Are huge northeast snow storms due to global warming?

Winter Storm in the Northeastern United States

Last week’s Winter Storm in the Northeastern United States - image from NOAA MODIS - click for more

Guest post by Dr. Richard Keen

The winter of 2009-2010 was a memorable one in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, with locations like Philadelphia enjoying multiple massive snow storms that led to record totals for the winter. As with all exceptional weather events of late, the usual suspects blamed the occurrence on global warming. In a NOAA press release reported in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/2010-07-15-heat-record_N.htm), Jay Lawrimore stated that…

Heavy snow, like the record snows that crippled Baltimore and Washington last winter, is likely to increase because storms are moving north.

To which I commented on “Watts Up With That” on July 16, 2010 ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/16/a-spot-check-on-noaas-hottest-so-far-presser/ ) that Lawrimore’s remarks show a complete lack of understanding of weather (which makes up climate).

Anyone who spends a few winters on the East coast knows that snow there is generally caused by lows off the coast, and if the storms move north (as Lawrimore claimed), Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC et al. find themselves in the warm sectors of the lows, and enjoy warm southerly winds and rain.

That’s the theory; how about some data to show that a warmer climate should lead to less snow, not more. The data are easy to find and interpret. More than a century of winter snow totals and average winter temperatures (December-January-February) are posted on the NWS Philadelphia web site. Seasonal snow totals in Philadelphia are dominated by the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of large snow events (i.e., the snowiest winters have two or three major storms, and the least snowy winters had none). Here’s some charts and correlations.

Chart 1 compares yearly winter snow totals (in blue) with winter mean temperatures (in red). The small circles are for individual winters, and the heavy lines are 30-year running means (since climate is defined by some, such as the WMO, as a 30-year average). The winter temperatures are plotted upside-down to show the correlation better. And the correlation is that warm spells, like those in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1990s, have less snow overall than cold epochs like the 1900s, 1910s, 1960s, and 1970s. Note that the 30-year running means are plotted and the end of each 30-year period, so while the 30-year means are shifted a bit from the highs and lows of the annual values, the 30-year curves for snow and temperature line up together. Also note that over 126 years, Philadelphia’s winters are not getting warmer or colder, and there’s not much change in snowfall.

Chart 2 is a direct comparison of yearly snowfall with winter temperatures. The correlation coefficient (square root of R2) is greater than -0.5, which is not bad for anything in climate. It clearly shows a trend for more snow during colder winters, and less snow during mild winters. Philadelphia’s average annual snow fall is 20.5 inches, and the coldest winters produce about twice that amount, while the warmest winters are almost snowless.

The occurrence of snowy and less snowy winters during cold and mild winters is summarized in the table below. Although half of the winters are warmer than the median temperature (of course!) and half are colder, and half of the winters are snowier than median and half are less snowy, the co-occurrence of snow vs. temperature is not so even.

There are several ways to describe the relation between winter temperature and snowfall….

  • Colder winters are three times more likely to be snowier than the median.
  • Snowy winters are three times more likely to be cold.
  • Warm winters are three times more likely to have less snow than the median.
  • Less snowy winters are three times more likely to be mild.

One way the relation between snowfall and winter temperature CANNOT be described is that warmth leads to more big snowstorms and greater total winter snowfall.

By the way, I did this analysis for Philadelphia because it’s where I was raised and learned about weather before moving to Colorado. The warmers will no doubt raise their usual charge of “cherry-picking” when inconvenient data shows up. I challenge them to examine others locations in the northeast to find one they can “cherry pick” to support their claims. Until they do, the recent large snowstorms stand not as a symptom of global warming, but as yet another indication that global warming may not be happening at all.

About these ads

104 thoughts on “Are huge northeast snow storms due to global warming?

  1. Normally, colder = more snow would be an obvious assumption to make. However since Climate Alarmism regularly throws up all sorts of anomalies, this does need to be examined as closely as their current claim that Warming = more snow. Especially as this assumption is now the complete opposite of the assumption that climate alarmists were using to explain lack of snows and warmer winters up until (and including) last year after two (a one in 400 chance) deep frozen winters.

    The main reason for this fresh examination of what climate realists have been stating all along is that dramatic and complete U turn taken by Alarmists of ‘Warming causes freezing’.

    Now we see from this isolated case, that ‘realists’ appear to have be correct all along and this data supports it, that cooling = more snow and natural variability will bring some dry winters, some wet, some warm, some frozen.

    I would like to see more data covering more locations to see if this location could be an exception, rather than the rule.

  2. We shouldn’t be surprised–global warmers have “invented” (i.e. falsified) the correlation between CO2 and a warmer earth just as they have “invented” (falsified) the correlation between global warming and heavy winter snow storms.

    The more plausible interpretation that higher snow totals indicate the climate is getting colder doesn’t bode well for their taxing and controlling schemes–they must hide the decline in order to succeed.

  3. As people who live in southern New England (especially Cape Cod) will attest, it is the proximity to the coast of the low pressure system that dictates whether they will get rain or snow. Often times they get both, either starting out as rain and changing to snow or starting out as snow and changing to rain. These storms draw their moisture from the ocean which circulates around the center and runs into the cold air coming in behind from the northwest. No cold air coming in from the northwest, no snow.

  4. My anecdotal experience has been that all the winters here have nor’easters, but whether we get a good dumping of snow, rain or a mix depends upon whether the low moving up the coast meets up with a cold air mass, or whether it brings warm air from the South with it. The years that we don’t experience heavy snow usually bring heavy rain instead. In fact 3 years ago we had a rainy nor’easter that blew the gutter off the back of my house. Living closer to the shore, mid way between Atlantic City and Philly, there are often times that we end up having rain, while the folks up the North South Freeway get snow. As a child I can remember many times going to bed with visions of enjoying a snow day off from school, only to wake up in the morning to rain and then having to suffer through listening to the school closings in Philly and the western suburbs while I ate breakfast before heading to school. This year and last it got cold quick, and tended to stay cold. When the low arrived, the cold air was entrenched and the ground was frozen.

  5. Dr. Richard Keen, I don’t know if you are intentionally missing the point or just not thinking this through. While I do not in the slightest support the “cooler = warming” bullshit , I think it is valuable to make a reasoned argument against it if one is to criticise.

    You analysis shows a correlation between cold in one state and snow in that state, something that ties in with everyone’s experience of weather over our own lifetimes.

    As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas.

    Most evaporation takes place over the oceans so that is where the warming is relevant. If conditions in a particular state are such as to cause snowfall this snowfall would be heavier in a warmer world. A warmer world would not mean that for a few days in one location it was now impossible or unlikely that snow producing conditions prevail.

    Your analysis neither proves or disproves this hypothesis. Despite the title, you do not address the issue.

  6. Since real world observation does not match their projections, the warmists now want it each and every way so that whatever occurs is the result of AGW. One would say get real, but reality escapes the deluded.

    Nice analysis.

  7. Thank God, Chart 1 shows Philadelphia temps have not risen over the past 130 years and Philadelphia has been spared from the effects of catastrophic global warming. Is Philadelphia the only city on the planet spared from this man-made nightmare?

  8. “…the recent large snowstorms stand not as a symptom of global warming, but as yet another indication that global warming may not be happening at all.”

    Well said, though, perhaps you should have said man-made global warming…. No matter, in order to counter your assertion, the climate scientists (so-called) will no doubt require lots more tax-payer handouts for research before they can give a definitive answer. Of course, having already declared that man-made global warming causes colder winters (after the fact), what will they say next winter if it turns out to be a warm one? Let me guess… More research is needed?

  9. Let’s see if I understand this new concept. You have a better chance of snow when it is colder. Might one assume that you have a better chance of rain when it is warmer?

  10. They are going to have to come up with something VERY convincing to make me believe that warming = more snow. That is so disconnected from reality it is laughable…

  11. Tut tut, you are not meant to look at the actual data. You are supposed to look at the reconstructions from the models. No wonder you get sensible conclusions.

    Please work on this some more until your conclusions are in better agreement with the consensus view espoused by our owners. Please remember that science is not absolute truth, rather its veracity is variant upon the colour of the puppets on the tv.

    The planet is warming, sea levels are rising, polar bears are drowning. And now it is snowing. All because you won’t buy those carbon offsets to pay for big Al’s new mansion.

