Snowmageddon II: Monster blizzard to bomb New England?

Merry Christmas!  The best numerical weather prediction models in the world have been churning out 5-day forecasts for the past few days that will make someone pull their hair out.  The main question is how far east will the major extratropical cyclone or blizzard develop over the Atlantic off of New England.  The track details will determine who will get a dusting of snow and who could possibly get 1-2 feet.  As the event unfolds, this post will provide additional links.

Current precipitation totals from the NAM 00z model for December 25, 2010 for liquid is well over an inch over most of Southern New England.  A 1o to 1 ratio for snow to rain along with blizzard winds will make early week travel as bad as at Heathrow, where snow can be a “very rare and exciting event”.

From meteorologist Ray Hawthorne, fellow FSU grad:

This is one of the most complex forecasts I’ve seen since the infamous, so-called Blizzard of 2000. There appear to be four distinct shortwaves — one along the Texas Gulf coast, another in the Middle/Upper Mississippi Valley, a third in the Middle Missouri Valley, and a fourth in western Ontario province, Canada. The numerical models are having an extremely difficult time handling the interaction of these four waves. Even worse, the model initial conditions earlier today were not very good (see NCEP model diagnostic discussion). Add in the Gulf Stream and what is a gradual breakdown of the high-latitude blocking we’ve seen for several weeks and you’ve got chaos. That said, the trend is clearly westward in the last several NAM and GFS model runs — something that is going to be extraordinarily hard to ignore for much longer. The upcoming two model cycles of the ECMWF will be extremely significant because watches and warnings are going to be needed for many areas in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast fairly quickly. This is the lowest confidence forecast that I can remember seeing in this past decade.

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88 Responses to Snowmageddon II: Monster blizzard to bomb New England?

  1. Douglas DC says:

    Understand our turn in the Pac Nw is coming next week…
    Stay safe folks…

  2. Bill in Vigo says:

    Here in NE Alabama the low is projected to move across the northern Gulf and our snow amounts are projected to now be increased from a dusting to possibly 3inches. It will all depend on the 500 millibar temps when the moisture arrives. current temp here is 32 and falling. We may get a little more than projected if the temps continue to drop. This could be a real storm for the southeast we aren’t prepared for this much global warming.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    Bill Derryberry

  3. TomRude says:

    Predicted by Piers Corbyn…

  4. Mike McMillan says:

    You won’t get any snow in the Northeast. It all got dumped here in the Midwest.

  5. Ray Hawthorne says:

    This is one of the most complex forecasts I’ve seen since the infamous, so-called Blizzard of 2000. There appear to be four distinct shortwaves — one along the Texas Gulf coast, another in the Middle/Upper Mississippi Valley, a third in the Middle Missouri Valley, and a fourth in western Ontario province, Canada. The numerical models are having an extremely difficult time handling the interaction of these four waves. Even worse, the model initial conditions earlier today were not very good (see NCEP model diagnostic discussion). Add in the Gulf Stream and what is a gradual breakdown of the high-latitude blocking we’ve seen for several weeks and you’ve got chaos. That said, the trend is clearly westward in the last several NAM and GFS model runs — something that is going to be extraordinarily hard to ignore for much longer. The upcoming two model cycles of the ECMWF will be extremely significant because watches and warnings are going to be needed for many areas in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast fairly quickly. This is the lowest confidence forecast that I can remember seeing in this past decade.

  6. Disappointing that serious snow is so rare in NYC. Move it here!

  7. Well if it has anything to do with lunar tidal waves in the atmosphere, the repeating patterns from the last three cycles should be close, to what will be going down this time under the same conditions.

    Click name link to see if it works out close to the same again……

  8. crosspatch says:

    Accuweather was saying two days ago that the models were all wrong for this one.

    Good luck, everyone, and have a happy Christmas Day.

  9. Ryan Maue

    Thanks for the forecast. You forecast that Florida was going to be hit with a freeze starting Monday Dec 13. You got it right on.

  10. Tim L says:

    It depends on if it bumps back and holds, looks like a lot of gore bull warming coming to Washington dc….. enjoy!

  11. spangled drongo says:

    Another Christmas with increasing AGW doubt.

    Merry Christmas to Anthony and all you great contributors here!

  12. Geoff Sharp says:

    Yep…it’s all happening. The pressure is building very strongly in the Arctic again, so there will be consequences. We all should learn a lot from the perfect storm position we are in right now. The NAO/AO in negative phase will be the big story over the next 2 or 3 decades, and we will discover how EUV is such an important player in climate variation.

    [ryanm: the NAO is not a dynamical oscillation in my opinion, it is a statistic. the modulation of the North Atlantic storm track is largely driven by upstream and often tropical convection influences, i.e. ENSO in the Pacific. the NAO is a proxy, a reflection of the upper-level jet stream configuration over the North Atlantic. Here, the mean-state is an average of 4 specific flow regimes. The mean-state rarely exists and is not "real".]

  13. savethesharks says:

    This is a great set-up for an upper southeastern and mid-atlantic snowstorm:

    A big “stationary” 50/50 vortex and a negative NAO.

    Note the 50/50 here:

    http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/sat_goes8fd_580x580_img.htm

    And then its a blizzard for New England…batten down ye hatches.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  14. Frank K. says:

    Our ski resorts in the NE could use some significant snow. Bring it on! (I’ll be tuning up my carbon-emitting snowblower just in case…)

  15. Perry says:

    From Piers Corbyn website.

