Getting ready for more global warming: Heathrow airport triples snow clearance fleet

From the December 2010 big snow

It seem airport operator BAA has realized that Global warming has really dumped on them the last two years and rather than be caught with their pants down again, they 3x increased their equipment and staff ready to clear snow.

From BBC: Heathrow airport triples snow clearance fleet
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15105627

Heathrow airport has tripled the number of snow clearance vehicles to tackle severe winter weather.

Operator BAA also has three times as many staff ready to clear snow compared with last year.

Thousands of passengers were left stranded at the airport as 4,000 flights were cancelled over five days for heavy snow before Christmas.

But BAA said it now has 185 snow clearance vehicles and has 468 staff per shift, compared to 117 last year.

The operator said it has invested £32.4m so far to tackle severe weather.

BAA had been criticised following last year’s disruptions and a report accused the operator of a breakdown in communication and lack of “preparedness” for the bad weather.

After the publication of the Winter Resilience Enquiry Report, BAA promised to invest £50m to avoid facing disruptions on a similar scale.

Announcing its “winter resilience programme”, the airports operator said it has introduced a new “reservist” role whereby up to 950 staff will be deployed to the terminals to help passengers during disruption.

h/t to WUWT reader “rg” in France

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90 Responses to Getting ready for more global warming: Heathrow airport triples snow clearance fleet

  1. Christopher Simpson says:

    Not sure if climate physics laws are creating a warmer or colder world, but Murphy’s Law dictates that the next winter will be now be a warm one in the London area.

  2. jones says:

    I know it’s all been said ad-infinitum already but just how long are we going to maintain the charade of AGW?.

    In the theatre of my mind I entertain ideas of how (near) future historians and documentaries will portray these times?…

    I actually find my language fails to convey my emotions around the subject.

    No adverse outcome will visit Pachauri et-al either just to rub salt in the historical wounds…….tis always been thus I suppose…

  3. Green Sand says:

    “But BAA said it now has 185 snow clearance vehicles and has 468 staff per shift, compared to 117 last year.”

    Ah, are these the start of the promised “green jobs”?

  4. Verity Jones says:

    It occurred to me the other day in a shoe shop, faced with wall-to-wall furry Winter boots and other ‘serious’ footwear for Winter weather, that professional forecasters, who are in the pay of big business, can’t afford to be wrong too often.
    So while some might scoff at the ‘heavy crops of berries’ and ‘early bird migration’ forecast lore, I take the southward migration of snowplows and appearance of vast herds of Winter clothing quite seriously.

  5. Bob Diaz says:

    IF AGW causes more cold and snow, then we should be able to make ice cubes by turning up the heat in the oven!!!

  6. Andrew30 says:

    Since they were using the MET forecast they were only prepared to handle Model planes.

    Reality bites.

  7. jack morrow says:

    I remember once in Minneapolis, Mn. the deicing trucks and deicing fluid was stored quite away from the terminal and a big snow came and the deicing trucks and equipment was “snowed in” causing lots and lots of delays and canceled flights .Better have it in the right place too.

  8. SSam says:

    Well, if they need road grit they can always break up that decrepit old building full of transients and criminals in New York using debris from the masonry to provide traction on the iced roads.

    You can find it at 760 United Nations Plaza, New York City.

  9. Stephen Skinner says:

    Are we talking about the same winter? The BBC has an article about the current warm Autumn, which it is, but then says this: “In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter, ”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15107243

  10. Dr. Bob says:

    The question remains, what did BAA do in the past and how much did they rely on the Met predictions about snow being a thing of the past in thier decision to have only 117 people on staff for handling snow events? If the Met Office believed that snow was not a concern anymore, then they are responsible for the financial losses by the BAA. If that was based on projections from UEA and the Team, then they are also responsible. Maybe fiscal responsibility will cause more scientific responsibility. If there is no penilty, there is no risk. So anything goes at that point.

  11. sceptical says:

    Mr. Watts, perhaps you could explain for your readers how a warmer atmosphere could lead to more snow in some areas. There seem to be some who are confused about this.

    REPLY: perhaps you could explain how without cold, snow forms, you seem to be confused that it takes two to tango, Surely you understand this living in Minnesota? But then again your point isn’t explanation, it’s snark. Your M.O. precedes you. – Anthony

  12. David Falkner says:

    This can only mean one thing. No snowfall this year.

  13. Dave N says:

    Snowball warming

  14. Grant says:

    Don’t they believe in global warming? Enlgand will soon face a serious glut of snow removal equipment. Maybe they can be converted to remove the drifts of sand that will be wafting over Heathrow any year now.

