Nearly two thirds of the continental USA gets a white Christmas

I don’t know if this is a record or not for Christmas coverage, but it is certainly reminiscent of the winter of 1977-78 where we had similar bouts of cold and snow. About 99% of Canada has snow cover also, with some parts of the Pacific Coast excepted, and it appears that all of Canada’s Lakes are frozen as indicated by the “yellow ice” in the photo. Here is the latest (Updated for 12/25/09) from NOAA:

From the  National Operational Hyrdologic Remote Sensing Center here is the satellite snow depth map and the hard data on coverage:


December 25, 2009

Area Covered By Snow: 63.0%
Area Covered Last Month: 10.4%
Snow Depth
Average: 5.0 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 889.2 in
Std. Dev.: 7.0 in
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 0.9 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 437.5 in
Std. Dev.: 1.5 in

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125 thoughts on “Nearly two thirds of the continental USA gets a white Christmas

  1. Well, fortunately I’m in Vancouver where it’s not a white snow day today but 2c! One of the very few places without snow or frozen lakes in Canada…

    Thanks for including Canada in your report! It is the Great White North for a reason!

    pwl
    http://PathsToKnowledge.net

  2. Looks a lot like the 70’s around here-NE Oregon. 23F. and stratus. Now they are saying snow this next week.Back in about 1977/78 I was Chief instructor at a
    Flight School in Pasco Wa. Didn’t turn a propeller for weeks-when it wasn’t fog,
    it was snow.What runs in 30 year cycles?hmmm?
    I won’t even count what the sun is doing(not)….

  3. We will have record snowfall and record low temps this winter. Natural gas is under $5 mcf. Taxing it will cause a lot of problems for people that are already short of money. Thanks for the map. It shows several states that aren’t well prepared and will see frozen pipes.

  4. track down that station that has almost 900″ of snow and about 430″ water inch equivalent

    it doesn’t belong in the data base

  5. If snow is a symptom of Global Warming, then the Global Warming must have accelerated mightily, just as predicted by the almighty IPCC.

  6. 2/3 of the lower 48, but if we add in Alaska do we get to 3/4 of the USA?

    So, is this why Cyroshpere Today seems to not have the ‘compare’ function working with any date past 12/09/2009?
    We would like to see the whole N. Hemisphere.
    Seems to me China got blasted with early snow and Europe is got recently belted with more forecast in the next week or two.
    The Weather outside is truly frightful.
    Global Warming locked up the tranny, broke an axle, skidded off the road in BumSteer, Ok., and buried itself in a snowbank.
    They’ll find the vehicle sometime next spring, whenever the thaw decides to manifest itself.
    File it under a Missing Predictor Report.

  7. So, increased CO2 causes global warming, which leads to these freakish bouts of globe-chilling weather, therefore decreased CO2 will lead to global cooling, leading to freakish bouts of globe-warming weather.

    Well then, let’s build some large processing plants, use all that miserable dirty oil and gas for feedstocks, convert them to fertilizer, dump it all into the oceans, and wait for sunlight to take care of the problem as all the photosynthesizing micro-critters extract the excess atmospheric CO2. Piece of cake. Freakish bouts of summertime weather in the winter, here we come!

  8. Looks like there is a wet nor’easter cranking up. It is just now at the Georgia/South Carolina line and it looks like it is dragging a warm front counter-clockwise in front of it. A lot of the snow on the DelMarVa will turn to goop as it is going to rain there. Dover, DE looks like rain on top of about a foot of snow, perfect setting for clogged rain gutters, flat roofs loaded with ponding water, and storm drains clogged with snow causing street ponding.

    Stay dry, stay safe.

    Happy Holidays!

  9. We are in Corpus Christi, Texas. Cold today, 50F, but sunny. We weren’t born in Texas but got here as fast as we could. Ray & Kay (ex-Chicagoans)

  10. @ stan (13:00:37) :

    “It would appear that the only states without some snow are Miss, Ala, Fla and maybe La.”

    Actually, we did get a few flakes/sleet early this morning at my place in NE MS. :) Not enough to show up on the maps, but still. Not all that unusual for here. Snowed about an inch last winter, and I expect we’ll get some this year also.

  11. You think this is interesting, just wait till New Years day…Anyone with the foresight to invest in a snow blower company? Front loaders, dump trucks? Road salt futures?

  12. Dec 7, 2009. The leaflets proclaiming “The science is settled” cover the ground.
    Dec 25, 2009. The snowflakes proclaiming “Climate gags IPCC prediction” cover the toxic leaflets.

  13. Just weather not climate.

    Imagine if this was the NH summer and heatwaves spread accross the USA and Europe, there would be alarmists screaming from every rooftop about how it’s a sign of global warming [climate change] we must act now, its worse than we thought, blah blah blah. (It’s happened before – heatwaves & alarm).

  14. The snow started out light on Christmas eve here, then got heavy for the evening.

    Now a white Christmas with a few flurries that have just fallen this afternoon, Weather Underground talks a slight chance of snow tomorrow and Wedensday.

    They only reported 3 inches here in Wichita but it can be hard to tell with all the snow blowing into drifts.

  15. I’m between Indianapolis and Chicago. Map shows us with snow and we have had 47°F temps today with a ton of rain. Air temp is just now (5pm EST) starting to get cold enough for snow. Not sure how the map differentiates between rain and snow but we have had a pretty brown Christmas so far.

  16. Richard Holle (13:43:13) : You think this is interesting, just wait till New Years day…

    The forecast for Norway’s capital Oslo New Years day is in agreement with Piers Corbyn:

    The winds from Siberia are going to make it extremely cold – another Siberian blast.

  17. Using very sensitive instruments (Electric&gas Meter) I can say that the last few years have been getting colder.
    This winter though, indeed takes the biscuit.
    Thank you all.
    Dave UK. Who lives not far from the UEA Grrrrr.

