Houston ties earliest snowfall record

From the Houston Chronicle

photo
Melissa Phillip Chronicle

Excerpts:

Jose Umana builds a snow ball as he plays with his brother and father in the snow fall at Affordable Cars & Trucks on I-45, where his dad, Mario Hernandez, Sr. works.

Falling snowflakes glimmered in streetlights, so wide that they billowed to the ground like parachutes, and so tantalizing that even awestruck adults reached out their hands or stuck out their tongues to catch one.

By Wednesday evening, the flakes were big enough to hold their shape for a moment on the street before melting into the pavement, and a dusting had collected on parked cars in some parts of town.

The flurries tied a record for Houston’s earliest snowfall ever and warmed the hearts of winter weather lovers who have pined for snow since it last made an appearance on Christmas Eve 2004.

“I’ve got a pot roast in the Crock-Pot, and I’m going to go home, change into my warmest pajamas and eat pot roast and enjoy what may be the only real winter day we have all year,” said Tina Arnold, an Illinois native who took advantage of the wintry backdrop to pick up Christmas presents Wednesday at The Woodlands Mall.

Since 1895, records indicate, snow has fallen this early just once — on Dec. 10, 1944.

Late Wednesday, there were no reports of school or business closings Thursday morning in the Houston area.

Patrick Trahan, a spokesman for the city, said the icy weather was expected to taper off overnight and was not expected to disrupt morning traffic. He added that if conditions did not improve, the Public Works Department would clear the roads this morning.

Forecasters at the Houston/Galveston office of the National Weather Service said clouds and precipitation should give way today to sunshine and temperatures in the upper 50s.

Overnight lows for all areas but those north and west of Harris County were expected to stay above freezing tonight, said the weather service’s Paul Lewis.

Snowfall in the metro Houston area Wednesday caught forecasters somewhat by surprise. A significant chance for snowfall didn’t show up in computer models until about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“The midnight crew adjusted the forecast at that time,” Lewis said.

Read the entire article and watch video here

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98 thoughts on “Houston ties earliest snowfall record

  1. ….. and now it is snowing in New Orleans. Latest hourlies :
    LOUISIANA REGIONAL WEATHER ROUNDUP
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
    900 AM CST THU DEC 11 2008
    NOTE: “FAIR” INDICATES FEW OR NO CLOUDS BELOW 12,000 FEET WITH NO
    SIGNIFICANT WEATHER AND/OR OBSTRUCTIONS TO VISIBILITY.
    SKY/WX – SKY CONDITION AND SIGNIFICANT WEATHER.
    TMP – AIR TEMPERATURE. DP – DEWPOINT TEMPERATURE.
    RH – RELATIVE HUMIDITY. PRES – PRESSURE.
    HX – HEAT INDEX. WCI – WIND CHILL INDEX.
    LAZ040-048-061>063-065-066-069-111600-
    SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA
    CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS
    N.O. AUDUBON N/A 33 33 96 MISG N/A
    N.O. INTL ARPT HVY SNOW 33 31 92 W14 29.85R VSB 1/8 WCI 23
    N.O. LAKEFRONT SNOW 36 35 96 W25 29.83R VSB 1/4 WCI 24
    SLIDELL LGT SNOW 34 32 92 W9 29.80R WCI 27
    BELLE CHASSE HVY SNOW 34 34 100 NW14 29.86R VSB 1/4 WCI 24
    BATON ROUGE SLEET 34 32 91 W7 29.83R FOG WCI 28
    SALT POINT N/A 39 34 82 NW14G28 29.91R WCI 31
    HOUMA CLOUDY 39 N/A N/A W17 29.90R FOG WCI 30
    BOOTHVILLE CLOUDY 44 38 79 W21G29 29.83R

  2. The delusional scientists and politicians (pardon the redundancy) of the UN/IPCC.
    Scientists try to mitigate climate change effects: http://wtopnews.com/?nid=220&sid=1543019
    Last year, Pachauri’s IPCC, which collected the work of more than 2,000 scientists, said climate change is “unequivocal, is already happening, and is caused by human activity.”
    But Pachauri said there was no conclusive evidence the world is in imminent danger.
    “The skeptics are doing a good job because they are making us present ironclad proof,” said Lawrence E. Buja, a climate change researcher for the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
    But since that battle is over, he said scientists need to move on and look at the detailed impact of climate change.
    Buja, who contributed to the IPCC report, said scientists are looking at futuristic solutions to halt global warming, such as imitating the cooling effects of a massive volcanic eruption by spreading sulfur in the atmosphere, or scattering billions tiny refractors high in the air to dim the sun and lower the temperature.
    Chem-Trails anyone? (:-)

  3. Slightly OT, but at 11,650,000 sq km the north polar ice extent is now the largest it has been on Dec. 10 in this millenium.

  4. oh, and by the way, i love how the photo in the Houston Comical makes the snow look more significant than it really was!

  5. Snowfall in the metro Houston area Wednesday caught forecasters somewhat by surprise. A significant chance for snowfall didn’t show up in computer models until about 9 p.m. Tuesday.
    Computer models, eh?

  6. The cold snowy winter in the UK has forced amateur meteorologists to take over from the global warming obsessed professionals at The Met Office.
    For the longer term, it’s difficult to predict what kind of a winter the UK will be in for. Barry Grommett, a forecaster with the Met Office, says that the cold snap “pretty much bucks the trend of the milder winters we have become used to over the past few years”. But Harry Kershaw, an amateur weather forecaster from Sale, Manchester, predicts that the coming winter will be long, cold and very snowy. He thinks we may be in for a repeat performance of the winter of 1963 – the Big Freeze. In that year thermometers dropped to -16C, the sea froze to a distance of one mile from Herne Bay, the Thames was briefly turned into a skating rink, and snow settled on much of the country from January until March. In some places, snow drifts of up to six metres were reported.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/dec/11/skiing-snowboarding-wales-england?page=2

  7. They’re calling for snow here in Western Washington before xmas. Hasn’t happened in the 6 years I’ve been here (I know, a very short time). But it rarely happened in Virginia where I grew up, and where it gets much colder in Winter. It’s not a matter of precipitation, either, since it rains pretty often in fall and winter in Western Washington State. It’s a matter of temperature. It’s colder than “normal”.