  15. @ Stephen Skinner.
    Yes they are correct. (surprisingly) – Whereas November and December were very harsh in 2010, January February and March 2011 were quite mild, as far as I recall.

  16. Archonix says:

    Stephen Skinner says:
    September 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I read the article. I laughed. I’ve seen flowers bloom in autumn at least twice in my life, and I’m only 31. I’ve seen two harvests in a year, and I’ve seen years when barely anything flowered at all. They’re off their rockers.

    And re-writing history. Again.

  17. Andrew Harding says:

    The Met Office has for years made weather forecasts on the premise that each year is warmer than the last, due to AGW. Surprise, surprise, they have been consistently wrong. We have not had BBQ summers and mild, snow free winters as predicted by the Met Office for the last three years.
    Their website shows more interest in AGW propaganda than providing accurate weather forecasts. It is highly significant that they now refuse to produce long range weather reports, but smaller forecasting companies do, with a high degree of accuracy.

    Heathrow has obviously made a multi-million pound commercial decision to put it’s faith in predictions by one or more of these smaller forecasters to keep their airport open this winter.

    It is a pity that our government has not done likewise.

  18. Edward Bancroft says:

    Stephen Skinner: “Are we talking about the same winter? The BBC has an article about the current warm Autumn…”

    This month has seen higher than usual temperatures, I expect BBC will be showing the (above) average temperature graph on their end of month weather review. They did not show one for August or July when the months were below average. Nor for December 2010 which was the coldest for ~150 years.

  19. As I recall it was Baden Powell that made the Scout motto popular. For all those who have short memories, such as many civil and corporate managers, it is Be Prepared! In my not very humble view, anyone in a decision making position that fails that advice should be removed from that position.

  20. pokerguy says:

    The Met Office is an embarrassment. What ever happened with all that hoo-hah last year when the government blamed the Met Office for misleading them with a warm winter forecast while the Met insisted it had given them a forecast for cold….despite the fact that they also said they were no longer issuing long range forecasts at all (no doubt because they’d made asses of themselves one too many times)…

    I think the first two months of last winter were historically cold. It warmed up after that, but there’s no way you could describe the winter of 2010 as “incredibly warm” if memory serves. And I’m pretty sure it does…

    BBC a joke as well…

  21. Kevin MacDonald says:

    REPLY: “perhaps you could explain how without cold, snow forms, you seem to be confused that it takes two to tango, Surely you understand this living in Minnesota? But then again your point isn’t explanation, it’s snark. Your M.O. precedes you. – Anthony”

    Can you show me where AGW predicted and end to cold by 2011? Strawman, or as you like to say, I call BS; It doesn’t, although it does predict increased precipitation which, when it is cold, falls as snow.

  22. DJ says:

    sceptical says:
    “Mr. Watts, perhaps you could explain for your readers how a warmer atmosphere could lead to more snow in some areas. There seem to be some who are confused about this.”

    Let me provide some assistance to Mr. Watts.

    Could. Might. Maybe. Possibly. For those who remain confused, saying that it “could” demonstrates that you really don’t know, and you’re guessing.

  23. Jay Davis says:

    I have not read the Winter Resiliency Enquiry Report, so I don’t know if Heathrow had reduced its snow clearance capabilities prior to 2009 for cost cutting measures or some other reason, or had been getting along fine with what they had until 2009. How many times in all the years that Heathrow has been in operation has it had to close because of snow? And how many days were lost each time it closed? Or were the last two years one-offs? My reason for asking these questions is I’d like to know if all the global warming BS had in any way influenced the BAA’s decisions on how much snow removal equipment and personnel were required at Heathrow.

  24. stevo says:

    The highest temperature recorded today at Heathrow was 28C. I believe that a temperature that high has never before been recorded there on this date before. It’s pretty funny that you think last winter’s weather is suddenly worth highlighting now.

  25. Pablo an ex Pat says:

    Maybe they are assuming that Al Gore is going to fly in for a visit ?

  26. Ed Mertin says:

    Day late and a dollar short. Buy high and sell low. Waste gigantic amounts of money foolishly. That is the way we do it all nowadays! Unless the big volcano eruptions start up again, they are now very much overcapacity. The weather should get milder as we stand now. Until the next solar cycle ramp down when all heck breaks loose again. As long as the volcanoes remain subsided, which is not that predictable.

  27. TinyCO2 says:

    The 2010 CET winter average was well below normal. Only February and March 2011 were warm, easily swamped by December. I think the BBC article should have read ‘spring was incredibly warm’. Both extreme warmth and cold in the UK are generally caused by blocking highs – the same thing that caused the Moscow heatwave and the Pakistan floods. Are we seeing more of these?