    “For NE/E USA we predicted (12-12-10)
    Very Major snow and blizzard events will strike NE & E USA in a double hit centered around 25-27th & 29-30th Dec; One of the most significant snowfall/blizzard periods in NE & east USA for decades.”

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=286&c=5

  16. Northbound says:

    The Chemtrail /Geo-Engineering Coverup

    http://www.viddler.com/explore/Drewsick/videos/24/

    I think that this would make an interesting topic with your world wide following.

    Happy HoHo to all

  17. R John says:

    The results vs. the models was interesting here in central Illinois. As I was in Florida early this week, I was very interested in the forecast as I needed to be home for Xmas. Early model runs predicted 3 – 5″ of snow starting Thursday afternoon. As the week progressed, the storm appeared to weaken and by Wednesday night only 1 – 2″ was expected. I still left a day early to drive back the 1100 miles just to play it safe. The predicted snow was still expected to start before daybreak. In reality, it started around 10am and was fairly light. Then, by 1:30pm, all heck broke lose and snowed heavily (1/8 mile vsb) for two hours (late model runs predicted this). We will end with around 6″ of snow, which would have been enough for a WSW and not the WWA that was issued.

    Moral of the story: computer models can predict well sometimes, but human interpretation of them is subjective.

  18. crosspatch says:

    Latest word is that there is “growing confidence” the storm will miss the mid-Atlantic but still possibly slam New England.

  19. Kaboom says:

    Northbound,

    You are at the wrong site indeed, for publishing your facile ignorance for all to see.

    Begone, you idiot.

  20. Steve R says:

    I’m visiting inlaws with my kids on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They have never seen snow (we are from Florida). They would be thrilled to death if it snowed on Christmas day!

    Merry Christmas to all the WUWT readers. And thank you Mr Watts for all your effort keeping your Blog alive. I can’t descibe how much I enjoy WUWT.
    I’ll go have some more eggnog now.

  21. Trev says:

    The UK ‘Daily Mail’ were running a story about some ‘scientists’ saying the snowy weather as caused by melting arctic ice changing the weather patterns.

    Others better than me will understand this one more than a mere numpty like I … but surely the point is that the arctic ice melt is in fact no different to normal.

    The UK transport Minister has asked th govt chief scientist what weather patterns can we expect in the future … is the unseasonally early extreme cold and snow the start of a trend.
    This has all the prospects of throwing a spanner in the works for ‘warmists’ as the Chief Scientist puts his reputation on the line. i suspect he will say ‘we don’t know’.

  22. R. de Haan says:

    HO HO HO CHRISTMAS EVE
    Cold for Christmas, but the thaw is coming

    A 4-7 day apology from mother nature is on the way as a major warmup comes into the northwest, and indeed, much of europe gets a break Its a bit later than what I thought from earlier this month, and so we get the white Christmas but a soggy New Year from the warm up is on the way. That is also the case for the eastern US, which after cold and snow the front part of the week, warms with a soggy New Year in the eastern US. There will be a return of the cold though, but probably not till after the 5th and relative to averages stronger further south.

    I want to explain to you why the idea now being put forward by the AGW crowd that the cold is being caused by global warming is out of touch. You folks, the big thing you should be concerned about is the total energy of the lower troposphere of the earth, a shadowy measurement at best. There is no reliable way to measure that. And with out proving that there is feedback that is meaning an accumulation of energy that can not escape, there is no way to say there is global warming for sure.

    I am going to give you an example of this, and this is why I get incensed at people that try to use every single event that occurs as an excuse to say man is changing the climate in a way that is demonstratable or destructive.

    You see, it takes much less energy to heat cold dry air than it does warmer air, or water. The rise of temperatures to 10-20 degrees ABOVE normal over Greenland, where temperatures are normally brutally cold is not nearly as big a deal in the total energy budget of the earth as the drop of 3f in the tropical pacific ocean temps. In fact, I would venture to guess that the global temperature is not “suffering” at all. A drop of 10f in temperatures in a place that has a normal of 45 is more impressive energy wise than a rise of temps of 20 degrees in a place where the normal is near 25 below 0. And without that buildup of excess energy, there is no true increase in the global temp. In fact what is going on now, we can see the OPPOSITE is occurring.

    I suspect alot of the people in the AGW camp KNOW what is about to happen. With all the visibility given to this argument, its only a matter of time where people notice the up and down in relation to the enso, and will demand that the natural cycle theories are given their day in court.

    As far as the blocking, I do become upset when people claim that is global warming, when I have gone to great pains to show and even forecast, the affects of low solar and volcanic activity is something that can lead to that. Its not co2 that is causing blocking and while I there is reason to debate my reasons, they make far more sense than saying c02 is causing something, that apparently must have happened before, since we are seeing weather that happened before, but in the time of solar min and in the 19-teens, after major arctic volcaanic activity.