  12. Not surprising the data are noisy. As all of us in the Northeast know, a fifty mile difference east or west in the storm track can mean a difference of six inches of snow from a storm. The Atlantic Ocean moderates temperatures and influences the snow/rain line. And when the low passes, the temperatures plummet on the backside.

  13. Judah Cohen argued in the NYT last week that global warming means more snow. This could be true, but a few years ago, we read that global warming means no snow and drier conditions. Just check out Energy Sec’y Chu’s presentation from the EIA Conference in 2008 to see dire prognostications for California’s snowpack, for example.

    Now, Cohen could be right. But did she criticize, say, Chu in 2008, and claim that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Did she take on Jim Hansen? Not that I can recall. And thus, we are left to wonder who we should believe in the pro-AGW crowd. Do any of them have any credibility at this point?

  14. Over the past thirty years or so we have seen the climate change industry morph from one that produced actual science, to one that produced pseudoscience, and finally to one who’s major product can only be called propaganda. This is a terrible waste of societal resources. I am willing to bet that Mr. Lawrimore is substantially smarter, and substantially better educated than the average American. His talents are, at best, wasted in the production of propaganda, which when effective, has a negative value. Fortunately, we have people such as Dr. keen who work effectively to expose the work of people such as Mr (or probably Dr.) Lawrimore as the propaganda it is. If we de-funded the work of the Latimores of the world, society would benefit in four ways:

    1. Taxpayers would see a reduction in the growth of the national debt that they will
    eventually have to pay back.

    2. The Latimores would begin producing actual science. This always caries with it some positive expected value.

    3. Dr. Keen, and thousands of like minded scientists would devote more of their time to problems and opportunities that actually exist.

    4, The thousands of highly talented scientists that are presently producing propaganda will experience a growth in self-esteem as they transition back into the production of actual science.

    On the downside we would lose the entertainment value provided by the whippings that are given to the AGW crowd on a regular basis on this and other websites. This is not a trivial loss, but it is hard to imagine that it compares to the cost of the ongoing circus.

    Society should stop borrowing money from China, to pay scientists to to debase themselves through the production of propaganda, which distracts and reduces the net output of people like Dr. keen.

  15. This analysis assumes that the temperature in Philadelphia is what will determine the amount of snowfall in Philadelphia. Isn’t it also possible that the temperature in Canada, the Atlantic, or the Gulf could also play a large, if not larger, role in the quanitity of Philadelphia’s snowfall?

    Also, just eyeballing the snowfall chart, it appears that from 1880 to about 1920, Philadelphia had higher average snowfall than present (average in the 20-30 inch range) but few extremely snowly winters. Then, from about about 1970 to the present, the average amount of snow per winter would be falling, except that there are more extremely snowy winters holding up the average. All in all, Philly is getting about the same amount of snow. It’s just all falling in fewer winters now.

  16. Thank you for an excellent article Dr Keen. There does not seem to be a single point raised by the alarmists that cannot be soundly refuted with hard data and quality science. Must drive them bats.

  17. The title is…

    Are huge northeast snow storms due to global warming?

    But that’s now what you’re showing; you’re showing seasonal totals.

  18. Ah, but you have misunderstood the whole question!

    There is more snow in Philadelfia when the door to the refrigerator is open!

    So we need the warmists to show us a plot of “Door open versus snow” coupled with CO2 levels in the arctic.

    hehe.

  19. December temperatures are coming through. We will have to wait for Nova Scotia, but three weather stations on Prince Edward Island are withing 30 miles of us.

    PEI was 5.5C above historic levels and they had twice as much rain as usual.

    Newfoundland and Labrador are farther away. Temperatures for December 2010 were 7C above historic averages for cental NFLD. Snowfall was half the normanl average.

    We see pictures every day of the open ocean in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. It is well above historic average temperature in Nunavit.

    No injuries to report from either wooley momaths or sabretooth tigers so far during this new ice age.

  20. P. Solar says @January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am : “As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas. Most evaporation takes place over the oceans so that is where the warming is relevant.”
    As you undoubtedly know, neither water vapor nor sea temperature anomalies are uniformly distributed across the globe. To check the warmist proposition, it is worthwhile to examine the origin of the water vapor for these storms over the past two years. In fact, the weather systems for these storms – not only in the Northeast, but also in the West, Southeast and in the Midwest – have come from ocean areas where SSTs have had negative anomalies.

  21. Global warming causes decreased/increased/average snow. Global warming causes warmer/colder/average temperature.

  22. Kevin says:
    January 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

    > Why does it look like the ocean has snow cover?

    Those are clouds. The snow covered area is gray because trees stick up above the snow. Only (some) desert/tundra/ice caps are bright white when they have snow cover.

  23. In that picture of a snow covered north eastern USA, Massachusetts seems to be spelled Massassachussetts.

  24. Looks like snow causes cold weather.

    In the same way that CO2 causes warming, despite ice core data show it is the other way around.

  25. Kevin says:
    January 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Man, I hope that was a joke?

    RockyRoad says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:40 am
    Actually, if you think about, it the ‘cold’ weather does bode well for their carbon taxing schemes because it means we use more fuel and they get more revenue from the tax! The bar-stewards………….

  26. Anthony and associates, happy new year. Glad to see that the home fires (WUWT’s sock-it-to-‘em-with-data-style) burn as brightly as always, especially in this cold, and getting colder, winter in the NoHemisphere.

    I have a question about the dumping of snow that goes beyond cold=snowier, provable by the data and analytic charts. In California, climate-cold seems to equal wet over the long run. E.G., during warm periods like the MedWarmPeriod we can expect even 100s-years droughts, I am interested in the warm-wet, cold-dry truths over the whole of the globe even though it seems to be different in CA, at least during the Holocene. I wonder if when the NoH changes from warm to cold (both PDO and AMO and minimal Sun) as the data suggests today, that perhaps at first there is a great dump of evaporation from warmth whether as snow or rain (Australia-SoHemp). Any long-term data or studies suggesting this truth to changing warm-to-cold conditions? And can we expect quite a “dump” for a number of years as the atmosphere “dries out”?

  27. P. Solar says on January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am :

    “Most evaporation takes place over the oceans so that is where the warming is relevant.”

    The wind is the mechanism that transport water out of the oceans onto the land even when the water is quite cold. The wind speed is due to the pressure differential between adjacent high and low pressure cells.

    An increase in air temperature from 14 to 15 deg C causes the specific humidity to increase about 6%. This is an increease of the specific humidity from 12.1 to 12.8 g of water vapor per cubic meter for 100% specific humidity which only occurs when there is rain, snow or thick fog.

    Air pressure has a far greater influence on changes in specific humidy and weather than a slight change in temperature. High pressure cells have dry air, and low pressure cells have moist air.

    Turn on the TV and watch the weather report and ask yourself, “What has CO2 got to due with movement of the large masses of air and clouds?” The correct answer is zip.

  28. Tell me, do you think it is possible that the snow fell on the north more southerly than say the Arctic circle as would be expected? And if it could, could the cause of that be because a a minuscule shift in the tilt of the earth as it rotates the sun? Assuming the tilt is 20 degrees that results in an 40 degree shift over the year. . . . 20 degrees in winter solstice and another 20 degrees at summer solstice.

    Further, your have a relative apogee and perigee . . . . ie. like flying it would be a head wind and a tail wind . . . that may change which to me coincides with the 280 year “sun” cycle.

    Physics, for the purpose of math . . . assumes the sun stationary, which it is not.
    It’s how I become confused because there really is no stationary point in the reality of a realistic model.

    Incidentally, the apocryphal book of Enoch is the first place I ever read about a Sun cycle. . . . Enoch was the ‘OMA” pa of Noah . . . he was taken to the heavens by “angels” and lived 360 years before he was taken to “the heavens” never “dying”.

    I bring this up because I like to “give credit where credit is due!” The book gave me pause to ponder!