  18. Well: Here in north-central ND right now we have a pretty good approximation of an 3-day blizzard like the old-timers used to talk about; and that I occasionally saw when I was kid 50 years ago. Realize this is in the ”weather is not climate” department, but still:

    NWS sez total expected snow in our County thru tomorrow 6-9 inches;
    Blizzard warning with N winds 25-35 mph & gusts to 50 mph today;
    Temps 5 to 15 above, so wind chill well below zero.
    White-out conditions common; ALL of I-29 and I-94 in ND are closed (been a LONG time since that happened, IIRC).

  19. Eddie (14:10:33) :

    “I’m between Indianapolis and Chicago. Map shows us with snow and we have had 47°F temps today with a ton of rain. Air temp is just now (5pm EST) starting to get cold enough for snow. Not sure how the map differentiates between rain and snow but we have had a pretty brown Christmas so far.”

    You aren’t specific enough with your location. But the map does not show all snow between Indy and Chicago. Here’s more detail

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/html/map.html?mode=pan&zoom=&center_x=++-91.20&center_y=+++38.77&ql=station&var=ssm_depth&dy=2009&dm=12&dd=25&dh=12&snap=1&o9=1&o12=1&o13=1&lbl=m&min_x=-91.233333333335&min_y=38.450000000001&max_x=-84.166666666668&max_y=43.75&coord_x=-87.7000000000015&coord_y=41.1000000000005&zbox_n=&zbox_s=&zbox_e=&zbox_w=&metric=0&bgvar=dem&width=600&height=450&nw=600&nh=450&h_o=0&font=0&js=1&uc=0

    I’m wondering where 47F temps were to be found. All in the area seems to be freezing. Here is Lebanon, IL:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.056001090767424&lon=-86.47064208984375&site=ind&smap=1&marine=0&unit=0&lg=en

  20. Hmm, I live in Nova Scotia, East coast of Canada and we had a bunch of snow about a week ago, but it has since rained and mostly melted. There is a bit of frozen snow here and there, and some snowbanks from where the plows pushed it all, but definately not a “White Christmas”. Don’t know why it shows it as white on that map… but it is chilly that’s for sure.

  21. Picked up a good foot of snow so far with some more to come here in the Northland of MN. Some places have gotten nearly 2ft. Lots of sleet and rain mixed in, too, so snow totals were down a bit from what they could have been. Impressive system. Look for January to be just as impressive as this month has for the US.

  22. “…and it appears that all of Canada’s Lakes are frozen as indicated by the “yellow ice” in the photo.”

    Ewww… don’t eat that yellow ice, Canada! :-)

    I’m right on the tip of Lake Michigan, and this morning there was no snow in sight. It all melted with the previous evening’s/ early morning’s rain. Was pretty decent, temperature-wise, this morning and into the afternoon.

    But just looked out the window, and sure enough… it’s white out again!

    Oh well. Merry Christmas, Anthony and WUWT readers!

  23. u.k.(us) (14:38:56) :

    the glorious thing about this weather, is that you/we all saw it coming! quiet sun, etc.

    We saw this coming, the literature says this is what we should be expecting, and here it is, quiet sun and all.

    The real question is:
    What exactly is “Their” problem?
    “They” have the no less access to the literature than we do.
    “They” had to know what was coming.
    Yet, for all that, they stand there and watch as Rome freezes over.
    They should ask thier doctor if Reality is right for them.

  24. Wrong time of year.

    Although 20 degrees below zero are not unusual he chooses to use the term “cold blast”.

    – If we see 10 to 15 years back, it is not common that it is so cold at this time of year. Nor that it will remain cold over such a long time. We are still in December, but sees a kind of cold, we usually have in January and February. Therefore, the term explosive cold, says meteorologist Bjart Eriksen.

    http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?prev=no&hl=en&u=http://www.rb.no/lokale_nyheter/article4776244.ece

  25. Spare a thought for all the climate modellers in 2010.

    All the effort required to rewrite algorithms to remove all this inconvenient outlier data.

    14C and raining here in Canberra, Australia, down from 35C two days ago.

  26. Actually a tiny patch of now on the top of Mauna Kea, so even Hawaii has some snow on Christmas. Got to the lower 60’s in town last night. Life is hard here…

  27. Strange weather here in the Chicago area. The front side of this low brought rain that melted all of the snow. Now on the back side of the low we are getting new snow and artic air to turn all of the standing water to ice.

  28. Don’t you folks realize that this is exactly what AGW theory has been prediction all along?

    And in case some one wants to ban me AGAIN for being a troll: Guess what, I am kidding.

  29. stan (13:00:37) :

    It would appear that the only states without some snow are Miss, Ala, Fla and maybe La.

    ————————————

    It did snow this morning in Alabama.

  30. You all have to understand that NOAA, NASA, IPCC, etc. with the help of most of the media are trying their best to cover up all this unusual gold weather all around the world. It will only backfire eventually as the people will start to question how come there’s a massive discrepancy between what’s reported and reality. The longer they do this the worse it will get for them. The thing they always forget is we all have sensors of our own – ears, eyes, touch, etc. So, the longer they continue with the masquerade, the bigger the hole they are digging for themselves. I only hope that one day soon we can have a lot of those at high places put in jail for what they have done.

  31. Ryan C (14:48:44) :

    “Hmm, I live in Nova Scotia, East coast of Canada and we had a bunch of snow about a week ago, but it has since rained and mostly melted. There is a bit of frozen snow here and there, and some snowbanks from where the plows pushed it all, but definately not a “White Christmas”. Don’t know why it shows it as white on that map… but it is chilly that’s for sure.”

    It appears most of Nova Scotia’s reporting stations are showing current snow. The exception being along the middle east coast, an area too small to be significant on the large map. It’d be on the black outline.

  32. Dec 19th did kill a low temp record from Dec 19th 1963, by 5.8 °C
    (1963, -7.1, 2009, -12.9)
    Dec 20th did kill another one.
    Inbetween we got the rather warm phase before/after XMas.
    The real cold here will start on 28th/29th, as usual.
    Fair chance, it won’t end before Feb 20th, and it will be colder
    than ’05, colder than ’06, colder than ’07, colder than ’08,
    number five in the row.