    A very merry Christmas to all of you, and my sincere thanks for the love and loyalty you have shown me over the years. I am sorry, because of my work load, I cant post more, but I hope I have given you enough notice on this, and raised awareness on some other matters, that involve a reach beyond ones grasp, not the shutting down of mans natural inclination to climb. All the best

  23. R. de Haan says:

    Sorry, forgot to add the link.
    It’s from Joe Bastardi of course:
    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather

  24. As I rest frm digging myself out of another six inches of “unseasonal” snow that fell overnight here in the Taunus, let me wish everyone here a very merry Christmas – especially Anthony and his team. The German Meteorological Office is risking the ire of the Green Party here by talking about us entering a “Mini Ice Age”…

    Ah well, time to go and shovel some more…

  25. Dallas says:

    Here’s a giggle. I pulled up Bar Harbor, Maine on weather underground and looked at the webcam to see this monster storm. The link uses “bahaba” no wonder they talk that way in Maine.

    http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/bahabamaine/2/show.html

  26. trbixler says:

    Merry Christmas Anthony and great team at WUWT.

  27. Wade says:

    The interesting thing about these nor’easters (which is a contraction of northeasters) is that they can do as much and sometimes more damage to a coast than a hurricane. Sometimes they even get an eyewall. These extratropical cyclones are definitely are hard to predict. Especially since it has yet to form.

  28. Olen says:

    Merry Christmas with or without snow.

  29. Pamela Gray says:

    Those of us initially splattered with every form of liquid by what the Pacific offers know in our bones what you all on the East Coast are in for as these systems move on to your neck of the woods, interacting with all the other pressure systems along the way. Douglas DC is correct in saying our turn is coming (again) next week. But that means you will get it AGAIN after this one coats your landscapes with white. What you are getting now still lays in my yard. And Wallowa County, for some reason, is not getting the intermittent snow eater in-between the white version of globalony liquid.

    But let this be a warning to ya. If anyone says the word “unprecedented”, my greatgrandfather will rise from his grave just up the hill and drag his ghoulish body into your dreams.

  30. Ric Werme says:

    I’ve been watching this for a few days now, after all, I’m in New Hampshire, have a brand-new snowblower that is waiting patiently (as opposed to me), and the biggest snowfall this season here is 0.9″. (Three years ago today I had 15″ of snow on the ground, down from 25″ on the 21st.)

    On a Facebook discussion, I posted:

    Discussion from NWS Gray, Maine, 931 AM EST THU: “… WHILE THINGS WILL REMAIN UNCERTAIN FOR A FEW MORE DAYS…THE SIGNAL FOR A STRONG STORM IS APPARENT ENOUGH…” Lessee, that should be Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I’ll check back then. Sigh, is it any wonder I check Taunton first?

    At the time, it looked like snow would be starting Sunday PM.

    (The NWS office in Gray ME covers my area, Taunton MA has better skilled (some with snow lover’s bias) people. Their website has a page with links to discussions from the northeast area so I often start there and read their discussion first.)

    OTOH, things do remain uncertain….

  31. Dave Springer says:

    Snowmobile and snow moving equipment companies must be happy about this. Ski resorts should be doing a bang-up business too.

  32. Pamela Gray says:

    Is this what our fearless leader refers to as “shovel ready projects”? I’m sure that’s what he meant. Right? Right? Right? Buellar? Buellar? Buellar?

  33. Ric Werme says:

    Mike McMillan says:
    December 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    > You won’t get any snow in the Northeast. It all got dumped here in the Midwest.

    Our storms often pick up a slug of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. When we’re very good, the energy from your storm shifts off the Carolina coasts and forms a new storm charged with that gulf moisture, then the trick is to figure out the storm track within 20 miles or so.

    Well, the real trick is to figure out the track before the coastal storm develops. And whether it will bomb out before reaching New England.

    Pretty much all the TV meteorologists in New England are good – the poor ones don’t last long.

  34. Walter Dnes says:

    Download the ENSO weekly data from http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for and plot the Nino3.4 anomaly, from 1990 onwards. There seems to be a 12 year pattern. Let’s start from late 1994 to get past the effects of the Pinatubo explosion…

    peak late 1994
    peak late 2006 – check

    minimum late 1995 / early 1996
    minimum late 2007 / early 2008 – check

    minor peak mid 1996
    minor peak mid 2008 – check

    minor minimum late 1996 / early 1997
    minor minimum late 2008 / early 2009 – check

    peak late 1997
    peak late 2009 – check

    minimum late 1998 / early 1999
    2010 isn’t over yet, but it’s heading for a minimum in late 2010 / early 2011

    So much for “predicting the past”; predicting the future provides more fun and profit. After dropping into negative territory in the 2nd quarter of 1998, Nino3.4 didn’t go positive until the 2nd quarter of 2001. Assuming the 12 year pattern holds, Nino3.4 shouldn’t go positive until the 2nd quarter of 2013. And the next major peak will be late 2014.

    Here in Toronto, Canada, we had hardly any snow in December 1998. Ditto for December 2010. But January 1999 was our “snowmeggadon”. Toronto broke the monthly January snowfall record… in 2 weeks!!! And Mayor Mel Lastman called in the army to dig out the city. If the 12 year cycle holds, watch out next month.

  35. thechuckr says:

    Joe Bastardi is predicting 10″ from Richmond north with local totals of 15-20″ as well as blowing and drifting. The JMA and GFS models have the most precipitation and 50-100 miles off the NJ coast they are showing over 1.75″ of precipitation so if the models continue to correct west, this could be a truly memorable storm.

  36. J. Bob says:

    Just finished “raking” 4′ drifts off the roof, from the last 2 weeks of “weather”, so Santa had to land in the street, which wasn’t much better. We wouldn’t mind sharing this weather to make Santa’s trip easier.

