do you think?

  106. R. Gates says:

    Steve,

    First of all, I quite clearly said Denver all along, never Littleton, or the whole state, or any such thing. The long term data for Denver quite clearly show March as the snowiest month, followed by November, and then April. But in regards to the data you were using, each of those sites from across Colorado have different time frames. Some run for 10 years, and some run for 20, 30, etc. How can you compare anything with different time frames? But even at that, March stands out over the long term as the snowiest month even across the whole state, but is far from our coldest, which is january, and January is our driest.

    The point of my post (which is proven through the data) is that the warmer months of winter in Denver (and Colorado), are also the the highest in snowfall. When we get arctic fronts in Colorado we may get a little snow, but the moisture content is low. It’s the big spring storms that come across from the Pacific, that pull up huge amounts of moisture off the springtime warming oceans and slam that into the front range of the Rockies that really can really create the big storms.

    One final thing, I mentioned the big Dec. 1982 storm we had. It was a monster storm. Dumped several feet of very heavy wet snow. There was an El Nino going on at the time (just like this year) and that moisture came from those extra warm oceans. It takes a lot of energy to evaporate all that water and then transport it to Colorado and dump it. You don’t see storms like that where it is bitter cold, and storms like that NEVER come from the north here in Colorado…ever. Heat is the energy behind all storms, and when that heated air runs into colder air…watch out! My point is this…if there is more snow being dropped in the winter in general, including the snow line moving south (which may not be true as long term trend), it can only mean that there is more energy available to create those storms, and that energy comes from heat…never cold.

  107. Steve Goddard says:

    R Gates,

    It is OK to use a mixture of sites with different year ranges. You get a Monte Carlo effect which removes any bias. That is a standard technique used in climate modeling.

    Most of the snow in Colorado falls in the mountains, where it is colder than the plains. The deepest snow falls at the highest elevations where it is very cold.

    Did you look at the Colorado top 50 snow sites chart I generated?
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/oimg?key=0AnKz9p_7fMvBdGhHc01yT25Ic0Nvcnc4SWNCWTlnSWc&oid=2&v=1266962445434

    March and December tie for first place at 32 inches, followed by January and February.

    The #1 site is Wolf Creek Pass which averages 78.6 inches in December and 77.7 in March, 435.1 for the year.

  108. Steve Goddard says:

    R Gates,

    Energy flow is driven by differences in energy, not absolute energy. If you have two pieces of metal at 1,000 degrees, no energy will flow between them. However, if one of them is cold – energy flows very fast.

    Bad tornado seasons happen during cold springs (like 2008) – not warm ones. Same for hurricanes. A cold North Atlantic will produce more hurricanes than a warm one, because of the difference in energy with the tropics.

    Same for electricity, it only flows across energy (voltage) differences.

    Snow in Texas happens when it is unusually cold. Cold is defined as the absence of energy.

  109. Jeff Alberts says:

    Yet the Pacific Northwest of the US has been unseasonably warm for two months. Just goes to show that taking an average and calling it a global temperature is completely meaningless.

  110. RoHa says:

    You can hire the Russian Air Force?

    Do they have a price list?

    What would they do for a hundred bucks? I’ve got plans …

  111. vigilantfish says:

    Philip Mulholland (15:20:10) :

    Thanks for the link. Cheers!

  112. vigilantfish says:

    Let’s see: cold=dry and heat=moist. It must be awfully warm up in the troposphere and stratosphere where all that moisture is found in the form of clouds.

    Why do certain people here insist on treating air-masses as if they are generated in the place where the weather is being monitored? I live in Canada. I’ve experienced some pretty damn cold winters with lots of snow in New Brunswick – including major blizzards when it was -20 degrees celsius; Montreal also in my experience can be bitterly cold and also see a large accumulation of snow. As a rule you don’t get numerous snowfalls when the temperatures are at their coldest, but as with all rules, there are exceptions. What matters is where the air masses and cold front originate. Also, to repeat the obvious, when the weather is warm and moist, one generally gets rain. It rained even in the depth of winters, and this occurred with greater frequency in New Brunswick through the 1970s – despite it being the great white north and before global warming was constructed by scientists.

  113. Jay says:

    Good morning Marcia.

    Thank you for your kind suggestion for attending a course. Happily I am already engaged on such an endeavor and hope to learn much in the near future.