  8. I am in Seabrook on Galveston Bay and had at least 2 inches of snow last night. To my surprise, there’s still a fair amount left this morning. I missed the ’04 Christmas Eve snow so I’m glad to have been around for this one.
    It is very unusual to even get a freeze here so snow is really a special event. I don’t think my poor banana tree cared much for it though. I figured Al Gore would get me sooner or later but I’m a little surprised to have been bit so soon.

  9. We want snow in the Carolina’s so sent it our way too. What will the global warming crowd say about this ?Snow in Houston and now Louisiana.They probably won’t say anything and pretent it never happened.

  10. Snowing in New Orleans today also record snow for Lake Charles. See the DOT Cam for New Orleans.
    “Snow totals in Louisiana through 6 a.m. CDT include:
    * Forest Hill: 2.0″
    * Vinton: 1.5″
    * Woodworth: 1.0″
    * Sulphur: 0.5″
    * Lake Charles: 0.4″
    The 0.4 of an inch at Lake Charles is an all-time record snow total for the month of December and just the second time snow has been recorded in December in the city.”
    http://www.accuweather.com/news-top-headline.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&date=2008-12-11_08:39

  11. ughh – not even a hat tip for reporting this in the last thread…. On the other hand, my daughter saw her first snowfall last night, so there’s not much wrong with the world today 🙂

  12. More news of catastrophic warming:
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES, LA
    0934 AM CDT THU DEC 11 2008
    …ALL TIME RECORD SNOWFALL SET FOR DECEMBER AT LAFAYETTE…
    A RECORD SNOWFALL OF 1.0 INCHES WAS MEASURED AT LAFAYETTE ON DECEMBER 11TH 2008. THIS SETS THE ALL TIME RECORD SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER AT LAFAYETTE. THERE HAS BEEN NO OTHER RECORDED SNOWFALLS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER.
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES, LA
    840 AM CST THU NOV 13 2008
    …RECORD EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL SET AT BEAUMONT PORT ARTHUR……ALL TIME RECORD SNOWFALL FOR DECEMBER SET AT BEAUMONT PORT ARTHUR…
    OFFICIALLY 1.8 INCHES OF SNOW WAS MEASURED AT THE SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGIONAL AIRPORT. THIS SETS THE ALL TIME EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL RECORD FOR BEAUMONT PORT ARTHUR. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET ON DECEMBER 22 1989 WHEN 0.7 INCHES OF SNOW WAS MEASURED.
    …RECORD EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL SET AT LAKE CHARLES…
    …ALL TIME RECORD SNOWFALL SET FOR DECEMBER AT LAKE CHARLES…
    A RECORD SNOWFALL OF 0.4 INCHES OF SNOW WAS MEASURED AT LAKE CHARLES. THIS SETS THE ALL TIME EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL RECORD FOR LAKE CHARLES. THIS ALSO SETS THE ALL TIME RECORD SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER AT LAKE CHARLES. THE PREVIOUS RECORDS WERE BOTH SET ON DECEMBER 22 1989 WHEN 0.2 INCHES OF SNOW WAS MEASURED.
    NOTABLY…DECEMBER 11 2008 AND DECEMBER 22 1989 ARE THE ONLY TWO TIMES IN RECORDED HISTORY THAT MEASURABLE SNOWFALL HAS OCCURRED IN LAKE CHARLES DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER.
    -ends-
    To one obsessed with the layered readings available on http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+006
    the snow makes perfect sense, i.e. upper-atmosphere cooling appears to be ahead of lower-atmosphere cooling (and has been just about all year). Take the funnel of an upper-level low to draw down the cold and you get weather events like the one detailed above.
    If anyone hasn’t already done so, I recommend clicking through all layers of the AMSU site, then ticking all the boxes to show all the previous years for which records can be shown, and then click “redraw graph.” In many cases, more or less throughout the year, the 2008 value is the lowest.
    Can you say solar minimum? This could obviously never influence climate at Earth’s surface!

  13. Winter hates SE Va apparently….It is snowing in places where it isn’t suppose to snow hardly at all but here in SE Va it is going to rain so much that the river will be at the back doors of thousands…..I’m really starting to hate the weather….It really should be done away with all together.

  14. OT, Don’t know if you have seen this by Pielke, Sr. http://climatesci.org/2008/12/11/comments-on-uk-met-office-press-releases-on-climate/
    Summary — “The message in th UK Met Office press releases is that, since their is such poor skill with seasonal weather prediction, multi-decadal climate prediction must be a much less precise and accurate science than we have heard promoted by the IPCC and in the climate change press releases given out by the UK Met Office and others.”

  15. As the city with the most SUVs per capita, Houston is paying for it’s evil ways. Global Warming will freeze you, Houston!!!

  16. I admit, reading about people amazed at first snows in December will always amuse me… but hey, I live in Canada.
    (Warning: I’m about to shift into geezer anecdotal weather chat mode)
    Here in Calgary we got about 8-10″ last Sunday, which was our first significant snowfall of the season. The streets are almost clear, but there is still a lot of moisture on the ground. Our forecast is for a lot more snow tomorrow and Saturday, with a plunge on the weekend down to MINUS 30 C.
    I’ve been paying attention to weather for a long time, so I can remember various types of winters. Calgary is unique in that we get chinooks, which are really warm winds that come over the mountains and give us temporary relief even in the coldest winter. It can go from -30 to +20 in just a few hours, with a heavy dry wind that will melt everything that might still be sitting on the ground… or we can have 30 or more days in a row below -30 with NO relief.
    We tend to not get as much snow as some areas, being inland at 3500 feet, but we do get cold. As a result, we don’t really have the best stockpile of snow clearing equipment, so a heavy dump of snow really messes up the city.
    Calgary facts: we had snow on August 22, 1992… during an ASA race, which result in them no longer coming here to race. Other than 1992, it has never snowed in August in my lifetime… I assume everyone here knows what happened that year. We had several feet of snow in May 1986, a real shocker that disabled the city for days. We had a massive snowfall in January 1989, and the biggest that most can remember was St. Patrick’s Day of 1998. If you look at the El Nino chart for 1998, see that little dip in March? Yeah… that’s when we got whacked. The funny part is, there was a guy living in my apartment complex from Houston who could not handle the heavy snow, I had to help him get his car out of his parking stall. He moved home shortly after.
    Anyway, the anecdotal information keeps piling up this year: it’s NOT a hot year, the world is NOT burning up. I seriously wonder what it will take to wake people up… except I realize that most people are programmed now to just assume that all anomalous weather is Our Fault ™.