    A Merry & Blessed Christmas

  37. Jimbo says:

    From the link provided above here is Piers Corbyn

    Piers said (Dec 13th): “The midwest has already had tremendous snow deluges around 10-12 December but ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’ compared with what is going to hit NE USA including New York State in the period 25-31st December. This is likely to be one of the most significant snowfall/blizzard periods in NE & East USA for decades”.
    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=281&c=5

    All this without a Met Office style supercomputer. How very sad!

  38. J.Hansford says:

    The Carbon Haters will be absolutely beside themselves…… Their world is all upside down….. :-)

  39. TonyK says:

    It’s official (at least the BBC says so) – coldest December here in the snowbound UK since…yadda yadda. It’s worse, sorry, colder than we thought!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12078425

    Keep warm!

  40. ES says:

    Atlantic Canada has been hit for the last three Monday with storms and high winds and high tides:

    The storm surge from the current system, coupled with the astronomical high tides from Tuesday morning’s lunar eclipse is adding to the large tidal distortion. Officials say the alignment of the Earth, moon and sun and the pull from each object is what helps to enhance the size of the tides, as opposed to the eclipse itself.
    “The moon is at the perigee so that it’s the closest distance between the earth and the moon so as a result, the astronomical high tide is very significant,” says Claude Cote, with Environment Canada. “And because of the actual weather element set up, we’re looking at persisting strong northeast winds gusting to 90 km/h so there’s also the wave build up. So we’re looking at the astronomical high tide and because of weather elements we’re looking at additional swelling of water levels.”

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/storm_watch_stories3&stormfile=powerful_noreaster_sweeps_i_191210&eccode=WWCANL0001&warningdisplay=ec&warningtype=sw?ref=stormwatch_city

  41. GaryP says:

    I’ve just finished raking the snow off my roof for the second time in a week. What was Al Gore’s city again? I’d like to ship him some snow as we’ve run out of places to put it. We even tried filling up the Metrodome but there’s just too much of it.

  42. boballab says:

    Well as of right now Accuweather is calling for 9.8″ through Sunday night where I live on the DelMarVa peninsula with more on top of that on Monday:
    http://www.accuweather.com/video/90462062001/a-blizzard-of-2010.asp

  43. Northbound says:

    Kaboom
    December 25, 2010 at 1:31 am
    “facile ignorance ”
    Don’t tell me ,you waited till past midnight and only received a lump of coal.
    Curiosity , is why I come to Anthony’s site.

  44. Ric Werme says:

    Northbound says:
    December 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    > The Chemtrail /Geo-Engineering Coverup

    Better send Anthony some coal too, chemtrails are on his banned list.

  45. JRR Canada says:

    We will be reporting global warming in feet in 2011 as using inches will be seen as exagerating the fall. Hat tip to James Hansens logic, using degrees F versus degrees C.
    I will be stocking up popcorn, any globull warming events amuse me now, which TV twit will coin the dumbest description of winter weather this snow storm? Up here the lakes are frozen well and its safe to fire up my CO2 belching snowmobile.Merry Christmas.

  46. Northbound says:

    Ric Werme
    December 25, 2010 at 10:49 am
    “Better send Anthony some coal too, chemtrails are on his banned list.”

    I am, acknowledging my ignorance on this subject, and curiosity.
    A point to some credible literature would be very helpful.
    Thanks.

  47. Joseph Murphy says:

    @Dallas

    We do indeed talk that way in Maine. We’ah lookin fowahd to the stohm up he’ah. Put the cah in 4 by and head to the mountain for some wicked good skiin!

    Merry Christmas to all and safe driving! Thanks Anthony et al!

  48. MaxL says:

    I am biased toward the Canadian weather models, the GEM and Global. They handle these storms quite well in my estimation and experience. I feel for the poor folks in the Canadian Maritimes. They have been hit with 3 storms in the past few weeks. They have serious flooding. This looks like another bad one for them. The Global model looks like it takes the brunt of the precipitation just off the east coast of the U.S. and then towards Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. But it is very close to New England!

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/model_forecast/global_e.html

  49. Axel says:

    A Christmas Carol – Alternate Title: In The Bleak Midwinter – Verse 1

    In the bleak mid-winter
    Frosty wind made moan,
    Earth stood hard as iron,
    Water like a stone;
    Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
    Snow on snow,
    In the bleak mid-winter
    Long ago.

    — Christina Georgina Rossetti (1872)

    For The Full Christmas Carol, as sung by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir.
    Music: “Cranham,” Gustav Theodore Holst, 1906, and much much more,
    see the website of the Fraudulent Climate, by clicking the name “Axel”.

  50. Ric Werme says:

    NWS in Gray Maine cancels the storm watch. However:

    AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
    327 PM EST SAT DEC 25 2010

    .SYNOPSIS…
    …Blizzard conditions possible late Sunday into Monday…
    .Long term /Sunday night through Saturday/…

    Major winter storm taking shape and will begin spreading snow across the area Sunday night and last into Monday. Strong winds will also cause blowing and drifting snow and very hazardous travel conditions.

    Low pressure begins to occlude off the Long Island coast by Sunday evening. The warm sector pushes off to the east while the main low pressure center lags behind to the west. Moisture will wrap in around through the warm conveyor belt and back into the low. This will cause an intense area of heavy snowfall to spread across coastal Maine and Southern New Hampshire overnight. Snowfall rates in excess of one to two inches per hour are possible by Monday morning. In addition…strong winds will wrap in around the low from the northeast. Winds just above the surface reach 60 kt at 925 mb. As the low begins to shift east and some cold advection begins…the stronger gusts are likely to begin to mix down. Expect many areas along the coastal plain to see winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. This…combined with the heavy snowfall…will cause blowing and drifting snow with whiteout conditions at times. The hardest hit areas have been highlighted with a blizzard watch…from the midcoast of Maine down to southern New Hampshire.