    Last time the winters here got colder year by year, more than
    3 years in a row, was in the 190x-192x years, and then it was
    poor-freaking-[snip]-damm-cold. Compared to that, the
    winters of the end-fifties and early seventies were a warm spell.
    As a kid, they did still seem cold to me.

  33. Thanks to Santa, I now have a basic weather kit. The BA is 29.92, the humidity 56%, outside temp is 60 degrees, with 0 mph wind.

    It is blue sky’s on the Southern part of the Oregon Coast, at about 1/4 mile from the beach at 300 ft of elevation. Its been shorts weather for the last few days, after a week of wind and non stop rain.

    Merry Christmas to one and all,

    Jack

  34. rbateman (14:53:24) :

    u.k.(us) (14:38:56) :

    the glorious thing about this weather, is that you/we all saw it coming! quiet sun, etc.

    We saw this coming, the literature says this is what we should be expecting, and here it is, quiet sun and all.

    The real question is:
    What exactly is “Their” problem?
    “They” have the no less access to the literature than we do.
    “They” had to know what was coming.
    Yet, for all that, they stand there and watch as Rome freezes over.
    They should ask thier doctor if Reality is right for them
    ===================================
    you are absolutely right, never thought of it that way.

  35. Still wondering what happend to our summer. Usually our temps are between 30-35degC. Only have had a couple of days that just made 30. Nights are chilly, still have a blanket on the bed !!
    I guess I’ll have to use the boat more often, warming the planet 8 cylinders at a time !!!

  36. We had snow on the ground, but in northern Indianan, we had rain almost all day today (Christmas) so we now have green lawns and muddy fields. I understand that the rain has been widespread in the American Midwest.

  37. “Andrew (14:59:40) :

    Spare a thought for all the climate modellers in 2010.”

    Imagine how much worse it’ll get for them in the following years, assuming the PDO cool phase picks up steam and/or the solar minimum worsens. They’ll be removing themselves from reality more and more.

    Has anybody thought this through: Given that CO2 is absorbing and re-emitting infrared rays and it occurs with 270 to 388 ppm in the atmosphere, doesn’t really matter how much, how big is the chance of any one infrared ray (in the affected absorption band of CO2) emitted from earth’s surface to reach space without being absorbed by a CO2 molecule?

    According to Svante Arrhenius, the inventor of CO2’s greenhouse effect, a doubling of CO2 increases the radiative forcing by a constant like
    ΔF = α ln(C/C0)
    but does this make sense? Shouldn’t earths atmosphere not be entirely opaque with 270 ppm already, given that our infrared ray has to travel through 80 km of atmosphere? (Granted, it gets thinner the higher you go,
    so the first 10km make the biggest difference) Has anybody tried to compute this? I would like to know the probability of a ray to get through all this CO2 containing atmosphere unscattered.

  38. R.S.Brown (13:22:49) :

    It’s a bit odd… normally storms in the North Hemishere travel west to east. The holds for most storms in our upper midwest/Plains states.

    However, today’s big spinning low bucks the trend:

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/us_comp/us_comp.html

    Check out the sun glint on the snow fields in Canada !

    Great site! Short-wavelength disturbances travel very slowly to the west, but since the general flow of air is west to east they appear to us stationary folks as moving rapidly east (think Alberta Clippers). Long wavelength disturbances move far faster westward, and adding the general flow of the atmosphere, end up looking like they flow very slowly east. This wave is quite large, and it is embedded in a slow west to east general flow; so, it ends up drifting west. It is heading straight back toward me. I wish I could just experinece winter on the net, rather than sit here in a blizzard.

  39. I’m in Michigan at the Indiana/Michigan line. It rained all day, now it’s starting to snow. We’ll see what happens.

  40. In the meantime, Australian climatologists are noting that tropical Pacific water temperatures are the hottest since the extreme el nino of 1998, suggesting that 2010 may become the warmest year for global mean temperature in the instrumental record.

  41. Jim (15:15:18) :

    The Sun is blank again.

    … oh, now I have to go look :( Merry Christmas to you too!

    Maunder? or Dalton?

  42. “Bill D (16:04:31) :

    In the meantime, Australian climatologists are noting that tropical Pacific water temperatures are the hottest since the extreme el nino of 1998, suggesting that 2010 may become the warmest year for global mean temperature in the instrumental record.

    Yes but poster #4 on this thread (ATTN! link to the EVIL side!) notices something strange going on in Peru:
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/25/australia-weather-bureau-pacific-ocean-surface-temperatures-el-nino-science/#more-16655

  43. No power for us last night in SW Minnesota. Finally came on at 7AM today after 18 hrs. Whoever got it running was a real hero in some aspects. Couldn’t be worse weather to work in — snow, blowing, roads impassable, etc.

  44. Bill D (16:04:31) :

    Please qualify that with some numbers.
    The hottest day the past 2 months here was 73 degrees. The 2nd warmest was 60 degrees. If tomorrow the thermometer hits 61, and I say “This is the 2nd hottest day sine November, does it mean a December heat wave has struck the likes of which are the most profound since the instrument was invented?
    What numbers do you have that suggest 2010 is going to be an El Nino Barn Burner?

  45. If you think this storm and the one that occurred five days ago is something, just wait until New Year’s Day or just after. A big one may becoming to the Eastern USA again. Oh the inhumanity that the AGW crowd suffers at the hands of Mother Nature.

  46. Ah yes, 1978. I remember it well. My snowblower was able to go about 15 feet before it blew a chain link to the auger in the “Blizard of 78” in Boston. Better prepared this time. Better snow blower and my son has a off road F-150 equipped with a plow. None the less it shut Newton, MA down for a week. Break out the old sled from the garage and walk to the grocery store.

    Worst case, I can exist off the grid. Can I send any bills for damages to Al Gore?

  47. @ DirkH Please remember that we are now in the downslope of the AMO. It is simply not going to get any warmer than it is now in the northern hemisphere all else equal. It is not for nothing that I have equipped myself to exist off the grid if necessary.