  17. Hmmm… sea ice at average of recorded history… sea levels faltering… entering long term PDO cooling… Sun in sleepy time… Glaciers growing… more and more scientists balking at AGW…
    The media should be all over this like ugly on an ape… Maybe John Stossel has the cojones to tackle this thing…

  18. I’ve posted this on another thread, but think it fits here too.
    (to the tune “Let it Snow”)
    Oh the weather outside is frightful.
    But to the “skeptics” it’s so delightful.
    Temps have dropped down low.
    Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
    Al Gore promised Global Warming.
    But instead it’s been cold and storming.
    Solar activity has dropped way low.
    Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
    Since sunspots have dropped out of sight.
    A Global Cooling trend has started to form.
    Proves the “skeptics” are proven right,
    That CO2 does not cause Earth to warm.
    The Solar Cycle is still slowly dying,
    To Global Warming we are “good-bying”.
    So as long as sunspots stay at zero,
    Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

  19. Mike Bryant says:

    The media should be all over this like ugly on an ape… Maybe John Stossel has the cojones to tackle this thing…

    When it comes to religion almost nothing, not even the failed second coming, is enough to cause the faithful to leave the flock.

  20. An inch of snow on way to here in Huntsville as well. Knew I should have listened to Dr. Spencer and bought a 4×4…..

  21. Richard deSousa (10:37:08) :
    “I wish Santa brings us a Dalton Minimum… it should shut off the crazy AGW crowd.”
    But be carefull what you wish for. While I agree it should finally shut off the crazy AGW crowd, however they are already starting to spin it as “climate change”.
    The Really Good News is that Global Warming may be over.
    The Really Bad News is that Global Warming may be over.

  22. This is awesome,,, Louisiana has a typically similar climate to ours here in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa… It reminds me of Sept 21 when we had record snow 🙂 The farmers hated it but the people were astounded, hopefully la nina will repeat soon and it might snow again next year.
    I agree with Richard, but I think we will need a Super maunder Minimum to convince them, but even that probably won’t, but still snow in the tropics would be fun~!

  23. By the way the new sunspot appears to have decayed somewhat and is rotating out of view. I may be wrong but it also appears that to date there has been only one active cycle 24 region at a time and no simultaneous events?… only a plague region and a spot region some time ago come to mind but nothing else…

  24. I thought that one of the finest comments I have read on this most admirable blog was from davidgmills (07:20:26) 10-12-2008 under “Spotless Days…” – David makes a very succinct analysis of the current state of play and should be a must read for anyone who wants to change the landscape of debate on global warming.
    A few cold winters are not going to change anyone’s view if you are wedded to the notion of AGW. It will take a better hypothesis/theory/model/explanation that is readily saleable and then evidence (with a rigorous analysis that people like Steve McIntyre/Anthony Watts apply) that makes the change.
    I happen to think this is a good read too. Moreover, it is as equally succinctly put as the comment I refer to above – http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=2249
    I have the utmost respect for Leif Svalgaard and Bob Tisdale and I do think Stephen Wilde is on to something in his hypothesis.
    I do hope one day that scientists (of all disciplines) will return to rigorous analysis backed by sharing of data, approach/methodology and step by step findings so that everyone can challenge, learn and perhaps improve upon our understanding of of the world’s climate.

  25. Winter 2008/9 forecast
    “For the winter as a whole, UK mean temperatures are more likely to be near or above average. However, we are likely to have a cold start to the winter with temperatures below average in December.”
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/winter2008_9/
    This seems to be a forecast after the fact, issued 25 November
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080925.html
    “The Met Office forecast for the coming winter suggests it is, once again, likely to be milder than average. It is also likely that the coming winter will be drier than last year.”
    Computers rubbish in rubbish out

  26. I’m currently watching the BBC news channel, a supposedly unbiased and informative news channel!
    It gives you a bizarre surrealistic feeling these days.
    BBC is today, as many of you know, a biased and state controlled propaganda machine for CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) indoctrination.
    Today they had many reports on Global Warming and reports from the meeting in Poznan.
    The former leaders of Germany and Soviet Union of the 19 thirties would have been very impressed of this campaign if they could have seen it.
    Each day they have on their web site a weather news snip from some weather event somewhere in the world.
    Today they had this report
    Severe storms batter the south and east USA by Dan Corbett
    In this report we can learn that the storm was created by “unseasonably warm air pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico”. Emphasis on “unseasonably warm air”.
    In the next sentence it says “On Wednesday, this warm and moist air met up with colder air coming down from the arctic”. Without any mention on “unseasonably”, related to the cold air.
    One wonder if at the BBC some sensor walk around the offices and check so that no doubt or anything that can bee seen as a doubt on the AGW theory is ever released to the public.

  27. Richard,
    You clearly don’t understand that AGW is causing AGC. It’s all our fault, ever since cave men caused the last Ice Age. (Hint: it was the CO2 generated by their campfires.)
    By the way, the Dalton Minimum would be caused by man made CO2 migrating to the Sun.

  28. Greetings from snowy New Orleans. There is still snow on the ground this afternoon. Some places north of Lake Pontchartrain (the Rhode Island -sized lake that bounds N.O. on the north) got up to 5.5″ of snow today. Makes for interesting driving. Looks like about 2 to 3″ fell outside my office. I think that this is the earliest snowfall for N.O. on record.

  29. “I wish Santa brings us a Dalton Minimum… it should shut off the crazy AGW crowd.”
    It’s sad the corruption of climate studies for political purpose is such this is needed. A significant, extended drop in temperature would not be good for world food production, etc. However, as an avid skier, I say BRING IT ON!!

  30. “Jeff Alberts (08:25:49) :
    They’re calling for snow here in Western Washington before xmas. Hasn’t happened in the 6 years I’ve been here (I know, a very short time). But it rarely happened in Virginia where I grew up, and where it gets much colder in Winter. It’s not a matter of precipitation, either, since it rains pretty often in fall and winter in Western Washington State. It’s a matter of temperature. It’s colder than “normal”.”
    Had snow in Seattle for Thanksgiving once when I was a kid, but it is rare before late December. I’m in SE VA now and the winters are about the same temperature as Seattle but a little less snow, we are close enough to the coast for that to influence things, Richmond a little inland gets a lot more snow than us. The storm that dumped on Houston and NO is a little weird on the national weather radar, snow down south and rain up north??