  51. janama says:

    In the same report Piers Corbyn predicts that south east Queensland will experience an heatwave of 38C temps during 25th – 30th December due to this unprecedented weather pattern.

    Unfortunately we are experiencing constant rain and temps around 21C and I don’t see it turning around to a heatwave any day soon. I’ll watch this with great interest.

  52. Mom2girls says:

    Blizzard Warning for NYCPiers Piers, he’s our man! If he can’t predict it, NO ONE can!

  53. Tom in South Jersey says:

    Hey I can see myself in that picture. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Got to love the computer modeling. Snow, no snow, snow could go either way, get dumped on and blown away. No worries, we can predict the climate a century out. I still put more stock in a well trained meteorologist pouring over charts and graphs any day of the week. Then again when I fly, I’d rather have a panel full of “steam” gauges than the glass cockpit…… sigh.

  54. cbmclean says:

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everybody.

    I would like to start a polite discussion on this thread. To wit: it seems that alot of posters on this site ridicule the theory of AGW based on short-term weather. Before I get the backlash, please hear me out. I am very sympathetic to your cause, because I feel that out and out skepticism of EVERYTHING is part of what science is all about. I know that you guys get a lot of condescenscion, disrepect etc from the mainstream warming crowd. I personally find the backbone of AGW theory pretty convincing, but I am quite open minded on the subject, and I am fully prepared to entertain the notion that I am wrong about it.

    With that in mind, let me also say that I know about the fact that many of you feel that the warming crowd is hypocritical because they point to warm anomalies as evidence of climate change, but dismiss cold anomalies as just “weather”. Well to the extent that this happens, of course it is unscientific. That does not mean that AGW skeptics should turn around and do the same thing in the oppostie direction. Short-term events are just that, short-term. Can everyone agree on that?

    By the way, I am currently spending Christmas with my wife’s family in western NC. This is our first Christmas as a married couple. It is also the first Christmas that I have ever spent away from my family (in eastern NC), so you can imagine I have been a bit down at times. However, having the snow come down outside while we were opening Christmas presents this morning and the beautiful landscape outside now as I write this makes up for it a little bit. I just hope that everybody stays safe and sound.

  55. LazyTeenager says:

    R. de Han says
    ————-
    You see, it takes much less energy to heat cold dry air than it does warmer air, or water.
    ————-
    R. You either expressed yourself really really badly or you are talking utter c@@@p.
    So cough up with the heat capacity numbers for dry air and moist air as a function of temperature. This info is not hard to find and beats making stuff up any old day.

  56. Mr Lynn says:

    Groan! We’re supposed to be driving from eastern Massachusetts to Maryland on Monday, and returning the following weekend.

    Oh well, a delay one day or another won’t make much difference.

    Merry Christmas to all, and especially to Anthony and crew, who have kept this blog at the top of my must-visit list for the past year. I love hearing professionals talk shop, even when it is over my head.

    /Mr Lynn

  57. DirkH says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    “R. You either expressed yourself really really badly or you are talking utter c@@@p.
    So cough up with the heat capacity numbers for dry air and moist air as a function of temperature. This info is not hard to find and beats making stuff up any old day.”

    LazyTeenager; Ron was quoting Joe Bastardi verbatim as you would have noticed had you read through the comments – so you’re taking it up with Joe now…

    Hmmm, does Joe Bastardi know what he’s talking about? Where would i place my bet? ;-)

  58. DirkH says:

    cbmclean says:
    December 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm
    “Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everybody.

    I would like to start a polite discussion on this thread. To wit: it seems that alot of posters on this site ridicule the theory of AGW based on short-term weather. ”

    You say it is a ‘theory’. In that case, it has to be falsifiable. Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) has ‘proven’ (by running a computer program) that AGW makes cold winters in Europe thrice as likely as in the non-AGW case.

    Now, if it were a theory, we could say that through the results of said Mr. Petoukhov the predictions of said theory have changed, right, and that from now on a cold winter in Europe can no more serve as a falsification of the ‘theory’ of AGW, right?

    So, what do we have here? ‘Scientists’ who retroactively change their ‘theory’ to protect it from being falsified. While being constantly supplied with all the money they need to keep on running their computer programs to come up with any new modification of their hindcasting to vary their theory further, just as needed.

    Of course, such a ‘science’ serves no productive use at all, but is entirely self-serving, as it cannot deliver any prediction or projection of future conditions – it will adapt to whatever happens.

    Scientific discourse must necessarily break down when the opponent does not play by scientific rules.

  59. DirkH says:

    DirkH says:
    December 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm
    “Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) has ‘proven’[...]”

    Another thought: Pethoukov’s paper came out in November. So he obviously started work on it after the last harsh European winter. Now, why did he do that at all if a harsh winter in Europe can just be dismissed as short term weather event? Oh, there’s another harsh winter, another 1-in-a-1000-years freak event, funny coincidence that it happens two times in a row. The Brits complain about 3 cold winters in a row now; i don’t know whether the winter two years ago was that cold in Germany as it was always cold and snowy, i don’t know, the last 5 years or so.