    I’m afraid that establishing a meaningful trend that inspires confidence in analysis of data is not quite so simple, hence the field of study known at statistics. Generally speaking one wants to ensure, as far as is possible, that a trend isn’t the accidental result of noise amongst the data. The usual approach is to test the trend against the data to see how well it fits. There are formal procedures to do this, but Mr Goddard’s trend is so clearly divergent from pre 1989 data that, without a suitable explanation for why pre 1989 data should be omitted and without a postulation as to why projections of future snow cover may be faulty one can have little confidence that Mr Goddard’s trend will tell us something reliable about snow cover in the future.

    “I can tell you for a fact that the Durham observatory site has seen a lot of building around it since the ’70s

    DaveE.”

    Thank you for your kind and informative comment David. I would be interested in hearing any suggestion you might make upon the subject of why the building in Durham since the ’70s influenced winters during the fast half of the Twentieth Century.

    “Jay,
    you site academia who are quickly losing their credibility. The jig is up. All you enviros bla bla bla”

    Hello John. Thank you also for your comment. I’m afraid, however, that you have made a small mistake in that it was actually the celebrated Mr Watts that cited academia, but neglected on this occasion to properly reflect the academic explanation in his article. Perhaps this and similar miss-citations might go some way as to explain the unfortunate loss of credibility that you identify.

    Thank you all for your comments and support. I must away to my breakfast.

  114. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    I have made it abundantly clear that neither I, nor anybody else, has any skill at forecasting future trends in snowfall. You are arguing against your own straw man. Winter snow extent has been increasing for twenty years and is near record level now.

    What it does in the future is anybody’s guess. The climate models have demonstrated no skill in this area, or any other for that matter.

  115. Jay says:

    Steve,
    Your lack, or otherwise, of skill at identifying trends in snowfall has no bearing on anything else. I would agree that forecasting based on simplistic analysis of snow cover in the recent past would seem to be folly – however the models use a physical simulation of climate rather than a statistical one. If your argument is now that you don’t have skill therefore other attempts must also be lacking then it must be noted that you are not comparing like with like.

    Unless you can demonstrate that the increasing ‘trend’ that you have identified isn’t simply an accident of noise in the data *and* that it is sufficiently significant to show that the models aren’t fit for their purpose then it is simply too early to tell whether or not the models are useful in this regard ~ no matter how often you bang your drum or how much you’d like the models to be seen to fail.

    Neither the data that you have presented, nor your analysis of it support your conclusion that the models fail.

  116. Steve Goddard says:

    jay,

    There is absolutely no way to demonstrate that the current upwards trend will continue. Regardless of how high the “statistical confidence” is, it could reverse slope next year. And Tamino calculated 99% confidence before he started getting creative with his statistical manipulations.

    If you don’t trust your own eyes, I can’t help you.

  117. Sergey says:

    For the fist time in a month, today we have the first thaw in Moscow. It is just +1C. Normaly, February in Moscow has almost the same number of days above the freezing point and below it. By any measure, this February is exceptionaly cold.

  118. Jay says:

    Steve, you’re really doing the readership of this fine blog a great disservice if, instead of addressing the flaws in your analysis you just avoid the issue and twist Tamino’s stated views through 180 degrees when they find your analysis wanting. Looking at the conversation you’ve had with Tamnio I cannot possibly imagine that you are unaware that he is neither supporting your position or judging your plot to have a high degree of statistical significance. He’s telling you the exact opposite.

    Until you pulled that one I thought maybe your enthusiasm was simply getting the better of you.

    Steve, it’s not about whether I trust my own eyes. I’m as susceptible to sleight of hand as the next person. Which is why, when you make bold claims, my sceptical nature is inclined to go check things out. Upon doing so I find that you’ve thrown away half the data, that you’ve arrived at a trend that obviously fails significance tests (and which you openly admit you have no confidence in) and that you’re damning climate models by comparing smoothed plots from the models with unsmoothed plots from instrument data.

    It wouldn’t pass peer review, would it.

  119. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    How can I have a conversation with Tamino? He censors my posts.

  120. Caleb says:

    The OtherDan (10:20:58) :

    The weather pattern has shunted all the arctic air south and west of New England, as New England and Eastern Canada has received a maritime flow over the top of those arctic high pressure areas passing to the south. I keep reading about Virginia shivering in sub zero cold (F) as we haven’t had more than one dawn below zero all winter, here in southern New Hampshire. I’ve rather enjoyed it, for a change.

    However it is said you should never, never mention such good fortune. If you do you hex it.

    No sooner did you mention how balmy it has been in northern Vermont than I heard a forecast that states you are in for a blizzard and four feet of snow, this Thursday. You have no one to blame but yourself.