  48. the thing that really scares me is that obama et,al are still defending this crap. i think they will need to back off slowly, because the brainwashed masses will have a hard time with the new “world view”. maybe they will teach science in the schools again. (there was no agenda when i was in school,just science as we knew it). a 10 year loss of some of our best minds, criminal.

  49. “ShrNfr (17:13:37) :

    @ DirkH Please remember that we are now in the downslope of the AMO. It is simply not going to get any warmer than it is now in the northern hemisphere all else equal. It is not for nothing that I have equipped myself to exist off the grid if necessary.”

    I was thinking of the PDO cool phase wrecking the proposed Super El Nino. We’ll see. But you’re right about the AMO as well. I wonder how long my beloved german politicans (all having embraced Kyoto heartily) will be able to ignore reality.

    As for the grid here in Germany: At least not one evil CO2 emitting power plant got shut off. We need them all in standby to kick in when the wind doesn’t blow. So we will still be able to cope. BTW all our emissions reductions compared to 1990 we achieved by shutting down communist-era plants in the ex-GDR. So kyoto wasn’t all that difficult for us. We simply de-industrialized the part of the country that wasn’t so economic anyway.

  50. I notice the satellite Daily Arctic Sea Ice Map shows only the Northern Shore of Hudson Bay covered with ice. While NOAAH’s map shows it 100% covered with ice. WUWT?

  51. rbateman (16:45:12) :

    An interesting NOAA reference. thank you.

    I suggest one should rely on UAH or RSS Lower Troposphere (LT) temperatures to make any assessment of relative global temperatures, and these satellite-based LT’s only exist since 1979.

    Alternatively, one could try to use Surface Temperatures (ST) from Hadley or others, but would have to adjust for the warming bias in ST, which I have calculated (for Hadcrut3 vs UAH) to be ~0.07C per decade for the past three decades.

    One could assume, with some uncertainty, that this ST warming bias correction can be applied to previous decades as well.

    Ever notice that when we have record cold temperatures, that is “weather”, but when we have record warm spells, that is “climate change” or “catastrophic global warming”?

    Remember the great 1998 El Nino scare (“Earth has a fever – we’re all gonna burn up!)?

    Then Earth cooled rapidly, and that was just… “weather”.

  52. The map must be off a little. Here in Southeast Michigan we only had rain. It melted most of the snow and ice from past weeks.

    HMMMM! Knock on wood!

  53. ShrNfr (17:09:45) :

    > Ah yes, 1978. I remember it well. My snowblower was able to go about 15 feet before it blew a chain link to the auger in the “Blizard of 78″ in Boston.

    Best storm in my memory – best drive in the snow, best (most dangerous) walk into work, best (only) slip and fall off a highway rock cut. From my point of view it can’t be improved on.

    See http://wermenh.com/blizz78.html

    ———————

    I’ve updated http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/ with links for all WUWT articles in December (so far) and notes on editing markup for WUWT comments. New title too since it has more than Tables of Contents.

    Enjoy!

    – Ric

  54. Answering my own question from above…
    “DirkH (15:54:14) :
    […] I would like to know the probability of a ray to get through all this CO2 containing atmosphere unscattered”
    i found this article on WUWT from july:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/15/9373/

    Funny. Whenever i manage to think of an intelligent question somebody has already published an answer.

  55. Glenn-just last week our local NWS office in Pendelton,Or, was gave an extended
    that made it sound like:”Get out the Sunscreen and Bermudas” Right.This seems to be the 70’s all over again….

  56. Overall the SSTs are still quite high. As long as that continues the global temps are going to remain above average.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when they start droppping.

  57. This El Nino is not classic by any means. Peruvian current strong, PDO just not wanting to go positive, AO been in the tank, and the NAO saying negative. Maybe I missed some other O’s, but there are negatives against the positive 3.4 region. Keeps the pot nice and stirred up for some rather interesting weather. Probably helping keep the Sat anomalies from hitting the roof. Gotta love the Oldman upstairs. He knows how to keep hotheads humble to some extent, even in His weather/climate.(And that goes for both sides. Pride goeth before the fall, and everyone will get a taste that aren’t careful. We’ve seen that already.)

    This decade(and the previous one) has been one long El Nino for the most part. But the reverse is coming down the pike. That’s just the way it is PERIOD!

    Hope everyone had a good Christmas!

  58. Glenn, with James Hansen predicting the warmest winter on record, I suspect that NOAA record WILL show what the NOAA scientists are predicting.

  59. Allan M R MacRae (18:22:08) :

    The NOAA page is simple enough for all to grasp. The Air temps and all those strata start jumbling around. I’m sure that’s what got those IPCC polyboffin all worked up and the MSM doing tropical raindances.
    So, the only really hot anomaly right now is the unending halitosis of premature El Nino Alarms with limburger flavored jalapeno sauce on a sesame seed bun.
    The MSM should take note to watch out for the brainy stuff, and stick to the basics to weigh out who’s explaining and who’s spinning yarn. Wouldn’t want to have a herd of reporters looking like Dan Rather’s Last Stand.

  60. I could see God not liking Bush so he kinda roasted us but…

    What does Obama have in common with Jimmy Carter that would make God freeze our butts off?

  61. @ Glenn The guys that make their living issuing forecasts for the people who trade futures have this as a cold winter in New England at a minimum. Unlike the guys who are at NOAA, these guys got to get it right or they get fired. I planned on a warm winter with the El Nino this year and ordered 3 tons of wood pellets to use for heating. (I also have backup circulating ng fired hot water to supplement stuff when it gets real cold). After I heard their forecast I got another 3 tons. I have gone through the better part of a ton already and it is not even Jan 1 yet.

    NOAA tries hard, but there is no negative utility function for them if they screw up. Personally, I would tie their salary to the accuracy of their forecasts. Your compensation for the year goes down by X$multiplied by Abs(Tobs-Tpredicted) and Y$ multiplied by Abs(Precipobs-Precippredicted).