    Contrary to appearances there wasn’t a lot of snow in December. There was some snow that just didn’t melt because the tempertures were so low. Precipitation levels were below normal which was repeated into the spring which led to drought conditions. That damages the ‘warmer atmosphere could lead to more snow in some areas’ argument.

  28. Sceptical,

    A giant, flaming comet “could” at any moment come hurtling out of the sky and incinerate you, but it’s very unlikely and it would be foolish in the extreme to order your life as if it were going to happen.

  29. Steve from rockwood says:

    In Britian snow will become a thing of the past. But until then, be prepared.

  30. Smokey says:

    Kevin MacDonald says:

    “Can you show me where AGW predicted…”

    You still don’t get it, do you? AGW peddlers don’t make accurate predictions. But they sure makes a lot of them.

  31. SteveSadlov says:

    We might get a hint of climatic winter next week in Norcal, as a classic mid winter type Gulf of Alaska storm is prog’ed to move in, followed immediately by a second one. It will probably be a few more weeks before proper winter settles in here, but based on signs and the early onset of climatic autumn we’ve experienced, climatic winter will probably start at least a month early this year.

  32. jorgekafkazar says:

    “The Met Office is an embarrassment. What ever happened with all that hoo-hah last year when the government blamed the Met Office for misleading them with a warm winter forecast while the Met insisted it had given them a forecast for cold….despite the fact that they also said they were no longer issuing long range forecasts at all (no doubt because they’d made asses of themselves one too many times)…”–pokerguy:

    it’s worse than you thought, pokerguy. It was also revealed that the MetOff was selling different forecasts than they were publishing for the general public who paid their salaries. Can you say “conflict of interest?” I knew you could.

  33. JohnH says:

    Can you show me where AGW predicted and end to cold by 2011? Strawman, or as you like to say, I call BS; It doesn’t, although it does predict increased precipitation which, when it is cold, falls as snow.

    Sigh

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

    and from the Met Office on last years snow bound UK showing when it snows the equivalent rainfall is less not more.

    Precipitation (rain and snow) was well below average for the UK, recording just 38% of what is normally expected in December. This makes it the third driest December in the series that goes back to 1910.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/cold-dec

    So where is your increased preciptitation ?

    Simple fact is the last 3 winters in the UK were cold , this was not predicted by AGW modellers and cannot be linked to increased water in the atmosphere due to AGW. It was because it was cold.

  34. rbateman says:

    SteveSadlov says:
    September 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Our local NorCal meteorologist in Redding says we will get Mon/Tues/Wed with winds and snow leves or 6000/6000/5000 respectively, with heavy rain below that.

  35. Patrick Davis says:

    “Kevin MacDonald says:
    September 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm”

    So there must have been more warming between 1940 – 1975 for scientists to cliam an ice age was on its way. Yeah, figures! /sarc off

  36. rbateman says:

    AGW predicted snow as a thing of the past. You don’t get hemsipheric cold/snowy winters because the Earth is getting progressively warmer. You get them when there is less incoming due to increased albedo and/or lowering SSTs. The sources have grown colder, therefore the winters grow colder.
    AGW predicted the opposite, and the CO2 Easy Bake oven is not going to fill your ice cube tray.

  37. Jeremy says:

    30 million pound bet that cold winters are NOT a thing of the past!!!

    Considering that the science is settled, why is Heathrow BAA behaving so stupidly?

    will the CAGW Trolls please explain this irrational madness on the part of the BAA?

  38. rbateman says:

    AGW predicted the opposite, and the CO2 Easy Bake oven is not going to fill your ice cube tray.

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

    CO2 Easy Bake oven. LOL Hahaha.

    Nice.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  39. sceptical says:

    Mr. Watts, my apologies if my comment came off as snark. This was not my intent. I thought the comment was pertinent to the blog post and comments.
    I am confused by your response. Do you believe continued cold weather means there has been no global warming or is it just the anthropogenic part which continued cold weather calls into question or am I misinterpreting your response?

  40. Bertram Felden says:

    David Spurgeon 4:35 am

    So winter is now November, December, January, February and March. Doesn’t leave much room for the rest of the seasons, does it?

    Anyway, the first post was correct; there is nothing like carrying an umbrella to stop it from raining – warm winter here we come.

  41. Huth says:

    Adaptation is good.

  42. old44 says:

    Andrew30 says:
    September 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    On the other hand, if you are an AGW proponent. Reality sucks.

  43. J. Felton says:

    No doubt the Met will be forecasting a hot winter until someone hits ‘em with a snowball….