    Now, the problem is of course that before Petoukhov’s ‘prove’ the ‘science’ of AGW slowly got into serious trouble in a Germany that experiences a succession of ever-colder winters. Something had to happen; somebody had to tweak a model to explain reality in the framework of the AGW conjecture. Now, his new model must be the new and improved ‘theory’ of AGW, right (until another one comes along, of course)? Unfortunately, the reports about his paper didn’t include the source code or a list of changes he had to do to the model so i’m none the wiser.

    Conveniently, he ‘discovered’ a possible feedback mechanism so future instabilities could be even larger.
    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/global-warming-could-cool-down-temperatures-in-winter/?searchterm=petoukhov

  60. kwik says:

    Lowest measured temperatures in Norway last 24 hours;

    1. Tynset -40,4 C
    2. Røros -38,2 C
    3. Grotli -35,9 C
    4. Hemsedal -34,3 C
    5. Drevsjø -33,8 C
    6. Filefjell -33,8 C
    7. Dagali -33,5 C
    8. Bjorli -31,8 C
    9. Finse -31,7 C
    10. Hovden -31,1 C

    Oh, and I don’t do the Hansen/Farenheit trick.

  61. Archonix says:

    LazyTeenager, it does actually take less energy to heat cold dry air than it does to heat warm, moist air for one simple reason: it takes more energy to heat water than air. Since moist air contains water, well, it’s something of a given that it will require more energy to increase its temperature. You don’t need to know the specific heat capacity of water and dry air to know that water requires more energy to raise its temperature. Demanding the specific heat capacity of moist air when you apparently already know it is pointless. Quit being lazy and supply the information you seem to already know, or stop demanding it and look it up yourself.

  62. Richard Day says:

    You mean computer models can’t make accurate predictions? Imagine that….

  63. Joel Shore says:

    DirkH says:

    You say it is a ‘theory’. In that case, it has to be falsifiable. Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) has ‘proven’ (by running a computer program) that AGW makes cold winters in Europe thrice as likely as in the non-AGW case.

    DirkH, your post reflects understandable confusion of a non-scientist (presumably) about how science operates in practice. I will try to sort through some of your misapprehensions:

    (1) Petoukhov hasn’t “proven” anything nor has he claimed to. I haven’t seen that word used in their press release (which is titled “Global Warming could cool down temperatures in winter”), even though press releases sometimes tend to be a little over-the-top (see this as one notorious example: http://science-sepp.blogspot.com/2007/12/press-release-dec-10-2007.html ). He has found something that occurs in simulations of a particular climate model and other scientists will consider his work, look at how other models behave, try to understand better the underlying mechanisms involved and how believable they are, etc., etc. I don’t think most other scientists in the field see his notions as proven at all.

    (2) This is how science works. Theories do not come in nice little packages that can be falsified by a single experiment or piece of data; even when data does seem to contradict a theory, the theory, which only became a theory because of a lot of supporting evidence, is not immediately abandoned just because some people who are ideologically opposed to its policy implications want it to be. Rather, scientists look more closely at the data, more closely at the theory, try to figure out ways in which the theory can be refined to incorporate the data, and what-have-you.

    Unfortunately, the reports about his paper didn’t include the source code or a list of changes he had to do to the model so i’m none the wiser.

    Perhaps that is only because of your own intellectual laziness. It took me a quick read of the first paragraph of the press release and a 1-minute google source to find out what model he used and the website for that model: http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/wissenschaft/modelle/echam/echam5.html The website says that the model is freely-available to the scientific community, so if you are interested, it looks like you can contact them. Have fun!!!

  64. WillM says:

    Seasons Greetings to all from Simpsonville, South Carolina where we are enjoying our first white Christmas since 1963.

  65. Tim L says:

    Yep it do look good for a bumping back west, forecast for 20 inches.

    This is correct:
    Archonix says:
    December 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    LazyTeenager, actually it takes less energy to heat cold dry air than it does to heat warm moist air, for one reason, it takes more energy to heat H2O(water) than N2(air). Since air contains variable amounts of water, well, it’s given that it will require variable amount of energy to increase the temperature.

    it is not simple, that is why the models are way off.

    Tim

  66. Jantar says:

    DirkH says:

    You say it is a ‘theory’. In that case, it has to be falsifiable. Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) has ‘proven’ (by running a computer program) that AGW makes cold winters in Europe thrice as likely as in the non-AGW case.

    Sorry, models do not, and cannot, prove anything. A model is simply a simulation of what might happen given certain inputs. The output will depend on the code that the model runs on, and not what happens in reality.

    Right now I’m looking at a model that shows we will experience a level 3 flood on Wednesday. That doesn’t prove that a flood will occur, but it does prompt me to be aware and prepare for that eventuality. As I wrote the model that I’m looking at right now I should have a good degree of confidence that a flood will occur. However some of the inputs come from weather models written by other sources. i don’t have the same degree of confidence in those. So no proof until Wednesday.

    For the model that makes cold winters in Europe more likely under Globull Warming, no proof until we see that globull warming.

  67. savethesharks says:

    Joel Shore says:
    December 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    “This is how science works. Theories do not come in nice little packages that can be falsified by a single experiment or piece of data; even when data does seem to contradict a theory, the theory, which only became a theory because of a lot of supporting evidence, is not immediately abandoned just because some people who are ideologically opposed to its policy implications want it to be.”