    Betcha we would get more accurate long term forecasts. To make it more game theoretic you could do something like up Z$ when Abs(Tobs-Tpredicted) (Tobs-Tpredicted)<beta and down by X$ when it is over beta. Integrated over a given interval and then done. An escape clause for a volcano or asteroid hit has to be in there for fairness, but I think you get the idea.

    This kind of game theoretic stuff is what the for fee forecasting services basically do. If you are real good you can charge more. If you are so-so you can't charge a lot. If your forecasts suck, you get fired. When you trade millions of dollars on commodities, you are merciless with the quality of forecasts. Getting left with a wad of fuel oil in storage (which costs you money) after a warm winter does really lousy things to your P&L.

  62. If it is really cold here, (US) then it is slightly warmer somewhere else on the globe. The monthly average temperatures have some variation but normally on the order of ±0.4 C. So if we are a few degrees below normal for the month someone else is a few above normal. Green Christmas for us here in VA

  63. Wally (20:30:00) :

    If the Global Temperature is a constant, yes.
    So, if we are in a warm climate, a warm anomaly will look hot, but a cool anomaly would never get past the long term baseline.
    On the other hand, a warm anomaly in a cool climate won’t get higher than the long term climactic baseline, but a cool anomaly will make for something like a Little Ice Age.
    If one does not have a firm grip on what the current baseline is, one is playing a very dangerous game when attempting to bet it all.

  64. Light snow was falling in southern New Hampshire this evening, and it made a pretty ending to a peaceful Christmas day, on the quiet edge of a huge storm.

    The storm in the center of the USA is a beauty. Even though it now seems it is past it’s peak, (and central pressure had risen from 985 to 990 mb last time I looked,) its swirl of clouds extends from Maine to Montana. The “moisture loops” are especially impressive, if you can get an animation for the last 48 hours.

    Also, if you can get an animation of the surface temperatures for the past 48 hours, it is pretty incredible how much warmth this storm sucked up into its warm sector, and then gobbled up as the warm sector occluded.

    There are times to drop all the politics and side-taking and blame-laying, and just marvel at what is. This is one of those times.

    Not that it isn’t good to fight against “adjusted data,” and take a stand for Truth, but if you really feel Truth is a good thing then perhaps it is a good thing to leave the sewer of politics and just vacation in Truth. A vacation restores you. Once in a while it is good to just gaze at the clouds. In a way it is being as spiritual as a yogi, without the bother of having to breathe funny, and the pain in your knees from sitting cross-legged, and needing to go way up into the Himalayas and find yourself a cave.

    I have a feeling we will all need such reinvigoration, in the months ahead, because politics is a dreary and somewhat disgusting avenue to walk, yet it is likely we’ll have to do it. We’ll have to take a stand for Truth (and also Justice and the American Way,) because such things are threatened.

    If you take the time to just gaze at Truth, you’ll discover it is a restorative.

    Of course, one reason I didn’t become a meteorologist was because I spent so much time studying clouds I flunked Algebra. However Truth had a hand in that. If Truth wanted me to be a meteorologist then the Truth would have had my seat closer to the blackboard and farther from the window. However that wasn’t the Truth, (which some call “fate,”) and the Truth is I am not a meteorologist. However I do know a thing or two about clouds.

    One thing I know is that clouds are chaotic systems. However the study of chaos makes one aware of things called “Strange Attractors.” It’s a great pity we did not invest a tenth as much money in the study of “Strange Attractors” as we did in the fraud called “Climate Science,” because the truth of the matter is that, when you look at the beautifully organized storm in the center of the USA right now, you are seeing chaos create a “Strange Attractor.”

    If you look at a still shot, you’ll notice the clouds are shaped a bit like the shell of a snail. It is interesting that the shell of a snail is another “Strange Attractor” which appeared out of the swirling chaos of evolution.

    Science cannot yet explain how it is that such order can come out of chaos. The dismal fact of the matter is that, if you attempt to see things through Newton’s or even Einstein’s laws, order is highly unlikely. The sheer kinetic, frenetic hecticness of rebounding atoms tends to make order disintegrate into chaos. Chaos ought get worse and worse, but when you face facts and look at the Truth, you see beautiful organized swirls come out of chaos, (like the storm in the center of our country, or the galaxies springing from the Big Bang.)

    There are some who look at the current state of my homeland’s American democracy and see only chaos, and feel the only way to achieve order is to abolish Truths, including those Truths my forefathers held to be self-evident. However such people have lost faith in Truth as a power which can restore, revive, refresh, and recreate.

    A healthy democracy, where people truly behave as if “all men are created equal,” is a sort of “Strange Attractor” which appears over and over in the history of mankind’s chaotic behavior. It has no respect for those who may think they have the money and power.

    Right now the storm in the center of the USA has all the power, but watch it over the next few days. It will continue on as a mere shadow of it’s former self.

    Around 1480 Venice and the Ottoman Empire had all the money and power, because they controlled the spice trade. Spain and Portugal were little no-account nations on the very edge of civilization. However within a century the Pope had decreed the entire world was divided between Spain and Portugal. At that time England was a little no-account nation on the very edge of civilization, yet within a hundred more years England could make both Spain and Portugal tremble in their boots.

    If you focus too much on money and power, you miss the Truth. What’s more, you may fall from money and power.

    So what is the Truth?

    Look at the clouds, and see for yourself.

  65. Wally (20:30:00) :
    “If it is really cold here, (US) then it is slightly warmer somewhere else on the globe. The monthly average temperatures have some variation but normally on the order of ±0.4 C. So if we are a few degrees below normal for the month someone else is a few above normal. Green Christmas for us here in VA”

    There HAS been regional “climate change” on the coast of VA over the past 40 years.

    You mention the “green xmas” even though most of the state still has some snowcover (!). And this is from a record-breaking, pre-solstice snowfall.

    True…the warming we have seen regionally cannot be explained totally by the oscillations of the AMO. Definitely warmer here.

    However….you have to balance that against all-time snow records in OK City and the record “snowfalls” in Houston and the white Christmas Eve in Dallas.

    And ETC.

    Hmmmm. All time cold records.