  44. Blade says:

    Heathrow airport triples snow clearance fleet

    Okay, clearly they got the airport covered, but what happens if the snow falls outside of it, onto the streets on the cities and towns where everyone lives? :-) My guess is that the poor civilians will play second fiddle for plowing equipment and supplies. Such are the consequences of political posturing in the media spotlight. That airport *will* be cleaned by golly.

    Main Article: “It seem airport operator BAA has realized that Global warming has really dumped on them the last two years and rather than be caught with their pants down again, they 3x increased their equipment and staff ready to clear snow.”

    Anthony Watts: REPLY: ““perhaps you could explain how without cold, snow forms, you seem to be confused that it takes two to tango, Surely you understand this living in Minnesota? But then again your point isn’t explanation, it’s snark. Your M.O. precedes you. – Anthony””

    Kevin MacDonald [September 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm] says: “Can you show me where AGW predicted and end to cold by 2011? Strawman, or as you like to say, I call BS; It doesn’t, although it does predict increased precipitation which, when it is cold, falls as snow.”

    ROTFLMAO! Jeez Kevin, you just told us explicitly that AGW began two years ago! Prior to that it wasn’t ready yet I guess. The CO2 levels were not sufficient or something. Well, not since the 1970′s when they must have been higher. Then, in the 1980′s and 1990′s, CO2 levels took some time off for a while and came back with a vengeance again two years ago! Perhaps instead you meant to say that ‘if it snows or if it doesn’t snow’ AGW covers it!

    Oh what a tangled web you weave.

  45. Andrew Harding says:

    stevo says:
    September 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm
    The highest temperature recorded today at Heathrow was 28C. I believe that a temperature that high has never before been recorded there on this date before. It’s pretty funny that you think last winter’s weather is suddenly worth highlighting now.
    Stevo, here in Newcastle it was 26 Celsius yesterday, we have had warm air from the Mediterranean moving north and covering the whole of the UK. This is predicted to continue until tomorrow or Sunday at the latest. An event like this does not mean that GW or AGW is occurring, it means that statistically such an event is likely to happen at some time. There is no more heat energy on the Earth, it just happens to be in a different place and only for a few days.
    Last winter we had a colder than average winter, as we did for the preceding two winters, three white Christmases on the trot. Statistically this is far more significant, but it still doesn’t disprove GW or AGW. Where the warmists shoot themselves in the foot is by making glib predictions that snow in the UK is a thing of the past. BAA who make commercial decisions obviously do not believe that snow in the UK is a thing of the past.

  46. Juraj V. says:

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/tstdaily_cet_mean12season.png
    Last winter in Central England was bellow the LIA average, so far as the CET records covers. This summer as well.
    Concerning the “warmer air holds more moisture” memo, how much more per that fraction of degree C increase? Twice? Triple? Quadruple? because this was the amount of snow experienced.

  47. Juraj V. says:

    TinyCO2 says:
    Both extreme warmth and cold in the UK are generally caused by blocking highs – the same thing that caused the Moscow heatwave and the Pakistan floods. Are we seeing more of these?
    ****************************
    According to the NOAA report about the Russian heatwave – not.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/moscow2010/images/hovm_days_obs.jul-aug.jpg
    “It is not known whether, or to what exent, greenhouse gas emissions may affect the frequency or intensity of blocking during summer. It is important to note that observations reveal no trend in a daily frequency of July blocking over the period since 1948, nor is there an appreciable trend in the absolute values of upper tropospheric summertime heights over western Russia for the period since 1900.”
    ***************************
    Instead of that radiative pseudoscience, scientists should have a look on changes in air circulation related to NAO/AO/AMO which brings statistically more/less cold/warm air in certain region. Col winter in mid-latitudes = lot of cold air coming from the north, and the opposite.

  48. Latimer Alder says:

    @jay davis

    You ask whether the global warming BS had influenced LHR in their snow removal preparedness.

    Probably not. I’ve lived about 5 miles from the airport for the last 30 years, and we have had only four heavy and settling snowfalls that I can recall in that time…two of them in the last two years.

    Our climate is very temperate and snow here is rare. But, unlike more continental places, the actual weather is pretty unpredictable (being on the eastern edge of a big big ocean brings lots of damp blowy weather – and being on the western edge of a big big continent sometimes brings very hot or very cold dry stuff..the conflict between the two makes the British weather ‘interesting’) .So I’m not surprised that they chose (conscioulsy or unconconsciouly) not to spend lots of money against a pretty low risk. Where they got caught was that Heathrow has got busier and busier and more complex as time has gone on, so the effects when it did happen were much worse.

    FWIW we are now in the middle of a very unseasonable spell of hot and still weather …30C round here yesterday. And right on cue the local council (caught out just like the airport was last winter) dropped their sheet about ‘Preparing for winter’ through my door yesterday.