  29. Since the correlation of snow is allegedly to “global warming” – not Philly warming, wouldn’t it be better to correlate Philly snowfall with global temps – which I am suspecting would show no statistically significant correlation & completely kill the Nor’easter – GW connection hypothesis. If you agree, I would be very interested in seeing that cross-plot as well

  30. Warmists will continue to throw out their ridiculous assertions, but their myths cannot hold water when analyzed. In light of the fact that the temperature chart for Philadelphia shows cooling since well before 2000, and the global temp anomaly has also been trending down, there is also no argument for this extreme snowfall year to be correlated with temperature increase. Most rational thinkers already know that colder winters are correlated with more snow.

    I am anxiously awaiting the warmist reply to this article… if or when they find their needle in a haystack… but am not holding my breath.

  31. . . . note that over 126 years, Philadelphia’s winters are not getting warmer or colder, and there’s not much change in snowfall.

    . . . the recent large snowstorms stand not as a symptom of global warming, but as yet another indication that global warming may not be happening at all.

    Even though most climate realists readily admit there has been some ‘global warming’ over the past century or so, perhaps a rebound from the Little Ice Age, it would appear that every time someone here reports on the temperature history of a specific location, the result is no warming, or very little.

    Does anyone else find this odd? At the very least, does it not throw doubt on the concept of a ‘global’ temperature, and on the data and calculations used to derive such a number?

    /Mr Lynn

  32. Another issue that comes into play is the measurement of the snow in inches, as opposed to water content. Cold temps can “fluff -up” an inch of rain into a foot of snow, while a slightly warmer temp, will reduce it, to six inches of heavier snow, and eventually, back to the point where you get no snow, and just the inch of rain. So two similar storms can produce vastly different outcomes based on which side of the freezing line the precip bombs out. In general, that would support the “colder temps = greater snowfall theory”.
    Where do I sign up for my research grant to test this theory? I guess I need to come up with a scenerio where people die a horrible death, if I don’t get paid.

  33. Here in California it’s the reverse – colder winters mean less rainfall, and higher temps correlate to more rainfall.

  34. With “Global Warming” getting it’s name changed to “Climate Change” and now changed to “Climate Chaos” it is fun to point out that what we are really seeing is the climatologists attempting to blame the failure of their climate models on… wait for it… global warming.

  35. Mr Lynn says:
    January 5, 2011 at 9:05 am
    “Even though most climate realists readily admit there has been some ‘global warming’ over the past century or so, perhaps a rebound from the Little Ice Age, it would appear that every time someone here reports on the temperature history of a specific location, the result is no warming, or very little.

    Does anyone else find this odd? At the very least, does it not throw doubt on the concept of a ‘global’ temperature, and on the data and calculations used to derive such a number?

    /Mr Lynn”

    You took the words right out of my mouth – spooky!!!

    I think that, due to the deterministic chaos which ultimately drives our climate system, averaging global temperature is a meaningless exercise which tells us nothing about climate. Only the temperature experienced at a given location means anything to the biosphere, and here in Sunny Sussex UK the temperature is going down with later spring and earlier winters this last few years.

    Perhaps the only way we can get anything useful out of temperature measurement is by using the thermometer in our own back yard?

  36. The AGW proponents do themselves a great disservice by linking EVERY SINGLE extreme weather event to global warming or climate change. However, it isn’t just making the connection, but their scientific explanations are usually incorrect, contradictory, or present obvious natural climatological weather patterns as some new climate paradigm that will only get worse as the world warms.

    The USA Today article above has many examples – explanation for more lake effect snow or east coast snow storms.

    Was 6 ft. of December snow in Syracuse due to Lake Ontario being unfrozen, plus a cold snap? Yes. Does the lake ever freeze over in December? I don’t think so. Was the cold snap due to global warming? Try it, I dare you.

    Were any of the three major snow storms on the East Coast last winter due to storms moving “more north”? I’ve lived in the Northeast all of my life, that is a normal weather pattern, with other factors at play to keep the land areas on the cold side of the storm. The arrogance to TWIST explanations of climatological weather patterns as if these are new and due to warming?! Or that warmer air holds more moisture, and that’s how we got more snow! It was an OCEAN STORM – where development was in an area that had been 10 F below average for weeks!

    Judah Cohen’s op-ed does the same thing, trying to tell us that Siberian snow-cover, due to less Arctic ice and hence global warming, creates less zonal flow and more meridional flow, thus dumping more cold air over the mid latitudes. This is what happens in the winter!!!

    If real climatologists actually did their jobs and performed more case studies to figure out all of the influences playing into these events, we would be much better off in our understanding of climate and closer to understanding any influence that an increase in global average temperature might have (whatever the cause). No, we all prefer one-liners with no scientific basis that point to global warming as the culprit and that things will only get worse.

  37. The pro AGW scientists keep moving the goal posts. Earlier they mostly all agree global warming will make snow and blizzards things of the past. Now they say global warming causes snow storms and blizzards due to the vast amount of moisture because of global warming. That’s a lot of BS.

  38. Now it turns out that the GB Met office got the prediction right and published it.

    We now know where Piers got his forecast.

  39. P. Solar says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am
    “Dr. Richard Keen, I don’t know if you are intentionally missing the point or just not thinking this through.
    …As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas.
    …If conditions in a particular state are such as to cause snowfall this snowfall would be heavier in a warmer world.
    …Your analysis neither proves or disproves this hypothesis. Despite the title, you do not address the issue.”

    Sorry, I’m not missing the point, and I do address this issue. The data shows that colder equals snowier, so the warmer equals wetter hypothesis simply doesn’t, well, hold water. Remember, Lawrimore et al. said that warmer equals snowier, and that’s wrong.

    Tom in South Jersey says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:54 am
    “My anecdotal experience has been that all the winters here have nor’easters, but whether we get a good dumping of snow, rain or a mix depends upon whether the low moving up the coast meets up with a cold air mass, or whether it brings warm air from the South with it. The years that we don’t experience heavy snow usually bring heavy rain instead.”

    Tom does get the point. There’s plenty of precipitation along the East Coast, roughly 3 to 4 inches per month. In Philadelphia, about one-fifth (or less) of that falls as snow. A 1-inch rain storm is just another rainy day, but with a bit of cold air, that same storm becomes a memorable snow storm. In a location where mean winter temperature is just above freezing, precipitation is not the limiting factor for snow. Cold air is. The cold air is more likely to be involved when…
    1. The atmosphere is colder overall, and
    2. The Low centers pass south and east of PHL, not farther north as Lawrimore incorrectly states.
    During the 1950s, back when people paid attention to synoptic storm tracks, the strongest lows passed up the Appalachians and PHL had wet, rainy winters.
    Later, in the 1960s and 1970s the storm track shifted east and nor’easters became more common, and guess what – more snow! And the climate was cooler overall then, too. BTW, this was the subject of my PhD thesis in 1979, so that’s why I’m so noisy about this.
    Finally, from 1962-1965 the East underwent its worst drought in history. Average dew points for those years were no lower than normal, so available moisture wasn’t the issue. What caused the drought was an even further shift in the storm track out to sea, dropping rain on the ocean rather than on PHL. For a location that receives most of its precipitation from synoptic weather systems, the amount of rain/snow is not controlled by the overall moisture content of the atmosphere, but by the tracks and intensities of the lows that convert moisture into precipitation.

  40. Great post Dr. Keen, very well put. Anthony and Moderators great job with guest post, we see new commentors here now, My queation is were is Lazy Teenager to spout his dribble on how wrong the good Dr. Keen is, my guess is he got tired of being proved wrong on every turn, Or he is licking his wounds and back to joe romm to get some anwsers to the questions which we know form romm he will be wrong again.

  41. Well thanks for giving us that data, and for your conclusions; which I tend to agree with.

    But I would observe: that your second graph; the scatter plot of the Snowfall versus the Dow Jones Factor Temperatures; has all the characteristics of 1/f noise. Data points that are further removed from the general population occur inversely with the frequency, the further they get from the mean. In which case, I don’t think it is legitimate to treat every data point as having the same weight; so a simple RMS fit to a straight line, seems to me to be an exercise in statistical self delusion. If you had 1000 times as many data points in your scatter plot, I might be tempted to believe your statistics; with so few data points, the straight line you plot is hardly likely to indicate any Physical causality. A line with a slope 50% higher or 50% lower than yours; (3:1 slope ratio) could just as easily be as correct as yours.