    Perhaps it is because the jet stream has shifted on a multi-decadal level. Certainly might mirror the possibility that the Gulf Stream seems to have shifted too.

    Maybe? Maybe not. But things have changed.

    But its not like there are not anomalous snowfall events this year so far in unexpected locations.

    Something is going on and it is not business as usual.

    We need to study the weather and figure out where it is taking us.

    My take is: Fear the ice, not the fire.

    Chris
    Norfolk “No-Snow” Virginia, USA

  66. Caleb (21:36:55) :
    Light snow was falling in southern New Hampshire this evening, and it made a pretty ending to a peaceful Christmas day, on the quiet edge of a huge storm.
    The storm in the center of the USA is a beauty. Even though it now seems it is past it’s peak, (and central pressure had risen from 985 to 990 mb last time I looked,) its swirl of clouds extends from Maine to Montana. The “moisture loops” are especially impressive, if you can get an animation for the last 48 hours.

    It really is, Caleb. An upper level cyclone controlling the weather for the entire country. Fantastic.

    Those moisture fetches that spiral in for 1000 to 2000 miles are nothing short of spectacular.

    And this storm brought a record heavy snow burst to the big D!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  67. Caleb: If you focus too much on money and power, you miss the Truth. What’s more, you may fall from money and power.
    So what is the Truth?
    Look at the clouds, and see for yourself.

    Tremendous post, Caleb. The entire post. I only quote a bit of it here but you are ON POINT.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  68. Just thought that you folks in the north might like to know that it was 32 C for Christmas Day in Dunedin, NZ. The national high.

  69. Glenn (17:23:40) :

    Speaking of forecasts and El Ninos,

    “Expected El Niño impacts during December 2009-February 2010 include…

    Below-average snowfall and above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern tier of states (excluding New England), while below-average temperatures are favored for the southeastern states.”

    Glenn,

    In a typical Nino, that would be the case. The odd luck this year is that the arctic oscillation (AO) has hit record low December levels possibly due to a solar signal. The AO is highly correlated to the NAO signal, which promotes high latitude blocking and cold invasions into the USA and Europe. This is the first year ever recorded where we had a strong Nino AND severe blocking. It appears the AO is trumping the strong Nino at this time, and so any forecasts for pronounced warmth are likely doomed.

    Tom

  70. Caleb (21:36:55) :
    That is a beautiful, inspired and inspirational piece of writing. I have saved a copy on my desk top. I hadn’t heard of the concept of “Strange Attractors” before. Very interesting. I also live in New Hampshire, more in the middle part, in the small town of Pittsfield. We try to get a walk in every day, even in winter, enjoying the scenery, fresh air, and yes the clouds with their seemingly endless variations.

  71. Glenn (17:23:40) :
    Speaking of forecasts and El Ninos,
    “Expected El Niño impacts during December 2009-February 2010 include…Below-average snowfall and above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern tier of states (excluding New England), while below-average temperatures are favored for the southeastern states.”

    So in Vermont-a warm November and early December forced ski areas to push back their openings by weeks due to an inability to make snow. The last 3 storms (with the exception of a squall just before Christmas) produced mixed ppt. Tomorrow heavy rain is forecast and it will ruin the critical holiday ski week. It is the same pattern that we have seen over the past decade or so in my opinion. A look at the World Climate Widget confirms the warm Nov temps. I see no evidence of a return to the old winters of yore.

  72. Unfortunately, Toronto area is not following the weather pattern of the rest of the US. It rained yesterday on Christmas day…no snow this year compared to more than 2-feet last year, it is currently 35 F and cloudy right now, but no snow. Weird, but typical of Toronto. We usually get heavy snow in January and February.

  73. Time lapse satellite visible image from 8:02 AM to 10:15 AM Friday, December 25th 2009 showing the snow and some light clouds moving over the snow-covered area; if the clouds had been heavier, a moving-image/time lapse series like this allows the cloud deck to be differentiated against the ground snow-cover:

    Vis_Abi_2009-12-25_0802-1015_AMCST_00.gif

    Courtesy of the services of: rap.ucar.edu and giftedmotion (GIF editor) and tinypic.com.
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    .

  74. The OtherDan (08:36:59) :

    Glenn (17:23:40) :
    > Speaking of forecasts and El Ninos,
    > …

    So in Vermont-a warm November and early December forced ski areas to push back their openings by weeks due to an inability to make snow. The last 3 storms (with the exception of a squall just before Christmas) produced mixed ppt. Tomorrow heavy rain is forecast and it will ruin the critical holiday ski week. It is the same pattern that we have seen over the past decade or so in my opinion. A look at the World Climate Widget confirms the warm Nov temps. I see no evidence of a return to the old winters of yore.

    On the plus side (at least here in New Hampshire) there has been no hand wringing over the impending demise of the ski industry. What are your “old winters or yore”? Several recent years have had well above average snow depths at the Mt Mansfield snow stake, see for good years in the last 10, see my http://wermenh.com/sdd/index.html for summaries around New England for the last 12 years, see my http://wermenh.com/wx/winter_0708.html for a season that exceeded pretty much all of the local “years of yore” over the last century or so.

    I’ll grant you that Killington not being open for Thanksgiving is remarkable, but I remember one Christmas around 1970 where we left a couple days after Christmas during a rain storm.

    It won’t rain all week, and it won’t be a warm rain, so ski areas won’t be as badly impacted as they might, and it will be cold enough for snow making. Don’t expect consistency in New England weather!


  75. savethesharks (22:22:58) :

    And this storm brought a record heavy snow burst to the big D!

    Hi Chris –

    Oops; not quite a ‘record heavy snow’ although it was 80 years since snow had last been seen on Christmas. We’ve had much, much heavier snows on a number of occasions though, just not this time. I speak this a +30 year resident.
    .
    .

  76. Ken Roberts (09:02:14) :

    The stuff is called Christmas Spirit, and there’s plenty to go around, although I’ll confess a jigger of rum in my eggnog did loosen my tongue a bit.