    Which just goes to show that predicting weather and climate for UK is a mug’s game. The cynics might think that in the Met Office we employ a lot of mugs to do so…but I couldn’t possibly comment

  49. Rhys Jaggar says:

    The most likely reason for this investment is that Heathrow is facing increasing pressure from Frankfurt, Schiphol and Madrid for intercontinental stop-overs. So they’re pulling out all the stops to make sure they don’t get caught with their pants down in the winter.

    If they had a captive market, quite frankly, they wouldn’t give a shit……….

  50. mwhite says:

    This model outcome is representative of all the others that have been pushed down the throats of the British public.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/climateexperiment/whattheymean/theuk.shtml

    Now that the models are failing a new set is required to predict the recent past and an apocolyptic future.

  51. John Marshall says:

    BAA probably bought the redundant RAF snow clearance equipment who now, without many aircraft or airfields, are selling Sicards and AWD Snowblowers off cheap.

  52. jason says:

    It could hit 30 celcius in london today, a new record (previous was 1985). Thankfully, and amazingly, the met office has stated this is just our mad weather in the UK and not to do with climate chanhge. Bet the econuts on twitter today will be claiming otherwise though.

  53. Steve C says:

    Clear the snow?? But … but how are the kids going to learn to be “snow tourists” as we were promised so recently?

  54. Annie says:

    David Spurgeon @ 4.45

    November, December and most of January were freezing cold. I was in the Yorkshire Dales in latish January and I were incredibly cold for most of my stay. The last day it began to be milder and the latter part of winter was milder. That does not mean the winter as a whole was warm.

  55. meemoe_uk says:

    @S Skinner
    “The BBC has an article about the current warm Autumn, which it is, but then says this: “In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter, ”
    Well, you know what happened. Last november the uk had the coldest start to winter in 120 years. The extreme\record cold lasted till christmas day, and then it rapidly went away. Jan, Feb, March & April were warm.
    So we had a winter of two halves. Trust the BBC to fiddle their wording around this to promote AGW.

    The sun was the culprit, it came back to life in Jan. For me it was the most clear cut correlation between uk weather and solar activity I’ve ever witnessed. Since we are now back up to 2004 levels of solar activity and this is expected to rise further, and since 2004 was a hot year in the uk, and since this year has been quite warm in the uk, I’m predicting a mild winter this year in the uk.
    As D Falkner has hinted, if the BBC start saying it’s going to be cold, going to snow etc, it’s just another sign that it won’t be so cold. I’ve been hearing it on the radio this year ‘ cold winter coming ‘. Didn’t hear any of that in the last 3 years, where we did end up with cold winters. But now, with solar activity up to 2004 levels, the radio has started saying it’ll be cold this winter. – Another sign it won’t be cold.

  56. Annie says:

    I live in the southern part of England. We had a freezing cold early winter, which killed plants that had withstood the previous cold winter, a warm early spring, a largely lousy dull summer, and the ‘Indian’ summer we are now experiencing in early autumn (I remember this sort of weather in the autumn, often in October…these sort of memories abound when one is older). The fruits and berries have been amazing this year; most really like a good freeze over the winter. Whether this is a portent for another cold winter remains to be seen; I put the good fruit and berry crop down to the last one.

    Is the sun waking up again? There seem to be more sun spots showing.

  57. rednose says:

    IPCC WG1 published 2007

    Quote
    11.3.3.7
    Snow and Sea Ice The overall warming is very likely to shorten the snow season in all of Europe. Snow depth is also likely to be reduced, at least in most areas, although increases in total winter precipitation may counteract the increased melting and decreased fraction of solid precipitation associated with the warming

    This was followed in the uk by:
    Winter 2008/9 The coldest since 1996
    Winter 2009/10 The coldest since 1976
    November/December 2010. The coldest for over 100 years

    Later another quote
    The Baltic Sea is likely to lose a large part of its seasonal ice cover during this century
    followed by
    http://www.euronews.net/2010/03/05/ships-stuck-in-baltic-sea-ice/ in 2009/10
    http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=37726 in 2010/11

    Timing is everything

  58. UK Sceptic says:

    And all before the Met Office have given a long range prediction that winter may or may not occur.

  59. Bertram Felden says:
    September 29, 2011 at 10:17 pm
    David Spurgeon 4:35 am

    So winter is now November, December, January, February and March. Doesn’t leave much room for the rest of the seasons, does it?

    May I respectfully point out, sir, that the phrase used in the BBC article is: ” … *In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter,*” In the past year means 2011, therefore the writer is correct. He is NOT saying the past winter, he is saying the past year (2011). If so he IS correct in his statement for the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15107243.
    As to the months of Winter, I was merely pointing to the months during which we might expect winter weather, not the actual winter months. The fact remains that we did not have a severe winter for the first three months of 2011 (the year that so far has passed)!