    It is clear to me from your raw data, that the Dow Jones Factor Temperature is proportional to the logarithm of the inches of snowfall; so that the inches of snow double for each decremental decrease in the Temperature; but the scatter plot is so diffuse, that I am unable to determine the Snowfall Sensitivity to better than a 3:1 range; but my best guess would be a 3 deg F decrease in DJF Temperature for each doubling of the inches of snowfall.

    Your essay demonstrates why it is that we get a new 150 year storm about every five years; people forget what the weather was REALLY like after about five years.

  42. socalmike says:
    January 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
    “Here in California it’s the reverse – colder winters mean less rainfall, and higher temps correlate to more rainfall.”

    There are regional differences in the temperature – snow correlation, to be sure. I live in the hills of Colorado where we get 40-inch snow storms every other year on average. Since 1982, 9 out of 12 storms occurred during colder than average snow seasons, and nearly all occurred during el Niño (which tends to be cold in Colorado). In the Pacific Northwest, snow favors La Niña, which brings them colder winters. Again, it’s all to do with storm tracks.

  43. “”””” socalmike says:
    January 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
    Here in California it’s the reverse – colder winters mean less rainfall, and higher temps correlate to more rainfall. “””””

    The recent spectacular river of rain that blasted across California completely missing the Baja, and on into the plains States, supposedly came straight up from the tropics; which has that mysterious blue swath along the equator in the global SST anomaly graph (go figure).

    But it generally does seem to be true that La Nina promises new droughts to California; rather than more rain than we know what to do with. I suspect circulation pattern changes are the cause rather than so much temperature changes; but I know virtually nothing about circulation patterns; so I’ll leave it up to you PDO, AMO, SRO experts to explain.

  44. P. Solar says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am : So, P, if it’s GLOBALLY (sic) warmer, wouldn’t it be warmer in PHILADELPHIA?

  45. P.Solar says.
    “As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas.”

    The only question to ask about weather is what weather denotes no global warming? If you cannot state the weather that denotes no global warming you cannot know the weather that does.

  46. No credible climate scientist is or would ever link any individual storm, drought, heat wave, rain or snow event to AGW. No credible climate scientist would ever link one or two year’s worth of temperature extremes to AGW. AGW (if it is happening) is a long-term event caused by the long term accumlation of GH gases since about 1750 or so.

    One would only expect the FREQUENCY of certain kinds of events to increase over a given period and a general upward bias in temperatures when looked at on a decadal time scale. Generally, since every GCM predicts an acceleration of the hydrological cycle, and there is global evidence of this occurring, then in areas that normally can get heavy snow or rain events, you’d expect to see an increase in the frequency and magnitude of such events over a longer term period (decades).

  47. Chris Riley, I think you described the situation accurately.

    With regard to snowfall…there may be more, but it’s a warm snow.

  48. What seems to be the new paradigm is that carbon “pollution” is causing “extreme events”. That is if you can’t get the theory to fit then use one that will always give the impression of always fitting. A pile of desperation horse dung .

  49. Bob says: January 5, 2011 at 6:08 am
    Might one assume that you have a better chance of rain when it is warmer?
    If you are in Darwin, yes. If you are in Melbournr, no.

  50. Q: Are huge northeast snow storms due to global warming?

    A: Of course – everyone knows that the snow to be warmer than it used to be…

  51. Just had the MET office on the BBC, apparently the underlying trend of global warming is causing larger weather fluctuations, floods, snow and heat. Their answer? They want more money for an even bigger computer so that they can ‘understand it better!’
    Apparently the lack of ice in the Artic is somehow to blame for the cold snaps we’ve had in the UK.
    But they did accept there was a thirty year or so cycle in weather patterns. I guess that’s the get out clause.
    But as always they come back to AGW, clusters of Winters, I guess they had to explain away the mild forecasts and BBQ Summers somehow…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12119329

    What’s the US weather forecaster’s excuse?

  52. This simply doesn’t disprove what it says it does. I’m skeptical of their argument, but it IS inherently obvious that colder = more snow. The argument is that the change to the overall climate system means more snow, and the only way to demonstrate that would be to chart global temperature VS. amount of overall rainfall.

    There’s basically 2 factors that go into whether it snows (simplifying heavily, of course): temperature and amount of moisture in the air. The argument is that since temperature will be higher all of the time, there will be more evaporation, so more moisture will fall when it IS cold. The question is whether:

    (More Temperature Effect) X (Less Moisture)
    is more or less than
    (Less Temperature Effect) X (More Moisture)

    This isn’t well enough supported, but it is certainly less stupid than MORE FLOODS AND MORE DROUGHTS.

  53. Ugh, let me clarify my own post.

    It IS inherently obvious that colder = more snow LOCALLY.

    And the last word of the first paragraph should be snowfall, not rainfall.

  54. Dr Keen: “Sorry, I’m not missing the point, and I do address this issue. The data shows that colder equals snowier, so the warmer equals wetter hypothesis simply doesn’t, well, hold water. Remember, Lawrimore et al. said that warmer equals snowier, and that’s wrong.”

    I doubt that you are accurately resuming Lawrimore et al findings in three words “warmer equals snowier”. In any case that is a distraction. We are not discussing Lawrimore et al. , we are discussing what you presented in this article .

    “The data shows that colder equals snowier”. So in reply to my critisism you simply say the same thing in a louder voice. Lets try again…

    Your LOCAL data shows LOCAL cold correlated to LOCAL snow.

    Your LOCAL data does not give any information about the effect of GLOBAL warming on LOCAL snow. In what way do you claim to address the question that you pose as the title here?

    Sadly , it seems that the volume of postings at WUWT is inversely proportional to the quality.

    Apart from the usual whoots and catcalls from a fauning public , I see less and less content here that merits discussion.

    That is unfortunate since the writing is on the wall for AGW and now is the time to attack it with science, not ill-concieved monologues that can easily be dismissed as unsound or irrelevant.

    Anthony, please be more exigant.

  55. The correlation coefficient (square root of R2) is greater than -0.5, which is not bad for anything in climate.

    Yeah, people keep forgetting that square roots of positive numbers can be positive or negative. Then there are the square roots of negative numbers, certain computer programmers insist their existence must be imaginary.

    Where are the real science people who have told us in the past that an R^2 less than around 0.95 (sq rt +/- 0.97) just means your theory ain’t good enough, go find a theory that actually works?

  56. Your LOCAL data shows LOCAL cold correlated to LOCAL snow.

    Your LOCAL data does not give any information about the effect of GLOBAL warming on LOCAL snow. In what way do you claim to address the question that you pose as the title here?

    In what way does using a global data set override the local physics?

  57. A general note of interest: the source of most the energy and moisture that goes into making monster snowstorms is usually many thousands of miles of way, usually based on ocean temps, and it is only the jet stream and atmospheric circulation patterns that bring the storms in for their local effects, so in general, looking at what the local weather is or was prior to the arrival of a monster storm is perhaps statisically interesting, but won’t tell you much about the general heat flux dynamics over the distant oceans that set up your monster snowstorm. Here in Colorado, the moisture one of our most famous blizzards in 1982 with high moisture content was tracked all the way from the sub-tropics near Hawaii and was the result of a larger scale Madden-Julian Oscillation that had nothing at all to do with how warm or cold our local weather had been during the time.

  58. R. Shearer:

    We had warm snow in Nova Scotia Monday. Surface temperature was 34.6F but it snowed 5 inches. By the end of the day there was 2-3 inches of water saturated snow on the ground.

    I walked the dogs for 35 minutes in the morning and the snow turned to water as it hit me and soaked right through a down winter coat. Warm snow indeed.

    January has started out as a warmer than usual month. Today was sunny and 26F: a beautiful mild winter day.

  59. R. Gates says:
    January 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I always read and appreciate your comments, but for this snippet:

    “…….Generally, since every GCM predicts an acceleration of the hydrological cycle, and there is global evidence of this occurring, then….”

    If you would, please provide a link/citation for the global evidence of an acceleration of the hydrological cycle. Mind you I am not disputing this; I just want to see to see the study/data, as I would consider this to be evidence of a negative feedback climate mechanism. I know this is not fully agreed upon; for example the role clouds play as a net positive or net negative feedback is disputed, and of course clouds (and thunderstorms and other major storms!) are part of the hydrological cycle. But evidence of an acceleration of the hydrological cycle is something I’d be very interested in reviewing.