  31. I “love” snow too – as long as I don’t have to do the shovelling…
    Now, OT – and I hate to spoil the snow party… but for those in power – and with the money – it still isn’t about science as much as it is about more money and more power.
    Quote from http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/12/carbon-trading-is-scam.html :
    “University of Maryland professor economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:
    Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, CARBON TRADING and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.”
    Also worth a read: “UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims” at http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=701
    The problem here, of course, is that these 650+ scientist will be ignored by the MSM pretty much the same way as the previous 400+ scientist from last year.
    Well, (bailout) money talks – unfortunately – and not the scientists…

  32. The Center for Global Food Issues list of Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.
    http://www.cgfi.org/2007/10/04/the-list-documented-doubts-of-man-made-global-warming-scares/
    1) Most of the recent global warming has been caused by a long, moderate, natural cycle rather than by the burning of fossil fuels;
    2) The sun’s varying radiance impacts the earth’s climate as more or fewer cosmic rays create more of fewer of the low, wet clouds that act as the earth’s thermostats, deflecting more or less solar heat out into space.
    3) Sea levels are not rising rapidly nor are they likely to;
    4) Wild species are not being driven to extinction but rather are increasing the biodiversity of our wildlands;
    5) Fewer humans death are likely rather than more as the current warming continues, since cold is far more dangerous and the earth is always warming or cooling;
    6) Food production is likely to thrive during the decades ahead, due both to longer growing seasons and aerial CO2 enrichment, rather than collapsing due to climate overheating; or
    7) Our storms are likely to be fewer and milder as the declining temperature differential between the equator and the poles reduces their power.

  33. Sid (09:09:36) :
    ughh – not even a hat tip for reporting this in the last thread…. On the other hand, my daughter saw her first snowfall last night, so there’s not much wrong with the world today 🙂

    Heck, I reported it when it started two threads ago. The drizzle turned into little flakes, then we began getting the big, fluffy blobs. The ground was too warm, so the only buildups were on cars and bushes, but it was still pretty.
    Darn global warming melted it all.

  34. Per Strandberg (11:52:56) :
    “Today they had this report
    Severe storms batter the south and east USA by Dan Corbett
    In this report we can learn that the storm was created by “unseasonably warm air pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico”. Emphasis on “unseasonably warm air”.
    In the next sentence it says “On Wednesday, this warm and moist air met up with colder air coming down from the arctic”. Without any mention on “unseasonably”, related to the cold air.”
    It is worse than you think. Those of us who live on the Gulf Coast know that warm, humid air from the large bath tub known as the Gulf of Mexico can, and regularly does, come over the coast all 12 months of the year. Warm, humid days are common in December, January and February. There is absolutely nothing “unseasonable” about such air movements at any time of the year. The ONLY thing that is unseasonable in Houston just now is cold air and snow. This is why the story about snow in Houston is newsworthy.

  35. The Boston Globe has a silly weather story on page 1 today.
    http://www.boston.com/news/weather/articles/2008/12/11/winter_easing_its_grip_on_northeast/
    this morning’s paper had a typo, claiming a .08 rise per decade in the northeast–in the body of the article it says 0.8 degrees F, which is about equal to the rise of the entire 20th century from what I can gather.
    the numbers are: for the Northeast only, beginning in 1965 at the end of 30 year a cooling trend. The story also notes that northern New England does not seem to be warming as much. The numbers also end in 2005, before two cold winters.
    I also like that they cite the expertise of man who sells winter apparel.
    There’s also a strange caption under the chart in small type: “This chart represents all the data used in the study, but the researchers actually analyzed twelve 30-year increments for their conclusions.”
    Can anyone with more expertise comment?

  36. Ed Scott reported someone saying:

    6) Food production is likely to thrive during the decades ahead, due both to longer growing seasons and aerial CO2 enrichment, rather than collapsing due to climate overheating; or

    I think that is unlikely, since the growing season actually in creased during the warmening. It seems more likely to shrink during what looks like the coming coldening. Which does not bode well for many of the extra mouths we added during the good times.

  37. I talked to a long-time (over 50 years) Galveston (20 miles south of Houston) resident today. Except for our snowfalls in December of 04 and 08, the only other time he recalled it snowing was three times in the 60s. He said those snowfalls were in Jan/Feb (not December like this century). Nothing in between these two time periods… Wikipedia said the 2004 snowfall was the most significant since 1895. I haven’t found any other data on snow in Houston but this isn’t something I’ve reasearched before. If anyone can point me to some data, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  38. 1989 was the last really cold winter in Texas and the last McFarland event. This event saw the cold air go all the way down to the Darien Gap in Central America and into the Eastern Pacific.
    McFarland events will kill succulents and determine the line between tropical species in Texas and other Southern states.

  39. Because the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch — the Pray for Snow party scheduled for Saturday at the mountain has been canceled.
    From Mt Bachelor Oregon

  40. Ed Scott (various)
    Some great stuff there Ed. Thanks. Some of us have limited time to scour the sphere and find stuff. Thanks to Anthony for allowing (at the very least) OT commentary and enriching my life (I am sure I am not alone in this).
    I must ask a favour. It’s no real biggie, but I saw a documentary a couple of years ago, before I realised that politicians were actually going to “act” against the evil gas CO2, and I cannot track it down anywhere – partly because I cannot recall the channel it was broadcast on here in the UK and partly because I don’t have enough free time. It may have been part of a series.
    The program was in two parts, both focussing on extreme weather in Canada.
    The first half informed us of the dust bowl in the ’30ies that bankrupt thousands of farmers, just as Canada became the major wheat producer in the world, and stripped off an incomprehensible amount of topsoil.
    The second half is what I need to see again. It covered the ice-storm of ’98 in which a lot of people died as a result of falling tees, starting fires in previously unused fireplaces and from exposure, falls and cold-related illnesses. There was a mind-boggling section shot from the back of a truck driving down an endless street and the sound of falling branches laden with ice was astonishing to this watcher.
    Anyway, the end of the program was an interview with a Canadian insurance company investigator(I think it was) explaining that the insurance companies had now banded together and paid for weather control, via aerial spraying, to ensure no repeat of the storm that had been extremely expensive for all of them. There was footage of the planes and the extra equipment fitted to them.
    Any help gratefully appreciated.