  60. Annie says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:41 am
    David Spurgeon @ 4.45

    November, December and most of January were freezing cold. I was in the Yorkshire Dales in latish January and I were incredibly cold for most of my stay. The last day it began to be milder and the latter part of winter was milder. That does not mean the winter as a whole was warm.

    ….and he doesn’t say that the winter as a whole was warm – he says the past year’s winter weather [2011] was warmer than expected, which it was, especially after the very severe weather in Nov/Dec 2010.

  61. meemoe_uk says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:54 am
    @S Skinner
    “The BBC has an article about the current warm Autumn, which it is, but then says this: “In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter, ”
    Well, you know what happened. Last november the uk had the coldest start to winter in 120 years. The extreme\record cold lasted till christmas day, and then it rapidly went away. Jan, Feb, March & April were warm.
    So we had a winter of two halves. Trust the BBC to fiddle their wording around this to promote AGW.

    …Yes but he’s not speaking about 2010 – he’s speaking about early 2011.

  62. JohnH says:

    David Spurgeon
    *In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter,*” In the past year means 2011, therefore the writer is correct.

    In the past year means in the past 12 months, if he meant 2011 he would have said warm winter in 2011.

    Stop putting meaning where it does not exist.

  63. Ric Werme says:

    sceptical says:
    September 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Mr. Watts, my apologies if my comment came off as snark. This was not my intent. I thought the comment was pertinent to the blog post and comments.

    It was snark (and trolling) because:

    1) You know the answer to the question
    2) You were too lazy to offer it
    3) You wanted to send Anthony off on a rock fetch to waste his time.

    Here’s what you should have said:

    CRU says AGW reduces snow. From http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/29/crus-forecast-winter-snowfall-will-become-a-very-rare-and-exciting-event/ is the famously wrong

    Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

    Why is that? Given England’s relatively warm climate, warming tends to replace snow with rain. It’s cold climates where warming leads to higher dewpoints and more snow.

    I think you didn’t answer the question because you knew that is the real answer.

  64. Ric Werme says:

    Christopher Simpson says:
    September 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Not sure if climate physics laws are creating a warmer or colder world, but Murphy’s Law dictates that the next winter will be now be a warm one in the London area.

    Ah, but one of the corollaries of Murphy’s Law is “You can’t depend on Murphy’s Law.”

    Green Sand says:
    September 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    “But BAA said it now has 185 snow clearance vehicles and has 468 staff per shift, compared to 117 last year.”

    Ah, are these the start of the promised “green jobs”?

    Perhaps. It could also be the start of the unpromised snow job. :-) I have no idea what I mean by that….

  65. Venter says:

    David Sturgeon,

    Since when does saying ” In the last year ” in September 2011 means that the last year referred to is 2011? Whom are you kidding? Nobody will swallow this nonsense.

  66. Ian B says:

    As others have said, there is some typical British irony in this annoncement being today, as we are in the middle of the warmest Indian Summer for ages (football commentators reckoned for London it was the warmest September 29th since 1895)- we do often get nice weather in late September, although it rarely extends into October (my wedding anniversary in 1st October, and it is usually cool and damp, start of real Autumn weather in the UK.).

    As for the more warming = more snow, that may be a viable hypothesis for places like New York or MInnesota, where winters are always well below freezing (although smacks to me of special pleading), but for the southern half of England whether we get rain or snow is temperature dependent rather than precipitation dependent, because we are usually a few degrees above freezing during winter days. If it gets even slightly warmer, the likelihood of snow settling will decrease, so the fairly significant (by our standards) snow falls of the last couple of years show that we have had at least unusually cold spells in our winters

  67. Annie says:

    David Spurgeon @ 4.16 am:

    As far as I’m concerned, the expression ‘in the last year’ means ‘in the last 12 months’. The BBC is being its usual deliberately misleading self.

  68. Neil McEvoy says:

    In other news, tomorrow is very likely to be the warmest October day on record (at around 30/86) in many parts of England (and today is the warmest Sep 30). The records that are being beaten are mostly about 100 years old. The best runs of warm weather have been in April and September (and into October) here. Everything in between was, well, typically English. I know it’s only weather. Just thought overseas readers might be interested.

  69. Max Hugoson says:

    Anthony: I had to fight this “global warming increases precipitation, thus more snow” arguement a couple years back.