    Bruce Cobb (06:17:07) :

    In 1982 when I visited Santa Cruz some fellows at the University were very excited about the concept of “Strange Attractors.” There was a flurry of excitement about it, and a show on “Nova” a few years later, but I don’t think it ever attracted much funding. Like Bill Gray’s ideas concerning thermohaline circulation, it didn’t get much aid, with Hansen’s “Climate Science” wolfing all the available dollars.

    The OtherDan (08:36:59) :

    New England has fairly wide swings in winter temperatures. I remember a Christmas in the 1960’s where I was running around outside barefoot, in a mist of rain, playing with a toy helicopter I got as a gift (which soon wound up in a tree.) Then I lived to see my own boys running barefoot on green grass back around 1999 or 2000 on Christmas. However both winters brought heavy snow later on.

    What will be interesting to see is what happens when the AMO reverts to a cold cycle.

  77. The Duluth/Cloquet area up to Two Harbors area here in N MN has gotten 2ft of snow from this storm. These totals are from areas away from the Lake in the higher terrain. It stayed a little cooler, and the orographic lift from the East winds off the Lake really helped. If there wasn’t so much warm air being brought in, we could have gotten much more(there was a bit of rain that mixed in). It would have rivaled the Halloween Storm of 1991 for single storm snow, which is around 38-39″. That was a storm.

    It was the “Perfect Storm” out in the Atlantic that helped to create our weather here because it retrograded back to the West. That slowed the weather pattern down across the C US, which was unexpected. Today’s models would have done a better job picking that scenario up, as compared to back then.

    Everything is freezing up now as temps are below freezing. Should be able to walk on top of the snow in a couple days.

  78. mhw (12:26:32) : track down that station that has almost 900″ of snow and about 430″ water inch equivalent

    For your amusement:

    Over Christmas dinner the discussion turned to the ice skating rink where a family member works. They had put up a temperature and rain – snow station for the local radio station (to be able to give reports ‘from the rink’). This is an outdoor artificially frozen machine / rink… and runs even if the air temp is 50F. (It’s a “California Thing”…)

    OK, seems locals where making ‘snow balls’ from the results of hockey stops on the ice and tossing them at each other… AND at that ‘strange thing’ next to the rink. Still waiting to hear if the radio reported 50F and Snowing at the Rink … ;-)

    The family member informed the kids of the need to not throw snowballs at the machinery, and they did stop. But it does bring up an unexpected “issue” with the siting of all those thermometers and rain gages in back yards and near public roadways. ‘The Snowball Effect’ ? ;-)

  79. ShrNfr (17:09:45) : Can I send any bills for damages to Al Gore?

    Given that the EPA has announced CO2 as causal and that THEY are now in control of the weather and climate: I think the appropriate billing is EPA as the party ‘responsible for CO2’ and Al Gore as principle consultant gets a ‘partial responsibility’ bill (so if EPA does not pay up, he gets to pay all of it).


  80. Caleb (21:36:55) :

    One thing I know is that clouds are chaotic systems. However the study of chaos makes one aware of things called “Strange Attractors.” It’s a great pity we did not invest a tenth as much money in the study of “Strange Attractors”

    Unfortunately, there weren’t ‘early’ supporters for any sort of formal underlying theory like French mathematician Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier whose theories have a clear mathematical basis and see much use today.

    Maybe the category ‘strange attractors’ is the bin meant to collect all that we cannot yet easily describe mathematically, although we intuitively grasp the goings-on with a chaotic system and can intuit certain outcomes.

    Much of what Fourier’s theories are applied to involve cyclic, predictable functions, and not the ‘meanderings of a stream’ as chaotic system are more akin to; there are sets of laws (or rules) a ‘meandering stream’ will always observe, however, as in the water flowing down hill, the flow rates through given-size openings and flow-rates through given size channels. Where the actual ‘meander’ occurs, however, is a little more non-deterministic.
    .
    .

  81. ShrNfr (20:28:07) : When you trade millions of dollars on commodities, you are merciless with the quality of forecasts. Getting left with a wad of fuel oil in storage (which costs you money) after a warm winter does really lousy things to your P&L.

    I think that’s why we see Joe Bastardi a lot on the financial channels, especially for the more difficult and ‘big deal’ reports.

    BTW, “Fast Money” traders (a CNBC show) were calling out Natural Gas as probably headed even further up. They also we’re pointing out the ever increasing price and quantity of coal being mined. KOL is the Coal ETF ticker (but I’d probably go for one of the real coal companies. BTU is Peabody coal, one of the largest, but Console was the one they mentioned as a good play. UNG is the Nat.Gas ETF, but I’m more fond of the “oil and gas trusts” with gas (like PWE, which I own) and CHK Chesapeake (on a short spike up at the moment).

    The “money guys” are betting on cold, gas, and coal.

    So am I.

  82. Caleb (21:36:55) : A healthy democracy, where people truly behave as if “all men are created equal,” is a sort of “Strange Attractor” which appears over and over in the history of mankind’s chaotic behavior. It has no respect for those who may think they have the money and power.

    And Adam Smith, in “The Wealth of Nations” described another similar one with the phrase “Invisible Hand”. It is that Invisible Hand that makes capitalism work well, and that makes The Socialism Shiny Thing always an “also ran”. It is forever “spitting into the wind” of the storm of capitalism…

    If ever there was an area of knowledge that needs further exploration, it is that one. Strange Attractors and all…