  41. Wally (13:05:22) :
    Had snow in Seattle for Thanksgiving once when I was a kid, but it is rare before late December. I’m in SE VA now and the winters are about the same temperature as Seattle but a little less snow, we are close enough to the coast for that to influence things, Richmond a little inland gets a lot more snow than us. The storm that dumped on Houston and NO is a little weird on the national weather radar, snow down south and rain up north??

    I’m in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. We get even less rain than Seattle (about 26″ annually, Seattle gets about 36″), and the weather is a bit more temperate. I lived in Everett for a year and a half and it would be snowing there, and raining in Oak Harbor.

  42. peter:
    this morning’s paper had a typo, claiming a .08 rise per decade in the northeast–in the body of the article it says 0.8 degrees F
    Given the propensity for hype, alarmism, and generally astounding lack of knowledge, I would be more inclined to think “typo” is being generous. They can’t be bothered with facts, so what’s a little decimal point? What else did they get wrong? And what about the monitoring stations themselves? How accurate are their figures?
    As for Walden Pond 150 years ago, well that would have been just barely past the LIA, and of course it was colder then. So what?
    Nothing but climate alarmist drivel, written by ignoramuses written for the human species Bimbolopithicus Climatensis.

  43. “Hello Houston!”…”I think we have a problem here”….”looks like some little white fluffy thinks dancing around outside the capsule”…..”just got a report, that some chap had a heart attack, while shovelling two feet of ” partly cloudy” off his sidewalk !”…
    …”I think I’ll log into Google earth and see if they have any better pictures than what we can get up here…”
    …”we will continue to monitor for further information…”
    …”the new dunney is working just fine now”…..”best tasting water we’ve had in a couple weeks…”

  44. Larkin Lowrey (08:47:26) :
    I figured Al Gore would get me sooner or later but I’m a little surprised to have been bit so soon.

    He was on national news with Obama when the Messiah endorsed The Gore Agenda. We all ought to have a blizzard by the weekend 😉

  45. Sid (09:09:36) :
    ughh – not even a hat tip for reporting this in the last thread…. On the other hand, my daughter saw her first snowfall last night, so there’s not much wrong with the world today 🙂

    But I saw it! H/T SID !!! (I can do that, can’t i?)

  46. Richard Sharpe (14:52:22) :
    It seems more likely to shrink during what looks like the coming coldening. Which does not bode well for many of the extra mouths we added during the good times.

    Essentially correct, but simplified. Over a few seasons, farmers adjust the crop they grow (wheat fails at the margin, next year plant more barley). In some regions, the cold also means drought (i.e. California – there goes the salad…) but since we grow lots of cotton in Kern county (for no good reason – water intensive semitropical plant best grown in the south…) we could do some crop substitutions as well.
    The first inflection is sometimes the worst. Getting through that first crop failure or two has typically been challenging, since folks are slow to change their ways. This cycle will be worse. We don’t store 2+years of grain anymore. Its more like 2 months… Grain is shipped between hemispheres rather than stored for the whole year. We can’t take a single crop season failure on a global basis.
    But the end game is in fact a “pessimum” where there is less total food. Some land that was marginal for cold crops goes out of production. Some that double cropped has to drop to single crop. Etc. In the end, people die.
    There is a reason economics is called “the dismal science”…
    The good news is that the places with the most excess grain will do fine (that’s the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, Argentina, Ukraine and a couple of other smaller places.) Most tropical places ought to be fine too (Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. so rice exports ought to be OK.) The bad news is that the E.U. will be in a bind along with Russia and China. Not good. And I don’t want to talk about sub Saharan Africa…
    Expect to get better at making couscous, pilaf, and corn bread and have much less beef, pork, and chicken on a global basis. You will also see a rise in the growing of sorghum, millet, amaranth, lentils, field peas, buckwheat and other crops that grow better under challenging conditions or have short growth cycles so can be grown as a ‘catch crop’ after a main crop failure.
    What makes this all the more stupid is that we can grow all the food the world needs in greenhouses with nuclear power and desalinization. It’s just a matter of doing it. But we, as a world, have chosen to maximize short term gain and done nothing to mitigate long term risks.

  47. Del Hunt:
    Yeah, I’m aware I should be careful what I wish for but there seems no other way to counter the insanity of the AGW proponents. Nothing like a real world occurrence to crush their virtual world predictions.

  48. Speaking of the Arctic sea ice, check out:
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    This year’s area of ice has almost equaled the average area for the period 1979-2007, and even the ice extent is well within a standard deviation for the same period. All that really remains is to see if the maximum extent, usually reached in March, will hit fifteen million km² or more. And then next year’s melt should really be interesting as so much of the “fragile” one year ice survived this year and will still be there next year during the melt — and older ice is slower to melt than first year ice.
    If skeptics wanted to make a point the way the greenies do, we’d be off walking from Alaska to Russia on the ice that’s already formed.

  49. Our local meteorologist has said that the snow level may be as low as the valley floor Saturday night. I will look forward to seeing a sprinkling of snow on the lawn Sunday morning. It would be the third time since I moved up here in 1992.

  50. Snowing in the deep South, arctic ice growing, these are all signs of Al Gore using his Peace Prize as outhouse material.

  51. What’s this about climate change not being an imminent concern anymore? What the %$^*(^#@^( have we been saying over the last, what, two $^&()_^%#@$& years! It is getting COLDER! WAY BLEEPIN COLDER! And that, my friends at the IPCC, IS AN IMMINENT danger! Unless you don’t friggin care about the little old lady freezing in her house because she can’t light the bleepin fire place!

  52. The U.N.’s Global Warming Muzzle
    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=313892396478678
    Climate Change: When the United Nations insists that man-made global warming is now proved beyond doubt, it’s practicing one of the few things it has proved itself good at: censorship of dissenting viewpoints.
    The wasteful, corrupt, dictatorship-dominated U.N. may not be successful in fulfilling very many of its supposed objectives — world peace, the end of poverty, mutual understanding, etc. — but when it comes to suppressing contrarian points of view that interfere with official U.N. stances, the organization ranks with the best.
    Now the U.N. is telling the world that only nuts on the fringe question dismantling the global economy to fight global warming. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year stated that warming was “unequivocal” and “caused by human activity.”
    It increasingly seems that ideology and a wish to see the industrialized free West reduced in economic status is what motivates U.N. climate policy, not science. But these hundreds of competent scientists dedicated to the truth are not about to let their mouths be covered — even by a United Nations olive branch.