    Thanks!

  60. I agree with

    P. Solar says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am

    “You analysis shows a correlation between cold in one state and snow in that state, something that ties in with everyone’s experience of weather over our own lifetimes.

    As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas.

    Most evaporation takes place over the oceans so that is where the warming is relevant. If conditions in a particular state are such as to cause snowfall this snowfall would be heavier in a warmer world. A warmer world would not mean that for a few days in one location it was now impossible or unlikely that snow producing conditions prevail.”

    It seems to me that Dr Keen’s graphs of total winter snowfall versus temperature are not relevant to what Lawrimore says about the impact of global warming according to USA Today.

    “If nothing changes, Lawrimore predicts:

    •Flooding rains like those in Nashville in May will be more common.

    “The atmosphere is able to hold more water as it warms, and greater water content leads to greater downpours,” he says.

    • Heavy snow, like the record snows that crippled Baltimore and Washington last winter, is likely to increase because storms are moving north. Also, the Great Lakes aren’t freezing as early or as much. “As cold outbreaks occur, cold air goes over the Great Lakes, picks up moisture and dumps on the Northeast,” he says.”

    It seems to me his statement was not about total winter snowfall, but rather about the occurrence of heavy snowfall events. Due to the warming of bodies of water there will be more moisture in the air. If this moist air becomes chilled it makes the snowfall total for an individual precipitation event increase.
    The recent snowfall in the Northeast is an example of this phenomenon.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-27/snowstorm-blankets-u-s-east-coast-disrupts-holiday-air-railroad-travel.html

    “The city’s Central Park had 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow by 8 a.m., the most for the month since 1948, the National Weather Service said. Skies cleared over New York by daybreak as the agency issued blizzard warnings for Boston and into Maine.”

    The lake effect, which is the second phenomenon he discusses is responsible for the snowfall in cities like Syracuse and Rochester, NY which are further north.

    I don’t have any statistics, but the idea that warming of oceans and other bodies of water would lead to an increase in heavy snowfall events seems correct on the basis of basic physics.

  61. I too grew up in the Philadelphia area, and the key thing you must be aware of with regard to snowfall is that Philadelphia is often near the “freeze line” in winter. It can get a lot of cold rain just above the freezing temperature (I hated that as a kid). So it stands to reason that in colder winters more of the winter precipitation would fall as snow instead of rain.

    A more complete analysis would look at total precipitation (which means the water content of snow) versus temperature, and percentage of total precipitation that falls as snow versus temperature.

    I do agree that those who claim these big east-coast snowfalls are “evidence of” or “consistent with” global warming trends are completely misapplying a concept that has some merit. Yes, it’s true that warmer air can “hold” more water and so has the potential for heavier precipitation. That’s why Antarctica is the driest continent in the world. The IPCC reports predict that Antarctic warming would contribute negatively to sea-level rise, because the resulting increased snowfall over the continent would outweigh any increase in melting at the edges.

    It would be interesting to repeat this analysis for locations that virtually never exceed freezing during winter (e.g. Calgary, Minneapolis, Ottawa). For these locations, there may be something to the idea that warmer winters bring more snow (although it could also be such a minor effect that it is overwhelmed by other factors).

    But it is absurd to attribute the unusually cold stroms that have been hitting the US east coast these last two winters to “global warming”. This latest one dumped snow as far south as Atlanta. I don’t think they were thinking about global warming there.

  62. R. Gates says:
    January 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I did not realize you are a neighbor! I’m here in Colorado too, and had just moved here the January prior to the Blizzard of ’82. I will never forget that storm.

    Dan

  63. P. Solar says:
    January 5, 2011 at 11:54 am
    “We are not discussing Lawrimore et al. , we are discussing what you presented in this article.
    …Your LOCAL data shows LOCAL cold correlated to LOCAL snow.
    …Your LOCAL data does not give any information about the effect of GLOBAL warming on LOCAL snow. In what way do you claim to address the question that you pose as the title here?”

    Au contraire, we ARE discussing Lawrimore. My entire post refutes his statement that in a warming world, storms move north and bring more snow to LOCAL places like Philadelphia.
    Where did he get this idea? Apparently from GLOBAL models published by the IPCC (see fig-11-8-3 in IPCC AR4), all of which have the LOCAL climate at Philadelphia warming. Some models have the expanding tropics pushing the polar front, polar jet, and storm track farther north. So Lawrimore is talking about a LOCAL effect due to GLOBAL warming predicted by GLOBAL models.
    And the predicted LOCAL effect of these GLOBAL models is NOT happening.

  64. R. Gates says:
    January 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm
    “…the source of most the energy and moisture that goes into making monster snowstorms is usually many thousands of miles of way…
    …Here in Colorado, the moisture one of our most famous blizzards in 1982 with high moisture content was tracked all the way from the sub-tropics near Hawaii and was the result of a larger scale Madden-Julian Oscillation that had nothing at all to do with how warm or cold our local weather had been during the time.”

    Howdy neighbor! I’ve been enjoying Colorado snow storms for 43 years, and R. Gates is correct that the energy for these storms comes from thousands of miles away in the form of jet streams and vorticity maxima (otherwise we’d be unable to predict them). Many big upslope storms along the Front Range form at the tip of jet-stream-level cirrus plumes that emanate from the tropics, particularly during el Nino (as in the 1982 and 2006 Christmastime storms). But the moisture for these storms is more local, coming from the Gulf of Mexico. Dew points in eastern Colorado during the 1982 blizzard ranged from 19 to 27 F, which is not much different than the dew points today (a sunny day with no snow). What made the blizzard so notable was fronts, divergence, vorticity, and such, all lining up just right. Over the past 40 years, big upslope storms in Colorado have neither increased nor decreased in frequency. Which gets us back to storm tracks, and there’s no evidence that they’re moving north as Lawrimore claims.

  65. Anybody who has forecasted weather for any length of time knows that the majority of major snowstorms occur during “colder” winters. There are exceptions, and the East Coast is a special case. But for the Rockies, the Great Plains, and the Great Lakes, colder winters lead to more snowfall.

    In any event, it was just a few years ago that our experts and other Alarmists were warning the world that snowy, frigid winters are fast becoming a thing of the past. And within the next 30 years, most of the Mid-Latitudes would be snow free. Funny how billions of dollars of research theory can turn on a dime.

  66. P. Solar says:
    January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am

    As I understand it, the warmist proposition here is that snow is a form of precipitation and that GLOBALLY warmer temps will lead to increased precipitation in affected areas….Your analysis neither proves or disproves this hypothesis. Despite the title, you do not address the issue.

    P. Solar, the fact is that it is ipcc Climate Science that doesn’t try to prove or disprove its own alleged hypotheses. In this case they’ve only hand-waved once again, and tried to make us do their work, which they will dismiss anyway.

    In brief, P. Solar, you are assuming that ipcc CO2CAGW Climate Science is making objective statements about reality which are susceptible to confirmation or falsification by real, scientific method, science, when that simply isn’t the case as judged by its practice over time. It’s practice instead indicates that ipcc Climate Science is only a massive Propaganda Op. directed toward controlling people under the guise of doing real science.

    For example, P. Solar, according to your above interpretation of what the AGW hypothesis says about how it works to explain the snow, Global Cooling could, in like manner, also hypothetically do the same thing by lowering temps enough in the affected areas, thus causing increased precipitation there as snow.

    Even a theory based on no change in Global Mean Temperature can also explain the amount of snow; because a null hypothesis or theory simply appealing to normal climate-weather variability from “natural” influences, and as already established by a record, can explain the increased snow, and probably without even mentioning or needing GMT!

    In fact, Dr. Keen’s Chart 1 also shows that most likely nothing new of significance is going on regarding the snow and cold in that area compared to the past 100+ years.

    So why is it immediately necessary for Climate Science to appear to worry about something new affecting the climate and weather there, such as its CO2CAGW hypotheses, without even offering any actual evidence such as Chart 1! And then to also appear to claim by implication that this actual record is proof of those hypotheses in particular, instead of tending to prove that nothing new is occurring?