    ==========================

    Ummm…..can you say….how it is supposed to work?

    Obviously your buddies on the Hockey Team and the IPCC “scientists” operate on a different standard.

    Oh the irony.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  68. delayna says:

    Merry Christmas from Atlanta, where we have our first white Christmas since 1882.

    [Now just under 2-1/4 inches in the counties NW of Atlanta. More higher up towards the mountains NE of here. Robt]

  69. DirkH says:

    Joel Shore says:
    December 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm
    “Rather, scientists look more closely at the data, more closely at the theory, try to figure out ways in which the theory can be refined to incorporate the data, and what-have-you.”

    Well, that’s what i said – improve the hindcasting, that’s what it’s all about, keep the ‘theory’ (that is only existent in the incarnation of his computer program) alive. With ‘what-have-you’ you surely mean “re-adjust the past data GISS-style” to make the hindcasting fit better. I’m sure that’s also a misunderstanding of science i have there.

    And as i said, it changes nothing about the non-existent predictive skill of the models; in fact they are now farther removed from predicting anything than pre-Petroukhov. Maybe with enough future adjustments “to incorporate the data” they’ll lose every last inch of even trending into one direction and then we can finally throw it all away.

  70. Anything is possible says:

    This just issued for Boston. Looks like fun :

    Statement as of 11:01 PM EST on December 25, 2010

    … Blizzard Warning remains in effect from noon Sunday to 6 PM
    EST Monday…

    A Blizzard Warning remains in effect from noon Sunday to 6 PM EST
    Monday.

    * Locations… all of Rhode Island except Block Island and all of
    eastern Massachusetts except Cape Cod and the islands.

    * Hazard types… heavy snow and potentially damaging winds…
    with considerable blowing and drifting of snow and near zero
    visibilities. Scattered thunderstorms with snow.

    * Accumulations… 15 to 20 inches of snow.

    * Timing… light snow will start early Sunday afternoon and
    become heavy by evening. Very heavy snow will fall throughout
    Sunday night with up to 2 to 4 inches per hour likely at times.
    The snow will taper to flurries early Monday afternoon. Winds
    will peak from late Sunday afternoon through much of Monday.

    * Impacts… extremely dangerous travel conditions will develop
    by Sunday evening. Strong winds will combine with the snow to
    create blinding conditions with near zero visibility at times
    Sunday night. Widespread power outages are expected during the
    height of the storm Sunday night from both the strong winds
    knocking down power lines and the weight of the heavy snow.
    Shoveling should not be done by anyone with heart conditions.

    * Winds… northeast to north winds will increase to 25 to 35 mph
    with gusts as high 50 to 60 mph especially along coastal Rhode
    Island and coastal Massachusetts from late Sunday afternoon
    through much of Monday.

    * Visibilities… one quarter mile or less at times.

    Precautionary/preparedness actions…

    A Blizzard Warning is issued when sustained winds or frequent
    gusts over 35 mph are expected with considerable falling and/or
    blowing and drifting snow. Visibilities will become poor with
    whiteout conditions at times. Those venturing outdoors may
    become lost or disoriented… so persons in the warning area are
    advised to stay indoors.

  71. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: janama

    You appear to have misinterpreted Piers Corbyn’s press releases on the heatwave. He was forecasting an end to the heatwave in the bulletin I read, but I’ll admit that he doesn’t [yet] appear to have a handle on Australian weather like he does for UK. The version of the bulletin I read (for Australia) was worded awkwardly and it was asserted with a lack of confidence, in contrast to what we see for Corbyn’s UK forecasts (& for some of his forecasts for other regions). For those who follow along, there are patterns in his confidence & experimentation with new regions, as his team works to expand beyond their core geographic specialization (understandable given that they don’t yet have access to UK Met Office resources).


    If anyone sees mention of Corbyn in the mainstream North American media, please let us now. CTV in Canada completely ignored his forecasts for the current east coast weather (which I can confirm were issued weeks ago — I read them then — while mainstream forecasting waited until a few days before the event). Here’s CTV’s most recent coverage:

    “Major winter storm barrels up East Coast”
    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20101225/us-hit-by-major-snow-101225/

    Note that Corbyn is not mentioned at all.

    It would be interesting to see what Corbyn could do with secure & stable access to solid & sufficient resources. Certainly he dramatically outperforms mainstream forecasting in the core areas where he has had time/resources to build specialized expertise. It has become untenable for the mainstream to continue leaving him out of the funding loop.


    Season’s Best.

  72. Ryan Maue says:

    Oh no, not the Corbyn stuff again…

  73. boballab says:

    Whats funny is that a couple of days ago one of the models AccuWeather showed basically called the storm then as what is being forecasted now, but they were wary of that model because of initialization issues and turned around and downgraded the forecast. Maybe that supposed error in initialization wasn’t so wrong after all :)

  74. MattN says:

    White Christmas here in central NC. First time since the 1940s in some parts (Charlotte). A rare and exciting event. Still snowing here at the family farm about an hour west of CLT. Probably 3-4″ on the ground.

  75. tallbloke says:

    Joel Shore says:
    December 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm
    DirkH says:

    You say it is a ‘theory’. In that case, it has to be falsifiable. Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) …

    (2) This is how science works. Theories do not come in nice little packages…

    AGW does not yet qualify as a theory. Not even as a hypothesis. More like a conjecture. The error on measurement of the Earth’s radiative balance is at least three times as big as the claimed signal from co2. Get some useful data and report back.