  53. I love Calgary weather !! All 4 seasons in one day, what’s not to like?? -Maximum distance from the sun, 94,537,000 miles -Minimum distance from the sun, 91,377,000 miles -Mean distance from the sun, 92,957,200 miles -Orbital eccentricity 0.017 -Obliquity of the ecliptic 23’27” 8.26 seconds -Length of the tropical year (equinox to equinox) 365.24 days -Length of the sidereal year (fixed star to fixed star) 365.26 days -Length of the mean solar day 24 hours 3 min. 56.555 seconds in mean solar time -Length of the mean sidereal day 23 hours 56 min. 4.091 seconds in mean solar time -Mass 6,600 million million million tons -Equatorial diameter 7,927 miles -Polar diameter 7,900 miles -Obliqueness 1/298th -Density 5.41 -Mean surface acceleration 32.174 feet per second/ per second -Escape velocity 7 miles per second – Albedo 0.39 You gotta love the universe and our little place in the suburbs of the Milky Way. Humbling, isn’t it?

  54. Tamino is at it again. He put up a bunch of propaganda about how we are going to reach a tipping point. All we have to do is put a massive carbon tax in place, a moratorium on coal power, double fuel efficiency, invest billions in solar and wind and everything will be fine.
    As I continue to learn about AGW I keep finding less and less to support it. I started questioning GISS, moved on to temp reconstructions and now I am working with Ice extent data. I really have been going at it with an open mind starting more than a year ago but now I am realizing how little there is to support it. I keep thinking there will be more, but not yet.. nothing really.
    Here’s my response to tamino.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/taminos-imagination/

  55. Sorry this is off topic, but it’s important. We all know that Obama and his crew of pirates don’t care about truth. They are going to press ahead in spite of it. And to make that easier the Democrats are well on the way to being able to undo the Constitution.
    http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/urgent-urgent-constitutional-convention-secretly-being-railroaded-through/
    If they succeed at that, then all our efforts won’t amount to anything, especially since open discussion like this will no longer be allowed.

  56. Hi folks,
    OK, tinfoil-hat conspiracy alert.
    Well, this may seem conspiratorial but it’s their words not mine.
    The Club of Budapest (sibling of the famous Club of Rome) has recently declared a State of Global Emergency.
    http://www.worldshiftnetwork.org/declaration/index.html
    “Time-estimates of when the “point of no return” will be reached for the global system of humanity have shrunk from the end of the century to mid-century, then to the next twenty years, and recently to the next five to twenty years. For example, it was predicted that the Earth’s average temperarure will increase by about 3° Celsius by the year 2100, then it was said that this level of increase will come about by the middle of the century, and lately that it could possibly occur within a decade.
    The figure for overall warming has been increased from 3° C to 6° C or higher. Global warming of 3° C would cause serious disruptions to human activity, while a 6° C rise would be a ‘global breakdown’ making most of the planet unsuitable for human life.
    The acceleration of critical trends and cross-impacts among them indicates that the ‘window of opportunity’ for pulling out of the present global crisis and breaking through to a more peaceful and sustainable world is likely to be no more than four to five years from the end of 2008.”
    So, we only have four to five years left!!
    Fortunately they have a plan to save us:
    “If humanity is not to perish, as other species have that failed to respond to changing conditions, we must face and cope with the unintended consequences of the narrow short-term thinking that has led to today’s unsustainable global situation. No ‘quick fix’ or ‘miracle technology’ will save us from the consequences of the erroneous values and actions of the past. Only by engaging the human spirit in all its creativity and potential wisdom can we give birth to the necessary new thinking and actions. The currently dominant mode of thinking cannot be maintained any longer.
    We must overcome the societal inertia generated by the powerful self-destructive remnants of bygone eras in order to prepare in each community, region and nation for systemic disruptions and possible collapses. We must radically reconsider our view of the world and re-structure its principal operative systems: energy, economics, governance, transportation, food, resource use and distribution, among others. We must act to extend the time available to us before it becomes too late to avoid breakdown on a global scale.
    WE HEREBY ISSUE AN URGENT CALL to all the People and Peoples of the World to declare their awareness of the state of global emergency and their firm commitment to join together to carry out real and meaningful change in all sectors of society (education, governance, economy, media, culture, technology) and at all levels (local, national, and global) for the common good of all people and all societies, and all life on Earth.”
    I have analysed some of their proposed ‘solution’ here:
    http://www.green-agenda.com/greatshift.html

  57. More anecdotal evidence
    Saas Fee, Switzerland is reporting they have had about 1.5m of snow so far, last winter they had about 1.5m in total.

  58. Alphajuno (14:52:35) :
    I talked to a long-time (over 50 years) Galveston (20 miles south of Houston) resident today. Except for our snowfalls in December of 04 and 08, the only other time he recalled it snowing was three times in the 60s.

    Houston snowed once in the 84-85 winter, gone by noon. We also had a doozy of an ice storm, but I don’t remember the year. After that, the EPA made the airport dig up the ramp and put in a drainage recovery system for aircraft de-icing fluid. Never used it, and the next time they redid the concrete, they paved right over it.
    I can’t take these weather climate extremes. I’m moving back to Illinois and becoming a Senator.