    The problem with ipcc Climate Science as indicated by Dr. Keen’s Chart 1 is that starting right from the beginning, the CO2CAGW warmists won’t let what they assert be falsified. Therefore, they aren’t really making any assertions about the real world to begin with, and they know it as judged by the way they act; so that what they assert is functionally/in practice totally meaningless regarding objective, scientific reality.

    Again, that’s why they apparently didn’t even do anything like what Dr. Keen did to try to back up what they appeared to be saying! Where was the beef!

    Imo, the only conclusion which makes sense of the way ippc Climate Science operates, is that the ipcc “Climate Scientist” CO2CAGW warmists don’t care at all about proving what they appear to say. In fact, since they assiduously avoid using the scientifc method, or if you prefer, using the acceptable rules and principles necessary for doing real science, they almost must know that getting into a truely scientific debate about CO2CAGW would only insure that they will be proven wrong, or at least would include that possiblility as an unnessary risk to their real goal – which, functionally, is looting and controlling the rest of us, as is already widely indicated; and also for some of them the goal is proving that they have meaning in life by, of course, using that venerable obsessive-compulsive controllist method of achieving personal meaning in life, but now modified to include only forcing the rest of us to do what they want, instead of keeping it responsibly limited to themselves!

    Even though what the ipcc Climate Scientists say often has the form of a factual assertion, it turns out that the alleged assertion can’t be objectively disproven according to Climate Science’s practice; and therefore, in its actual use by Climate Scientists, the alleged assertion says nothing about objective, scientific reality.

    For example, the alleged CAGW “assertion” will turn out to be non-falsifiable either because it is non-specific – such as your interpretation of what they are saying about the amount of snow, which doesn’t actually distinguish Global Warming from any other objective temperature condition. Or else ultimately the Climate Scientists simply won’t let their assertion be disproven because, despite any and all rational and scientific arguments and facts to the contrary, they will simply keep on repeating their same noises anyway as though they make sense, usually along with throwing in a lot of other irrelevant diversions and distractions from the relevant question about the objective reality of what they say.

    Very simply, Climate Science’s alleged hypotheses and assertions are not statements intended to be scientifically objective because the real goal of ipcc Climate Science is not to help the world by doing real science, but rather to “win” in terms of being able to loot and control as much of the World as possible; of course, including the goal in the case of many of CO2CAGW’s rank and file supporters, to “prove” that they are meaningful in life by running out the clock until they die via their otherwise incessant attempts to make us follow their – amazingly always counterproductive and overtly destructive – commandments.

  67. As I understand basic meteorology mid-latitude storms are driven by temperature contrasts in competing air masses not warming, and if AGW theory is correct the preferential warming in northern latitudes should reduce the contrast and storms should be less severe. Ice core records show that interglacials are less stormy not more. ..And the development of ice sheets during global cooling phases must require increased intensity of mid-high latitude storms.

  68. R. Gates

    ‘it is only the jet stream and atmospheric circulation patterns’

    And those are decidedly the results of the orbital speed of the planet and the coriolis effect it creates, the tilt of the planet in relation to the sun, sun’s current gravitational push and pull and all else. Apparently the earth’s system is all that very non linear and very “chaotic” and so, apparently, in such systems, one has to account for, well, essentially, everything, or at least as many variables as possible, or otherwise they, apparently, don’t work that well for long term predictions. :p

  69. ——–
    Curt says:
    January 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    I too grew up in the Philadelphia area, and the key thing you must be aware of with regard to snowfall is that Philadelphia is often near the “freeze line” in winter.
    ———-

    Right. That is why it is so interesting.
    Even IF one accepted the counter-intuitive “Warmer=more snow” concept, then there would still be, presumably areas just south of that freezing line, where the snow would not fall as snow or would disappear quickly.
    Philadelphia is in a region that , were the whole climate “moving north”, the effect might be noticeable.
    But that isn’t what is happening. Instead the snow is falling in places even further south, where no snow normally falls, and those places are sporting low enough temperatures ( at least temporarily) to support the snow.

    Last week as I sat here watching it snow for 24 hours and blow like a hurricane, with windchills in the 0f range, I thought,” This is how the really bad stuff starts. Everyone hunkers down, only it never stops. Glaciation”
    And it didn’t seem farfetched.

    Good work Dr Keen.

  70. Dr. Keen,

    I have done a great deal of research in understanding when and how evaporation started. In doing so, I had to follow Ice Ages and salt evaporation.
    This gave me a very good understanding of the planets time lines and reactors to generate change.

    I am so absolutely disgusted with current climate science that follow waves and temperature anomalies.
    They missed the actual physical changes that have been occurring since 1970’s.
    Our planet just keeps melting ice until it runs out, overheats slightly to generate pressure and changes then freezes again. Simple pattern running for billions of years.

  71. R Gates: You claim that due to CAGW we should expect the “FREQUENCY of certain kinds of events to increase” and “in areas that normally can get heavy snow or rain events, you’d expect to see an increase in the frequency and magnitude of such events over a longer term period.” However, we are not having more severe weather. Examine hurricane and tornado trends worldwide. When it is reported that Australia has not had such a drought in 80 years means that 80 years ago the continent had a worse drought. The U.S. city that has experienced the most hurricanes has not had one in many years. The national records for rainfall and snowfall were set more than a half-century ago, not recently.
    I fret to think of the media’s reaction if we had a repeat of the severity of weather events that we had decades ago – because we likely will.

  72. All one has to do is consider the non-linearity of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation to see that increasing temperatures will most likely lead to increasing precipitation, globally averaged. This analysis is fairly meaningless.
    It also has a glaring error in that it fails to consider the widely variable snow:liquid precipitation ratio which rapidly decreases with increasing temperature. You need to compare the liquid equivalent, NOT the snowfall depth!

  73. It is all very different down here in the southern hemisphere.
    We all a simple, no nonesense people.

    In Sydney, when it’s dry, then it’s hot in summertime.
    But when its cloudy and rainy, then it’s (relatively) cold.

    It has not been very hot so far this summer.
    But it has been very wet.

  74. I think that the temperature figures should have included March, as well as December, January and February. This is because on average, Philadelphia’s snowiest months in decreasing order are February, January, March and December. Next in order of decreasing snowfall is April, with November being behind April.

    However, after 44 Marches living in or near Philadelphia, I think that more likely
    the correlation between cold and snow will still hold up somewhat positive for Philadelphia.

    In extremely cold areas (a lot colder than Philadelphia), where warming is usually short of changing snow to rain either year-round or in specific months, warming tends to increase snowfall respectively year-round or in the snow-not-rain
    months. But in Philadelphia, in long term average the month with highest
    percentage of precipitation by liquid water equivalent being snow has only about 1/4 of it being snow and a majority of it being rain other than freezing rain.

  75. Rutgers University Climate Lab graph showing greater extent of snow in Northern Hemisphere, MEANING IT’S GLOBAL NOT LOCAL.

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=1

    Modern day global warming began in 1975, they say. In the graph there is a trend of increase in snow cover since 1975. You can see the extent of snow coverage is growing, covering a larger area heading southward—there is no other direction it can go. It is not covering a smaller and smaller area heading northward as time goes by.

    So apparently snow is not a rare and exciting event because of global warming. This is yet more evidence that the manmade global warming hypothesis is wrong. A hypothesis that does not have supporting evidence is a wrong hypothesis and must be discarded.

  76. Richard Keen reckons
    ——-
    That’s the theory; how about some data to show that a warmer climate should lead to less snow, not more. The data are easy to find and interpret.
    ——-
    Well how do snow storms form?
    The standard explanation is that a cold stream of air collides with a warm stream of air with a lot of moisture. The cold air hugs the ground (oddly enough this is where the thermometers are) and the warm moist air is forced up ( where the thermometers are not).

    So you get the most intense snow storms when you have the most moisture and you don’t get that from cold wind. You do get lots of moisture in the air when that air originated from some place else that was warm.

    So how come Dr Richard Keen the professional Climatologist thinks that snow comes from cold air only??? And that cold thermometer readings at ground level prove anything much???

  77. Here’s how my simplistic mind visualizes (explains) it . . . . meteorologically.
    For other uses, see Coalescence (disambiguation).