    I also hold you responsible for the two feet of snow we’ve had here in southern New Hampshire, today. Not too far to the southeast it was rain, but we’re stuck with this heavy, wet glop that the plows pile at the end of your driveway, which has the density of wet cement. My snow blower just rides up over it, rather than eating into it. BAH HUMBUG!

    I should have known the mild and relatively snowless winter was too good to last. But it might have, if you hadn’t HEXED it.

  121. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    You are twisting words. I am 100% confident that winter snow cover has been increasing over the last 20 years, and am 100% confident that people playing with statistics will come to what ever conclusion suits their preconceived notions.

    There is no smoothing in any graphs I have used, they are all raw data.

    Let me put this question to you one more time. Do you believe that climate model predictions of declining winter snow cover during the last twenty years have been reflected in the Rutgers record?

  122. Pamela Gray says:

    Steve, the snow cover trend may be due to several different factors. La Nina puts snow in NE Oregon. El Nino with negative AO leaves us without snow but piles it up in the northeast. A blanket statement about snow cover does not say much unless you also include the variety of ways that can happen. The Earth is not a one-hit wonder. Many tunes play at the same time. What tunes were playing during the last 20 years?

  123. Jay says:

    Steve,
    I think snow cover during the decade from 1989 to 1999 were exceptionally low (in the context of 1967 – 2010) to start off with and continued to decline during that decade. Snow cover increased from the levels seen in the 1990s between 2000 and 2010 because of a small number of years (4) with above average snow cover spread across the decade.

    I’m not daft enough to suggest that a small number of winter seasons with above average snowfall between 2000 and 2010 invalidates climate models on the premise that they are described as showing a decline across the entire 21st century.

    You linked to some plots from EEE that were way to small to examine individual years or decades should you want to (I’m under no allusions that models should closely mirror reality every single year) – but as far as one can tell most of the models look to be a pretty good match with reality so far.

  124. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    When this winter ends in four days, three of the top four snowiest winters in the Rutgers record will have been since in the last eight years. 2003, 2008 and 2010.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/asos/?map_type=avgtemp.dfn&format=.cont&begmonth=01&begday=1&endmonth=01&endday=31&years%5B%5D=2010&submitted=Animate+Selection

    Do you see any indication that is leading towards a long term decline in snowfall?

  125. Jay says:

    Steve,
    I am glad that you’ve decided the complete dataset from 1967 is worth looking at, as it does show a decline despite 4 above average years between 2000 and 2010 – which demonstrates why picking useful trends is difficult. I think we established earlier that trying forecast snow cover based on discerning trends from the recent past isn’t useful.

    I was glad we agreed on that and hoped it might be a sign that we might get somewhere.

    Therefore I’m not going to play at trying to discern a trend for the entire next century or even a little part of it based on 3 unusual years. I think to attempt do so would be clear folly. I’m surprised you have back tracked and now seem to think that this would represent competent analysis once more.

    We do seem to be going around in circles.

  126. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    If you bothered to read my recent articles you would know that I have discussed the entire 44 years record, I have discussed the significance of focusing on the last 20 years, and I have discussed summer trends. Rather than listening to Tamino’s interpretation of what I have written, why don’t you read my writing – instead of making me repeat it?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/21/bringing-skillfull-observation-back-to-science/

    Your claim that the trend is based on three years is nonsense. It is based on 20 years. Are you a lawyer? You keep changing tack and throwing out new misinterpretations.

    BTW – Tamino takes cheap shots and then won’t let people respond. What do you think that is all about?

  127. Jay says:

    Steve,

    No Steve, I’m, not a lawyer. If I’m changing track it is because I’m responding to your endless questions – which keep changing track every time I explain why I think your analysis doesn’t stack up.

    You’ve already accepted that you have no skill at forecasting future snow cover. You can’t then go on to say that zero skill is sufficient skill to competently assess the usefulness of forecasts produced by models based on physical simulations.

    There’s really not much more to say.

  128. Steve Goddard says:

    Jay,

    If you had a stock broker who told you that a stock was going to go down over a twenty year period, and the stock actually went up, you would say that his prediction had failed. You do not have to be a stock analyst or have any skill at prediction to determine that you can’t trust that broker.

    If someone told you that your loss of money was not “statistically significant” you would think they were an idiot. Your argument is specious and absurd.

  129. martyn says:

    This looks like an ideal location for a weather station:-

    The worst snowstorm in six decades has wreaked havoc on northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region dumping 94 centimeters of snow at the Altay Weather Station, seen here on January 17, 2010.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-01/20/content_9349288.htm

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