  83. Commenting the recent snowing records, someone here posted the link to http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/25/australia-weather-bureau-pacific-ocean-surface-temperatures-el-nino-science/
    I went there (it was about a now disturbingly strong El Nino apparently, but still it’s remarkable how the inhabited places seem to refuse to comply), and saw a biased comment by “From Peru” about Liguria (Italy) where I live. He was reporting a “HEATWAVE” in southern Europe (lots and lots of shouting all caps there), with floods in my region due to “melting snow” (which is ridiculous).
    The effect was that of countering the general impression of cooling in the average reader with some report of bizarre, hot weather from a distant place no one could bother to verify. Luckily I was there to correct this, since, for once, it was about something I witnessed. Here’s what I posted there:
    “I’ll answer anecdotal evidence with anecdotal evidence, since my region has been mentioned.
    I’m from Genoa, Liguria, Italy. This December reminds me of the 70s when I was a child, while it’s definitely not like the warmer 90s.
    -We’re on the warm Riviera, where the influence of the Mediterranean Sea causes the mildest (but very rainy) climate of northern Italy (French Riviera is next to us). A bunch of years ago we got used to see little to no snow for the entire season; the last few years have reversed the trend. This December we got three distinct occurrences of snow, plus freezing temperatures and an occurrence of rain turning into a thick ice layer that, according to 80 year olds, is unprecedented in their lifetime.
    -While I heard that in Sicily they went to the beach on Christmas, they are as far south and as warm as Europe can get, alongside Greece.
    -In my region floods are not that exceptional, and I don’t see a pattern in them (the worst one here was in 1970, before the supposedly man-made warming.) Sure, some parts of the Riviera saw no snow at all, but that’s absolutely the rule for them.
    -Floods in Liguria have NOTHING to do with snow melting, get your facts straight!
    -Granted, on Christmas Eve the temperature went up sharply due to southern winds, and on Christmas Day it peaked around 19 °C, which is really odd. But today (26) it’s again at 9 °C, which is really par for the course here; on the contrary, before that we had many unusually cold days. So, to say that here in Liguria you can find signs of global warming is really nitpicking. Some 10 days ago, one morning, I found that no water was coming out of the faucet; I can’t recall the last episode of water freezing in the tubes, but it’s at least dating to the mid 90s.
    -In conclusion, subjectively, the present weather in Liguria and in Northern Italy is typical of a just slightly colder year, if put on a context of a _non-warming planet_. To make world news as a proof of global warming is frankly ridiculous.
    -So, with a big chunk of the northern hemisphere blanketed with snow, and people who write from Australia lamenting a weak beginning of summer, you say there’s an unusually strong El Nino? Wow, I wonder HOW COLD it’s gonna be with La Nina, then!”
    ___________________
    Their reaction was of treating me like a naive know-nothing.
    Especially Leif (calling me Alexandra, neophyte) started condescendingly lecturing me about how the weather is not climate etc. Basically, anything related to the topic I failed to mention in my post was reason enough to believe I had no clue and I needed a lesson on the subject.
    I fail to see how my correcting false statements about a heatwave and melting snow causing floods is implying that I don’t know that significant changes in temperature cause major weather events, including storms. It’s really a nasty framing bias that put me in bad light, while diverting the attention from the subject (a place where it’s been cold described as an example of warming).
    I posted a reply, but they deleted it. I tried to reply again, but my messages were blocked.

  84. Alessandro (10:34:31) :

    Sorry to hear you were treated rudely. I’ve experienced the same thing at certain sites. You need to have a thick skin, and simply reply calmly. Of course, if they delete your replies, they are in essence saying “We don’t want to hear.” There is nothing you can do about that.

    Looking over your comment, I only saw one sentence that might have annoyed them. It was when you said, “To make world news as a proof of global warming is frankly ridiculous.” That may have been like a red flag to a bull, because none of us likes being called ridiculous, even if we are.

    It’s best to just report the news. You did a good job to counter “From Peru.” Just leave it at that. If there are thinking people at that site, they will take what you stated, and process the information. They will discern for themselves whether “From Peru” is ridiculous. In fact, a discerning person often notices when a mob “piles on” one lone person’s comment, and the more the mob ridicules the lone person the more the mob looks ridiculous. So just state the truth, and then don’t worry.

    One thing I like about this site is that we get so many “on-the-scene” reports from all over the world. The fact the MSM fails to report cold events, and goes wild about warm events, is increasingly obvious to everyone, and is starting to look silly.

  85. Somehow I’ve always felt uneasy with triumphant reports of episodes of cold weather, because I keep thinking that they may not be representative of anything. Just episodes.
    What I described as ridiculous was the concept that, when reports from most inhabited places were all about cold temperatures and snow records, the place where I live was singled out to represent the proof of warming, even if overall it’s been unusually cold.
    They shouldn’t counter hundreds of “episodes” with a single, biased, episode, and get away with it. That their retort comes in the form of lecturing me about I don’t get it because it’s the Big Picture that counts, not the single weather events… that’s irritating.
    Caleb: “If there are thinking people at that site, they will take what you stated, and process the information”… I don’t think so. You are underestimating the power of framing.

  86. Alessandro (10:34:31) :

    “Granted, on Christmas Eve the temperature went up sharply due to southern winds, and on Christmas Day it peaked around 19 °C, which is really odd. But today (26) it’s again at 9 °C, which is really par for the course here; on the contrary, before that we had many unusually cold days.”

    Do you vouch for the temperature on Christmas to be that hot?

    I’m asking because another poster from New Zealand said that the temperature at a certain location there was 32C on Christmas, double the normal. I did some research and it looks really suspicious. The airport station happens to be one that is used for “zone” temps by HadCrut. Other stations in NZ did not report such a quick and extreme rise and fall of temp in such a short time.

  87. Alessandro (21:38:17) :

    “You are underestimating the power of framing.”

    You could be right. I have often had too much faith in people. However faith in Truth is another matter. I think you underestimate the power of Truth. It may take a long time, but even the blind will see the light, eventually.

  88. “Do you vouch for the temperature on Christmas to be that hot?”
    Yep. I didn’t measure it myself but it was a friend of mine (I don’t have a thermometer, can you believe it?)
    On the other hand, I must stress that the temperature reported on my AccuWeather Firefox widget appears typically higher, probably due to the station being at Genoa airport. It’s normal for me to see some centimeters of snow falling outside and the reported temperature being well over the 0 °C threshold (plus often the rain symbol is prevalent over the snow one).
    We have got really a complicated microclimate patchwork. I’m 5Km from the sea, the airport is built in the sea port, so it’s the last place where it snows. It would be interesting to know where were the weather stations here before 1962, when the airport became operational.

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