    Coalescence is the process by which two or more droplets or particles merge during contact to form a single daughter droplet (or bubble). It can take place in many processes, ranging from meteorology to astrophysics. For example, it is both involved in the formation of raindrops as well as planetary and star formation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalescence_(meteorology)

    Coalescence needs a particle of mass (dust) to form moisture around it. . . .
    We have just had some good volcanic action . . . and do regularly . . . which helps to form the the precipitation drops . . . thus causing more precipitation in localized area’s . . . since those particles have not sufficiently homogenized in the atmosphere . . . which happens over a longer period of time. . . .

    Thus, the Blizzards in the North . . . Snow in Australia . . . and then the recent Flooding in Australia . . .

    Anthony . . . has hosted some that have talked about the homoginization phenomena of volcanic dust . . . so they would be the one’s to check with . . . to see if this proposition “even holds water”!

  78. It is amusing to see the global warming fan club try to explain why the third harsh winter in a row fits in perfectly with their theory of human-caused (and needing to be taxed) global warming. But we are all smart enough to understand that this claim that global warming makes cold weather is not science, but science fiction; a plot device lifted from the science fiction movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, and interestingly enough the same film Al Gore stole computer-generated ice cracking from for his so-called “documentary”.

    The global warming cult and its financial arm, the “Carbonazis”, have invested a huge amount of time and money and political capital selling the need for a carbon tax to the world, to find the new global environmental authority as a step towards global government. But three harsh winters in a row have sounded the death knell for the warmista predictions, and this “hot climate makes cold weather” nonsense is a Hail Mary pass to save the agenda in the face of harsh winter reality setting in, by claiming that the cold weather is what the theory of global warming predicted.

    Yet we know this is nonsense. The Global Warming folks have been predicting WARMER winters, indeed the extinction of winter entirely! Back in 2000 the Hadley CRU (the institution at the heart of the Climategate email and software scandal) stated “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    In 2008, scientists were claiming there would be no ice at the North Pole.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-no-ice-at-the-north-pole-855406.html

    Also in 2008, the warmistas were claiming that winter as a whole no longer existed!

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/34252/Why-winter-no-longer-exists

    And only last October, the UK Met Office declared that global warming would result in a very mild winter this year.

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/208012/Winter-to-be-mild-predicts-Met-Office

    Interesting fact: the Chairman of the Met Office board, Robert Napier, is or has been:
    * Chairman of the Green Fiscal Trust*
    * Chairman of the trustees of the World Centre of Monitoring of Conservation
    * a director of the Carbon Disclosure Project
    * a director of the Carbon Group
    * Chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund UK
    He is also a member of the Green Alliance.

    Entire careers and funding have been built on the theory that the Earth is getting warmer, and people desperate to cling to their public credibility are proclaiming that now that heat causes freezing in an effort not to lose their jobs and funding despite having totally blown predicting what was going to happen.

    There is more at stake to this scandal than just academic tenure and scientific funding. Around the world, local governments struggling with the harsh economy have heard the constant proclamations of warmer winters and have slashed their budgets for winter preparations, secure in the knowledge they would not need as much road grit, ploughs, or fuel oil as previous winters.

    The result is that the disaster of these last three winters has been magnified by lack of adequate preparation. Already Britain has sold out of standard snow tires and is running out of road grit. Budgets for winter contingencies are already exhausted across Europe, and most tragic of all, the millions of people made homeless by the Wall Street excesses of the last ten years are freezing to death as heating fuel for shelters and warming centers runs out. Dozens have died just in Santa Barbara California. The media focus on hypothermia induced mass deaths of birds and fish are an attempt to distract from the human costs of the global warming hoax.

    The blood of all those dying in winter accidents on unprepared roads, or freezing to death, is on the hands of those academics, media pundits, and scientists, who all signed onto the global warming agenda because it was fashionable and trendy and the source of vast amounts of research grants, together with the investors who planned to do to the entire world with carbon what Enron had done to California with electricity; force people to buy a carbon credit, a mythical commodity literally created out of thin air that was planned to fuel the next great Wall Street bubble.

    One can make ice by heating a pan of water on the stove.

    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength
    War is Peace
    Warming is Cooling
    (Apologies to George Orwell)

  79. Dan Murphy says:
    January 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    R. Gates says:
    January 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I always read and appreciate your comments, but for this snippet:

    “…….Generally, since every GCM predicts an acceleration of the hydrological cycle, and there is global evidence of this occurring, then….”

    If you would, please provide a link/citation for the global evidence of an acceleration of the hydrological cycle. Mind you I am not disputing this; I just want to see to see the study/data, as I would consider this to be evidence of a negative feedback climate mechanism. I know this is not fully agreed upon; for example the role clouds play as a net positive or net negative feedback is disputed, and of course clouds (and thunderstorms and other major storms!) are part of the hydrological cycle. But evidence of an acceleration of the hydrological cycle is something I’d be very interested in reviewing.

    Thanks!
    _____
    Dan,

    Start with this article:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/global-warming-river-flows-oceans-climate-disruption.html

    For an older general overview (written prior to the release of more recent data) go to here:

    http://www.waterandclimateinformationcentre.org/resources/8022007_Huntington2006_JHy.pdf

    Here’s the thing, for millions of years the earth has responded to higher CO2 levels with an acceleration of the hydrological cycle. This is the natural way of providing a negative feedback process to keep CO2 within certain limits. Unfortunately, this normally occurs over very long time periods (thousands to millions of years), so it will interesting to see how this normal negative feedback process works with the relatively sudden spike in CO2 levels the earth has seen since about 1750…

  80. Ever hear of humidity?

    One of the driest places on the planet is in the middle of Antarctica because it never gets warm enough to put enough water into the air for it to then rain/snow.

    The problem you have is a failure to understand that snow and rain don’t just magically appear in mid-air. The water it is made of has to get into the air in the first place for it to later precipitate back out. Colder air temperatures result in less water being held in the air, and thus less water to fall as snow and rain. It’s bloody obvious to anyone with a brain.

    Secondly, not everywhere is cold. Some places are exceptionally hot. That’s what happens when the climate changes. The climate is changing because of global warming. Global Warming is the cause, Climate Change is the effect. One involves the increase in the MEAN temperature of the globe, the other is the change of weather patterns due to that excess heat. The mean can still be rising (as it is) while some areas get colder than they were. All it takes is for more areas to get hotter than get colder, and that is exactly what is happening.

    This exceptional cold is caused by the solar minimum. This solar minimum is practically unprecedented. The only other time this has happened, the Thames froze over for two months. The world is obviously a lot warmer now.

    It doesn’t take a degree in climatology to understand these simple facts. In fact you pretty much have to turn your brain off to believe the stuff said on this blog.

  81. It seems like about every two weeks or so I have to repeat the following, for all of the new readers who are “Flocking” to WUWT like Bears in a honey tree. And yes, for the benefit of Joel Shore, “Flocking” is here used in its colloquial sense; and not in its strictly scientific sense.

    Read:- “How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring ? ” Frank Wentz (RSS, Santa Rosa CA) et al.
    July 07-2007 SCIENCE.

    This paper reports on actual experimental climate science; wherein the authors actually made real Physical measurements, using well credentialed Satelite instruments, to obtain the rates of increase in Gobal Total Evaporation, Global Total Atmospheric Water Content, and Global Total Precipitation as functions of global mean Temperature (not Anomalies); presumably either surface or Lower Troposphere (izzat the + 2 metre thing ?).

    Their results for ALL THREE of those variables, showed rates of increase of 7% per deg C rise in Temperature.

    No they did not watch these through a full one degree C rise in Temperature; those are rates, and since Climatists can deal in hundredths of a degree, they wouldn’t have to wait too long to see that much. Actually I think their total change was about 0.5 deg; but don’t quote me on that; read the paper, and then bawl me out if I got that rong.

    For some reason, it is expected that Total Global Precipitaion, and Total Global Evaporation should always be equal; well over climatically significant time scales. Apparently it has something to do with having the oceans stay on the ground, rather than up in the sky.

    For comparison; they reported that the GCMs; there’s a whole “Flock” of those; take your pick; agreed with their actual experimental observations; which is seldom the case; but ONLY for the Total atmospheric Water (H2O) content. For the Totals of Evap/Precip, the mega supercomputer models still think they should be equal; but nowhere near as big as Wentz et al actually measured; and which Mother Gaia says is what it is supposed to be. They say it is only supposed to be 1%, not 7%. Well actually since the GCMs always have to have a 3:1 error fudge factor, they say it is 1% to 3%; but NOT 7%; so let’s call it 2% +/-50%.