  59. Perhaps OT, but I have been giving very serious consideration to the problems associated with personal comforts, like a roof over our heads, heating, eating, etc. Those general necessities associated with decent human life. It occurs to me that in the dysfunctional UK, none of these fragile facilities will be available to us, at prices we can afford. Suppose we ARE seeing the beginning of another “minimum”, or worse!!
    I shall therefore sell up in the UK and move to a country where I can purchase some land with a stand of timber for heating and cooking and a ruined building that we can rebuild, for 10% of the prices in the UK. A country where keeping chickens and a couple of pigs is not looked askance and having a permit to hunt for the pot is considered normal.
    Especially, I want a country where the neighbours understand that cold and warm seasons are naturally occurring and good nutrition is a way of life. I would be crazily stupid to tell everyone where this Shangri La exists, but I am willing to leave a clue so that people like me can join us, if they so desire.
    The distortion of climate science for the purposes of taxation, is matched by the deliberate misinformation fed to us by socialist governments that wish to weaken their citizens, so that these poor fools can be more easily controlled. If populations are obese, they are unable to fight for their rights. Some might say this is a strange point of view to hold, but I suggest it’s no stranger than the fiction that CO2 is a pollutant. If government advice about good nutrition were correct, there would be very few fatties, but million of fatties there are. What’s going on?? Is the advice wrong??
    Read everything published at http://www.westonaprice.org/splash_2.htm and those who can figure it out, will soon be moving to the same superb location. The fishing is also a joy!!
    Best of luck,
    Perry
    PS. By studying mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, researchers have found that most of the actual European inhabitants seem to have come from re-expansion of hunter-gatherers populations, which have migrated from Iberia, Europe after the end of the last Ice Age reports an article in the January issue of Genome Research.
    In the study of human evolution through history and pre-history there are now two indispensable sets of genes to follow: Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes. Both sets are transmitted uniparentally from one generation to the next – father to son in the case of the Y-chromosome and mother to child in the case of mtDNA – which makes them especially useful to trace lineages.
    Mitochondrial DNA is a circular structure composed of 13 genes and exists, as the name indicates, in mitochondria, which are organelles responsible for energy production in the cell. Mitochondrial DNA sequences can be divided in different groups – haplogroups – according to genetic variations (or polymorphisms). Each haplogroup can then be divided into sub-clades (or sub-groups) according to further polymorphisms. Because it is possible to calculate the changes occurring in mtDNA in a certain period of time (the rate of change is constant and known) it is possible to follow in time the different sub-clades and learn when they did get separated, and consequently their individual migrations/geographical separations.
    And in fact, the study of mtDNA haplogroups has been used to understand better the migrations of human population throughout evolution. Unfortunately, this has not been possible in Europe, although some progress has been made on a relatively rare haplogroup V. But around half of the European mtDNA sequences belong to a haplogroup (H) and so far it had been impossible to understand its evolutionary pathway in the continent.
    But now Luísa Pereira, Martin Richards, Ana Goios, Vincent Macaulay, António Amorim and colleagues from Spain, Israel, Russia, Germany, Dubai, Czech Republic and Ireland, taking advantage of recently available information on haplogroup H polymorphisms, decided to make a new attempt to understand the European migrations throughout evolution. The team of scientists analysed 649 individuals of the H haplogroup from 20 populations throughout Europe, Caucasus and the near East and, by managing to trace the localisation of the different sub-clades, were able to further resolve the evolutionary (and migrational) history of haplogroup H and modern Europeans.
    In fact, it is believed that haplogroup H evolved in the Near East around 28.000-30.000 years ago and spread throughout Europe 20.000 years ago. Although it was thought that some, or all, of the European population of this haplogroup have re-expanded throughout the continent from a European glacial refuge 15.000 years ago, this was not possible to be confirmed. Now Pereira, Richards, Goios, Macaulay, Amorim and colleagues’ work not only confirms that in fact the oldest lineage of H (called H*) was found in the near East and entered Europe during the peak of the last Ice Age, but also claims to have identified the glacial refuge in Europe from where humans re-expanded as Iberia.
    Pereira, Richards, Goios, Macaulay, Amorim and colleagues’ work is important for the history of human evolution suggesting that most modern Europeans evolved from hunter-gathers that expanded at the end of the last Ice Age (end of the Palaeolithic) from a glacial refuge in Iberia where they had stayed for around 10,000 years after an initial migration from the Near East.
    Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim ( catarina.amorim@linacre.ox.ac.uk)

  60. There’s an interesting text summing up “global warming” platitudes:
    Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today. How and why we are told otherwise?
    But the first question placed by the author in his article has serious global political answer, alas.
    I wrote about it in my post Climate Change – Faked, Faked, Faked!. I put there also some additional material from prof. Jaworowski’s article published in Poland at the beginning of this year. (Prof. Jaworowski’s works and theses are the gist of the first article written by Dr. Tim Ball).
    Regards

  61. Mike McMillan (23:16:40) :
    “I can’t take these weather climate extremes. I’m moving back to Illinois and becoming a Senator.”
    Sorry, but I think the Illinois Senator job has been taken off the auction block.
    Which poses an interesting question, I wonder how much the Illinois Senate position could go for on E-Bay?
    ;>P

  62. Gone, snow…
    …on a screen near me; just as I was checking the CPU usage (15%), too.
    Now if you can exert this control in the great outdoors, Anthony…

  63. I can’t wait to hear what the commentators have to say about the weather during the inauguration. Maybe we could start a pool on snow, wind, temperature, etc. Followed by a second pool on the number of times commentators on the networks refer to it appropriately.

  64. Has anyone looked at the Pastafarian web sites?
    If anyone does not know about them, they are a spoof religion started up by some students to counter claims by ‘intelligent design’ supporters that their version of ‘christian evolution’ should be taught in the US. The Pastafarians use similar arguments to ‘prove’ that God is a ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’. One of the tenets of this spoof religion is that the increase in Global Warming correlates well with the decline of pirates, so that must be what’s causing it. They advocate dressing and talking like a pirate to bring world temperatures down.
    Recently there has been a upsurge in pirate activity, particularly around Somalia. And, impressively, global temperatures have been decreasing. The correlation seems to be much better than with the CO2 figures, and the Pastafarians are having a field day, given that they actually predicted this effect.
    I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced…….

  65. There appears to be a positive corrlation between the singing of “White Christmas” and the arrival of wintry weather. Therefore stop singing “White Christmas” down South and you won’t have this problem. “We can control the climate just check out the computer models that say so!”
    By the way, when JFK was inaugurated in 1961, there was a very big snowstorm with lots of snow on the East Coast. I remember the drifts were taller than me, but I was 9 years old at the time. Hopefully we will have a blizzard to rival the Great Blizzard of “88 for Obama inauguration. Would be nice!Hope Al Gore goes there that day.

  66. ” There appears to be a positive corrlation between the singing of “White Christmas” and the arrival of wintry weather. Therefore stop singing “White Christmas” down South and you won’t have this problem…”
    Aha, but were you able to make a testable prediction with this hypothesis? The Pastafarians were.
    There is now more evidence for pirates being the caise of warming than there is for CO2. Everyone talk like a pirate, quickly!