    In the meantime, read this carefully.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/have-changes-in-ocean-heat-falsified-the-global-warming-hypothesis-a-guest-weblog-by-william-dipuccio/

  76. Frank K. says:

    Western New Hampshire reporting…looks like our first big snow! Should be great for the skiers.

    (from the NWS)

    Statement as of 3:40 AM EST on December 26, 2010

    … Winter Storm Warning in effect from 6 PM this evening to 5 PM
    EST Monday…

    The National Weather Service in Gray, ME, has issued a Winter Storm
    Warning for snow… which is in effect from 6 PM this evening to 5
    PM EST Monday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

    * Timing: snow will begin Sunday evening and become heavy at
    times Sunday night into Monday morning. Snow will come to an
    end Monday afternoon.

    * Snow accumulations: total snowfall accumulations of 8 to 12
    inches are forecast.

    * Winds: northerly winds will strengthen to 15 to 25 mph with
    gusts to 35 mph possible… causing blowing and drifting snow.

    * Impacts: roads will become snow covered and slippery. Winds will
    cause blowing and drifting snow on Monday. Scattered power
    outages possible.

  77. Austin says:

    Theories can be blown away by little facts. There are always watershed experiments that upset the dominant paradigm. Consider this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment

    The best experiments are those that rub your nose in it.

    There are two big issues with “science” as it is done today.

    The first issue is a lack of focus on experiments and real world measurement.

    The second issue is a lack of clarity on how to get to answers.

  78. Theo Goodwin says:

    Joel Shore says:
    December 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    To be taken seriously, hypotheses must have a reasonable record of confirmation. Aside from the 19th century hypotheses which explain the behavior of CO2 in the atmosphere, climate science has not offered one reasonably confirmed hypothesis. Climate scientists have a bunch of really interesting hunches. Their hubris and their serious moral error comes in claiming that those hunches are reasonably confirmed hypotheses.

    The only thing that permits them to use the word “theory” is that they depend on claims about radiation from the sun and Earth’s radiation into space. But those theories are auxillaries that are entirely independent of climate science. At this time, there is no theory in climate science. That should not be surprising because the science studies the natural history of Earth’s climate. It is not physics. And if you think it is complicated, try telling that to the scientists at CERN.

  79. phlogiston says:

    Jimbo says:
    December 25, 2010 at 8:08 am

    From the link provided above here is Piers Corbyn:

    Piers said (Dec 13th): “The midwest has already had tremendous snow deluges around 10-12 December but ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’ compared with what is going to hit NE USA including New York State in the period 25-31st December. This is likely to be one of the most significant snowfall/blizzard periods in NE & East USA for decades”.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=281&c=5

    The fact of this successful prediction using theory wholly at variance with mainstream climate science, needs to be disseminated as widely as possible. It is a highly significant science news story.

  80. Jim Powell says:

    Ryan, I really appreciate your perspective and insight. I would like to see you, Pier Corbyn and Joe Bastardi in a contest to making long range weather predictions. We could keep score. Maybe Anthony would like to jump in too!

  81. ez says:

    Found this on Drudge.com –
    BundleUp

    The New York Times writer explains why all this freezing weather is Global Warming At Work……….

  82. Ryan Maue

    You called it right. The storm is hitting now with all forms of travel delayed. Sunday Night Football is postponed until Tuesday night. It’s the first time since 1932 that the NFL decided to call a game off on the same day of the game.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40812024/ns/local_news-rochester_ny/40811115

  83. The storm being called a millibar bomb.

  84. Joel Shore says:

    phlogiston says:

    The fact of this successful prediction using theory wholly at variance with mainstream climate science, needs to be disseminated as widely as possible. It is a highly significant science news story.

    So, I have a super-secret theory that uses the solar magnetic field and the location of the moon to determine which sports teams will win various national tournaments like the SuperBowl and the World Series. If I make many such predictions for teams around the world and occasionally some of them turn out to be correct, is that also “a highly significant science news story” or would you instead demand some real evidence that my predictions are statistically much better than chance…i.e., would you demand to look at all of my predictions and see how they all turned out?

  85. Andy says:

    DirkH says:

    You say it is a ‘theory’. In that case, it has to be falsifiable. Now, Mr. Petoukhov from the PIK (Institute for climate change impacts; a German institute founded for the cause of AGW) has ‘proven’ (by running a computer program) that AGW makes cold winters in Europe thrice as likely as in the non-AGW case.

    Dirk are you aware that thePotsdam institute was created as a sister sit to the university of East Anglia. Also this paper was completed last year but left on the shelf for a better winter.

  86. Ric Werme says:

    FWIW, here north of Concord NH, I had 5.2″ of surprisingly dense snow by 0700, less than expected, but I think there was a substantial lull overnight. Two more inches since then.

    Reports from coastal Mass include flooding in Scituate, which used to be common, but much less frequent in the last 15 years or so.

    There’s 5 feet of water in one road, two houses are on fire and may jump to three more.

    My air pressure may have bottomed out around 982 mb, Nantucket, close to the center of the low got down to 963 mb.

  87. Joel Shore says:

    Andy says:

    Also this paper was completed last year but left on the shelf for a better winter.

    And, since you have stated this as a fact, I assume you have real evidence to support this. (Hint: The fact that the paper took a while to get published does not alone provide any such evidence that it was delayed for such a reason.)

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