    I’m sorry I’ve misplaced the file. But a simple INTERNET SEARCH will turn up about a dozen papers, over 30 years, which show the same conclusion: “Colder than ‘normal’ Winter, More snow than the ‘average’…

    I think this is explained by examing what “consitutes” a “colder than normal” winter. I.e., it isn’t because of having 2 or 3 weeks of “below zero” (F) temps, as we have in Minn almost every year.

    It’s because (see, for example, 1990, Minnesota) when the temperatures drop below freezing (0 C for the Brits) EARLY, then it starts snowing early. And, oft times, with that reduced temperature on the front end, you have a slower recovery on the back end. (So, first snow, 1990, Minnesota…was 31″, October 31st. Last snow was first week of April, 1991).

    Please note: Yes, indeed, it is UNLIKELY that you have a major snowstorm, during the major “temperature trough” of the winter. However, the early dip and late recovery DOES NOT CORRELATE with a lengthening or intensifying of the “winter trough” (which is typically Jan. 15th to Feb. 10th, one month after the shortest day of the year…i.e., a one month lag on the winter solestis).

    Maybe you could find several of those, “Colder than ‘normal’…More snow than ‘normal’ papers and put them together on your reference pages? (IF I FIND MY FILE FOLDER I’LL SEND THEM TO YOU!)

    Max

  70. Gail Combs says:

    SSam says: @ September 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Well, if they need road grit they can always break up that decrepit old building full of transients and criminals in New York using debris from the masonry to provide traction on the iced roads.

    You can find it at 760 United Nations Plaza, New York City.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I second that, I second that…. I think they missed and hit the wrong the target on 9/11

  71. An Inquirer says:

    In reply to Steveo and sceptical: History is full of examples where people groups keep repeating a falsehood and eventually believe it. In circles where believers in CAGW gather, I see this falsehood consistently repeated: the increased snow over the last few years has been caused by increased water vapor caused by global warming. This claim is contrary to scientific analysis. The snow came because it was cold, not because there was more water vapor. There was not just a lot of snow, there was snow where and when it was uncommon – because it was cold. Meanwhile, the water content of snow where snow is common was quite low. In addition, the ocean source of water vapor for these snowfalls had SSTs below normal, e.g. western Atlantic for eastern United States, Gulf of Mexico for the Midwest. In fact, the western states had a noticeable drought when Pacific SSTs were above normal. I would not claim a causality in these SST observations, but it certainly debunks the claim of higher temperatures leads to higher water vapor leads to more snow.

    If CAGW believers want to be listened to by people who are able and willing to do scientific analysis, they should drop this ridiculous claim.

  72. ‘Venter says:
    September 30, 2011 at 5:48 am

    David Sturgeon,

    Since when does saying ” In the last year ” in September 2011 means that the last year referred to is 2011? Whom are you kidding? Nobody will swallow this nonsense.’…

    My knowledge of English is such that “in the last year” means during this year” – this current year – 2011, where last means [or can mean] latest (or) year ‘going’ or ‘gone by’. Your incorrect use of English in the sentence – ‘Since when does saying ” In the last year ” in September 2011 means that the last year’…etc., I’m afraid points to the fact that you too can make mistakes with the tongue of the immortal bard. [Correctly your sentence should read: ‘Since when does saying ” In the last year ” in September 2011 mean (not means) that the last year…’
    . ….and…

    Who is David Sturgeon? Fishy that!!
    My name is ‘Spurgeon’ – not fishy at all!! :)

  73. Green Sand says:

    BBC 22 December 2010
    “BAA boss refuses bonus over snow”

    BBC 29 September 2011
    “Operator BAA also has three times as many staff ready to clear snow compared with last year.”

  74. Venter says:

    David Spurgeon,

    Apologies for mis-spelling your name.

    The issue is not about my making grammatical mistakes. The BBC statement was

    QUOTE

    *In the last year, the UK experienced an incredibly warm winter,*”

    UNQUOTE

    When you are in the end of the 3rd quarter of year 2011, the last year does not refer only to the 9 months of 2011, by any stretch of imagination. The typical winter months in UK are December, January and February. December and January were freezing cold, with December one of the coldest ever seen. February was warmer than normal. So by no stretch can the statement by BBC be considered as fair or true.

  75. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says September 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Okay, I have a question that has been nagging me ever since your reappearance here and frenzied posting since, so here it goes:

    “Did you just earn your freedom from a FEMA camp?” ;) < grin > (ALL in good fun, mods)

    .

  76. DavidS says:

    @ stephen skinner

    I have emailed the bbc to try and get a correction to the ‘incredibly warm’ winter story and have also asked why the journalist would have said such a thing. December 2010 was the coldest December in over 100 years and the winter as a whole December 2010 to February 2011 was the second coldest since 1985/86. If I get a reply I will let you know……Please, no holding breath.