  67. wow..
    You fine Americans are going to freeze big time.
    this week and certainly also next week. Big areas in the west with more than 10 degrees K bleow average!!!!
    wow…

  68. “” E.M.Smith (17:01:49) :
    Richard Sharpe (14:52:22) :
    It seems more likely to shrink during what looks like the coming coldening. Which does not bode well for many of the extra mouths we added during the good times.
    Essentially correct, but simplified. Over a few seasons, farmers adjust the crop they grow (wheat fails at the margin, next year plant more barley). In some regions, the cold also means drought (i.e. California – there goes the salad…) but since we grow lots of cotton in Kern county (for no good reason – water intensive semitropical plant best grown in the south…) we could do some crop substitutions as well. “”
    Well not quite correct E. M. , if you are as aware of Kern County as you seem, then you know that it is not bustling with bountiful supplies of surface water. So much of the time, the farmers have to rely on pumped ground water, and I can tell you that central valley well water is between 8 and 9 on the Mohs hardness scale; hardness being the operative word.
    So if you check Kern County on “the West side”, from hiway 99 to hiway 5, you will notice that a lot of the ground looks like a giant salt pond, from constant irrigation with ground water.
    So there isn’t much besides sage brush and cotton that will actually grow on that land, and the sage brush futures don’t promise much for that crop, unless it becomes a desirable ethanol feedstock.
    If you look a little further north, where they have some actual real rivers that bring surface water down from the Sierra (and ship it to socal), they too grow cotton, when the surface salts build up; but every now and then, they get a water bonus, and live water actually flows down those rivers.
    Many of the west side farmers then flood the land with Sierra snow melt, and plant rice, which turns the whole place into a wetland for migratory birds.
    The surface flooding, flushes the salts back down to the next clay layer, and rejuvenates the surface soils, so once the snow melt bounty ends, they can go back to growing tomatoes and canteloupes, or feed corn.
    Eventually, they have to revert to pumped ground water irrigation, and the salts return, till they get back to the cotton or sagebriush stage.
    It is actually quite sensible and scientifically sound, and California cotton and rice are both top market products when they have them.

  69. I hasten to point out that the previous snow on Dec 10, 1944 was listed as a “trace” while this one was officially a one inch accumulation. In that sense, this is unprecedented. Not since records began more than a century ago, has there been this much snow this early. That is to say – never in living memory.
    I’d call that a long term observation.

  70. I have lived my entire life in either the Baton Rouge area or in Tuscaloosa County, AL. We would get snow in Tuscaloosa and it would stay on the ground for several days and once we got hail storm that piled up in 3″-4″ drifts and lasted for two hot summer days, but the snow we got yesterday in Baton Rouge was different.
    I live about twenty miles northeast of the downtown area and while the snow was mostly gone in the city by last night, my pasture is still fifty percent white. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like this south of the MasonDixon line. I warned my friends and family back in the summer that if Solar Cylce 24 didn’t make an appearance soon, this winter was going to be a doozy. I think the fun has only begun. I just hope our Nigerian goats and GulfCoast Sheep will be okay – I may have to put a fireplace in the barn.

  71. Per Strandberg (11:52:56) :
    Severe storms batter the south and east USA by Dan Corbett
    In this report we can learn that the storm was created by “unseasonably warm air pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico”. Emphasis on “unseasonably warm air”.

    As someone who lives in NJ where this event occurred I can confirm the report, Wednesday the temperature was mid 60s, that is unseasonable for here!
    In the next sentence it says “On Wednesday, this warm and moist air met up with colder air coming down from the arctic”. Without any mention on “unseasonably”, related to the cold air.
    Cold Arctic air isn’t ‘unseasonable’ here in December and although we’re supposed to have a high of 36ºF tomorrow it will be up to 60ºF on Monday (unseasonable average for the day is 42ºF)!

  72. E.M.Smith (16:19:29) :
    Larkin Lowrey (08:47:26) :
    I figured Al Gore would get me sooner or later but I’m a little surprised to have been bit so soon.
    He was on national news with Obama when the Messiah endorsed The Gore Agenda. We all ought to have a blizzard by the weekend 😉

    I shudda kept my mouth shut …. 8-} Can we ban AlGore from TV?

  73. George E. Smith (15:43:14) :
    Well not quite correct E. M. , if you are as aware of Kern County as you seem, then you know that it is not bustling with bountiful supplies of surface water.

    Yeah, I’m that aware of it. Drive through it at least a half dozen times a year and have for … for a very long time… I’m very familiar with all the salinity issues you raised along with the flood treatment to flush the salts (and Kesterson and drain tiles and …)
    Where I seem to have gone off track is my understanding of cotton. Didn’t realize it was so salt / hardness tolerant. From:
    http://www.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=404
    A solution culture experiment study was conducted in to categorize cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) germplasm against salinity stress. There were 20 cotton genotypes and three salinity levels (viz Control, 100 and 200 mol m–3 NaCl) with five replications.
    Seems cotton comes in both non-tolerant and salt tolerant types. Live and learn…
    I’ve been trying for 3 years now to grow cotton and only got some to do well this year (“Aggie” strain – nice pinkish flowers and red tint to the dark green leaves. Really pretty!) Maybe I need to dump some salt on it to make it happy 😉 or at least look up the cultural requirements for it rather than treating it like a 1/2 fast hobby… But it’s just a bit too cold where I live to get it to mature well.
    I took a cheap shot based on my biases and didn’t look up why cotton might actually make commercial sense. OK. I’ll get over it. Later. A lot later… 😉
    I also presumed they were getting water from the Fed system (i.e. aqua duct, Oroville / Shasta dams et.al.) in greater quantities than your post implies. They sure had a lot of signs up when the contract was being renewed… but maybe that’s only the guys near I5.
    Still, I think that in a food emergency we would find a way to plant something else. UC has developed some salt tolerant tomatoes, for example, specifically aimed at that part of the state with the salt crusts. IIRC it can grow in 30% or so sea water. See:
    http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=5840
    and for another source:
    http://www.plantstress.com/Files%5Cengineering_salt.htm
    Orach & quinoa are from the ‘saltbush’ family (chenopods) and I’d suspect some strains of them would do well in saline / hard conditions. There is an ongoing program searching coastal areas for salt tolerance genes. I *think* they found a bean of some kind that grows near oceans (but it’s been a couple of years since I read the article…)
    From:
    https://lswiki.byu.edu/index.php?title=Quinoa_Salt_Stress&oldid=4455
    High salinity is one of the greatest challenges facing crop production today. […] Chenopodium Quinoa is a crop that has been able to overcome a number of abiotic stresses including high salinity.
    So while I may have been bogus in my slam on the commercial growing of cotton, I’m going to stick to the idea that we could do crop substitutions (since otherwise I’d have been wrong, and that just couldn’t be 😉

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