    So Mother Gaia and Wentz et al are off, from the much more expensive GCM simulations by a factor of 3.5; which is outside even the IPCC’s standard range of error bands.

    The only thing that Wentz et al did not report on was that it is traditional in climate science, to have precipitation accompanied by clouds; and not just any clouds like Noctilucent clouds for example; but real “precipitable” clouds that contain significant amounts of H2O in various and sundry phases of ordinary matter; well sometimes maybe even in Plasma form, when Donner is doing his “Blitzen”. So some of you Vikings call him “Thor”; but he’s Donner to us Wagnerians.

    But in any case, I postulated; quite without proof; that in fact the Evap/Precip increase rate that Wentz et al observed would likely be accompanied by something of the order of a 7% increase in those precipitable clouds. And I added that, the 7% increase, could consist of some combination; quite unknown to me, of INCREASE in cloud AREA (extent), and/or INCREASE in cloud OPTICAL DENSITY (due to more H2O content), and/or INCREASE in the PERSISTENCE TIME of those clouds. And no I have no idea what the mix might be; or care.

    And I shouldn’t have to add, that we are talking about increases, in Temperature, Evaporation, Water Content, and Precipitation, AND CLOUDs that persist for times of climate relevence; NOT last night’s weather.

    Now MY conjecture has NEVER been proven; and so it could be that CLOUDS remain absolutely unchanged in any way, during all of those 7% per deg C changes that Wentz et al, along with Mother Gaia actually observed so it remains an unproven conjecture.

    I should also add that Stephen Wilde has also opined; that those cloud changes; could also include simply moving from one region of the earth to another.

    I am not up on Stephen’s Climate Theory; so I can’t say which way the clouds might move; but I certainly agree that such movement could be a legitimate change that leads to Wentz et al’s observed results.

    As a foot note, I might add, that Dr Roy Spencer, in one of his WUWT essays mentioned cloud increases that might operate as a negative feedback cooling effect; and he mentioned changes of the order of !%, in “Clouds”, and offered that that was an extremely large amount of feedback effect.

    I have no opinion as to how a 7% change per deg C would rank compared to Dr Roy’s 1% large effect; but I certainly think it would show up above the noise level.

    So this should give the new reader some idea of how Temperature changes, and Precipitation; at least on a global scale interract; and it should also be obvious that in the “what goes up must come down” scenario; the coming down place and the going up place are not necessarily one and the same place.

    So read the Philadelphia Story, In light of Wentz et al

    One final attribution; or semi anyhow. One of the regular knowledgeable often guest posters here at WUWT; it might be Bill Illis; my abject apologies for forgetting who it was; also posted here, not so long ago, that a 1 deg C increase in Temperature is calculated to yield a 7% increase in atmospheric water content; and that from the “Clausius-Clapeyron Equation.”

    Wow fancy that; well established theory, and experimental satellite observations; and even super megacomputer expensive GCM simulations ALL agree that a 1 deg C rise in Temperature will and does result in a 7% increase in atmospheric water content.

    I almost wonder if those GCMs actually calculate the C-C equation; wouldn’t that be hilarious. I should also add, that C-C is highly non-linear; so that 7% per deg C, whether calculated or observed or megasimulated, is only valid for the current general range of Mean Global Temperature. If the earth warms by 20 deg C in the next century; we should expect those numbers to change; and likely increase at an even faster rate; but for now it is a mere 7% per deg C.

  82. George E. Smith says: a bunch, so much I tend to forget the big picture . . . so begin asking SO . . . .

    Truth is: when it comes to pro-jecting the future regardless of “whether its weather” or the the direction of the stock market . . . Not many develop any credibility until they have a “track record” of being correct . . .

    In the stock market if your any good and have money & “ca-hoo-na’s” (brave enough to take risks) you could “legitimately” get rich!

    Predicting the weather/climate was originally for actuarial insurance purposes, so that those with the money & “ca-hoo-na’s” could improve the risks of their investments in the industry.

    No one predicting a Northern Blizzard in the Northeast . . . is like saying no one expected winter.

    Once the “hucksters” get the climate change model correct . . . they will again dumb down the “commoners” and blame it on man . . . . they get to tax the “carbon” out of the “commoners” and they still won’t honor their fiduciary obligations. Read an insurance contract . . . “but I’m not bitter”!

  83. It is amazing.
    When it is hot and dry it is said to be a symptom of global warming.
    When it is very humid it is blamed on GW too.
    When it snows a lot we are also led to believe it is caused by GW.
    When it storms or floods it is because of GW.
    When an animal dies it is because of GW.

    Can any of these ‘scientists’ then explain to me how global cooling would look like?

  84. Why does any person think, say, or write about global warming? Facts? How about media brainwashing, the propaganda campaign to sell global warming so that a worldwide carbon tax could be levied to pay for world government.

    There is no legitimate global warming science, that all died on 19 Nov 2009 when the climategate torpedo sunk the IPCC (you have heard about climategate and the fraudulent emails, right?) The only people still thinking, talking, or writing about global warming caused by CO2 are either those still duped or paid shills. CO2 is a trace gas, it can NOT cause temperature change, man made CO2 is only 3% of the total of this trace gas and thus man made CO2 can NOT do anything.

    http://globalwarmingcon.blogspot.com/

    Memorize this chart: only 3.62% of the total global warming gases are CO2, and of that only 3.4% are man made. Thus man made CO2 is only 0.117% (3.62/100 x 3.4/100).

    click on this link to see chart:

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01156faaf697970b-800wi

  85. Wow,

    During the last glaciation period of about 100,000 years the NH had 5000 plus feet high glacial plates further south then Chicago and New England and Great Briton. That locked up immense supplies of water (about 150M sea level rise when it melted).

    It must have been pretty warm somewhere on this planet. Of course NYC and Chicago didn’t have it. I guess AGW really did those areas in. No wonder we want to stamp out AGW. If we don’t we’ll be buried in ice again.

    I suppose it was global cooling that allowed the Vikings to settle and farm Greenland.

  86. Am I going to be the first to say this? My opinion: Cold equals dead birds and dead fish. Goes along with fewer bats in my attic and fewer worms in my garden. How does THAT mesh with global warming?

  87. LazyTeenager says:
    January 6, 2011 at 5:36 am
    “So you get the most intense snow storms when you have the most moisture and you don’t get that from cold wind. You do get lots of moisture in the air when that air originated from some place else that was warm.”

    Karmakaze says:
    January 6, 2011 at 11:53 am
    “Ever hear of humidity?
    One of the driest places on the planet is in the middle of Antarctica because it never gets warm enough to put enough water into the air for it to then rain/snow.
    The problem you have is a failure to understand that snow and rain don’t just magically appear in mid-air. The water it is made of has to get into the air in the first place for it to later precipitate back out. Colder air temperatures result in less water being held in the air, and thus less water to fall as snow and rain.”

    The highest dew points in the world are found in the Persian Gulf. How much snow falls there?
    It takes much more than humidity to make snow (or even rain). It takes storms, which result from a variety of atmospheric factors, of which moisture is one.
    None of these comments about more moisture (if indeed that is happening, which is questionable) justifies Lawrimore’s comment that….
    “Heavy snow, like the record snows that crippled Baltimore and Washington last winter, is likely to increase because storms are moving north.”
    The storms are not moving north, and the global warming models are wrong.

  88. Look folks, just kindly pay your Carbon Taxes and the proceeds from the sale of your firstborn child to the state and quit your whining! Not only will this help with AGW, but also the curse of primogeniture rights, eh?

    Now, if you find that argument convincing, there’s a wonderful opportunity to invest in timeshares on a bridge in Brooklyn which I’d like to talk with you about!

  89. The real question is, why are some people, usually American Republicans, so against the idea of global warming? It has to be about money and greed, or else why such ferocious denial about a serious issue that everyone else in the world seem to understand and care about.
    At this point in time, anyone who still insists that global warming is not happening, should be seen as an enemy of humanity and our planet, and should be dealt with as such.

Comments are closed.