  77. Jay Davis says:

    Latimer, thanks for the explanation/comment. In today’s world, it gets harder to tell whether a government entity is making a bad business decision because: a) it’s incompetent; b) it’s cost cutting and gambling things don’t go wrong; or c) it’s politically motivated AND incompetent. Reason b) I can live with because in today’s economy sometimes we have to cut costs and sometimes we gamble and lose. Reasons a) and c) I can’t live with – government incompetency hurts us all, financially and far too often in human terms. Unfortunately, the AGW hoax has the U.S. and U.K. governments wasting billions of taxpayer dollars (US) and pounds (UK) and making energy costs skyrocket. So I’m going to assume BAA was simply gambling and lost.

  78. TinyCO2 says:

    Thanks to Juraj V. at September 30, 2011 at 12:03 am.

    An interesting chart though there does look like a bit of an upswing in the 70s. I remember the UK had a major heat wave and drought in 1975 which would tie in with many days of high pressure together.

  79. pk says:

    60 years ago in a small montana town a fellow from philadelphia came to town and bought the local weekly newspaper.
    he had nothing for his lead artical and asked the local folk what the weather was going to be like. he was directed to the local medicine man joe manyhorses who sat on the steps of the local bank and dispenced great wisdom.
    and so he asked joe how the winter was going to be. joe replied that it was going to be a terrible winter.
    and so our intrepid reporter puts that on the front page right up at the top.
    as a result the local coal hauler (located right across from manyhorses’ place of observation) hired most of the town football team rented a couple of trucks and started selling coal like it was going out of style.
    a few months of this and the reporter figures he better check with joe again and so seeks him out and asks him the question “how do you know that its going to be a terrible winter?”

    joe replies “white eyes put much coal in celler.”

    and so friends thats how a lot of this stuff goes.

    C

  80. SteveW says:

    @mwhite That link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/climateexperiment/whattheymean/theuk.shtml) is awesome.

    “The graph below speculates what might happen to global temperature with different emission scenarios.

    This graph shows global temperature change over the 21st century for several scenarios. The temperature change is calculated based on predicted greenhouse gas emissions for each scenario.”

    How can anyone have written those two sentences one directly after the other, impressive how “…speculates what might happen…” morphs into “…shows global temperature change…”

    I’ll try to get on tomorrow and cache the entire contents as it looks truly awful.

  81. Anything is possible says:

    Met Office UK monthly temperature anomalies for the last 12 months wrt 1971-2000:

    September 2010 +0.5C
    October +0.2C
    November -1.6C
    December -5.0C
    January 2011 -0.3C
    February +1.9C
    March +0.6C
    April +3.7C
    May +1.0C
    June 0.0C
    July -0.7C
    August -0.6C

    Those are the facts. Now everybody can make up their own minds as to whether the BBC were spinning them in a misleading way……

  82. Bill H says:

    Its rather amusing how believers of AGW will cite that EVERYTHING is because of it, yet can not support that assertion with facts… It appears that the folks at the airport are asking real scientists in the private sector for answers as the MET/CRU/EAU are UN-trustworthy and come from the corrupt government sector…

    Hmmmmm… do you suppose we have this problem too?

    ..

  83. Smokey says:

    Anything is possible says:

    “Met Office UK monthly temperature anomalies for the last 12 months wrt 1971-2000:

    …December -5.0C…”

    The December anomaly is the biggest of the lot. That doesn’t compute. The global December trend is flat.

  84. Smokey says:

    OK, I reacted too fast. The December anomaly was probably below the 80 year average. “Below” being the salient point.

  85. Smokey says:

    Here is a chart of the global monthly temperature change.

    Is it time to panic yet?

  86. Louise says:

    Today the record has been broken for the wormest ever October day in England – 29.5 in Gravesend in Kent.

    But, as we all know, weather is not climate…

  87. Louise says:

    no doubt the worms are ever so happy on this warmest day ;-)

  88. don penman says:

    I don’t think we will have a very cold winter in the UK this year again,perhaps all the preparations being made will be a waste.

  89. Uh huh.

    Up in the hills of North Carolina (that is really far south) on October 1st….there is snow flying.

    http://www.highcountrywebcams.com/webcameras_BeechSlopeside2.htm

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  90. Brian H says:

    Smokey says:
    September 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Here is a chart of the global monthly temperature change.

    Is it time to panic yet?

    Hard to tell. The graph doesn’t even finish off 2010, much less 2011 to date.
    _______
    £50 million is peanuts compared to the costs of shutting down air travel for days or weeks. I’d say Heathrow is being both penny and pound-wise. To be even wiser, they should convert the equipment to run on NG.

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