While the squabbling continues on MSNBC (see Bill Nye here and Morano with the American Progress guy here, and by all means don’t miss this Olberman rant ) over whether the big Washington DC snow means anything, the venue of the argument is about to shift west. The argument may stop in Dallas, TX along the way west.
One of the low elevation Vancouver skiing venues (Cypress Mountain) is short on snow this year due to El Nino, and the Global Warming machine is soon going to saturate the news with this story. It has already started and is ramping up.
VANCOUVER, B.C. — One morning last week, environmentalist David Suzuki looked across English Bay from his Vancouver home to Cypress Mountain, usually covered in snow this time of year but now left all but bare by a warm winter.
“I’ve watched in horror as the snow has just melted away from Cypress Mountain,” Suzuki said, referring to the 2010 Olympic Games snowboarding and freestyle skiing venue. The view from Vancouver, Suzuki and others say, provides a glimpse into the future for the Winter Olympics.
UPDATE: Image above and NASA Earth Observatory writes:
In early February 2010, organizers were putting the finishing touches on venues for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. Two months earlier, on December 6, 2009, the Thematic Mapper Plus on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite captured a detailed image of the area where the games will be held.
The image on the left provides a view of the area from Vancouver northward to the Whistler skiing village. Areas outlined in yellow delineate close-up views on the right. The top close-up shows venues near the village of Whistler, where Nordic and alpine skiing events will be held. The bottom close-up shows Cypress Mountain, the planned venue for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, among other events.
Throughout the scene, snow blankets the highest peaks, and low-angled sunlight illuminates south-facing slopes while leaving north-facing slopes in shadow. Valleys and lower slopes are lush green. The venues near Whistler appear as patchworks of green forest interrupted by long, thin trails of snowy white. Just north of the city of Vancouver, Cypress Mountain also holds snowy ski trails, but overall has far less snow.
After unusually warm conditions in January 2010, snow remained scarce on Cypress Mountain. The Los Angeles Times reported that snow was being trucked to Cypress Mountain from higher elevations, and Vancouver Now reported that organizers had placed tubes filled with dry ice on courses to keep surrounding snow from breaking down. A surprise snowstorm struck on February 10, just two days before the games opened, boosting the snowpack. The snowstorm did not, however, change the short-term forecast for rain.
Never mind that most of the ski areas in the world are having excellent seasons, including other Olympic venues like Whistler – which has already received over 1,000 cm of snow this winter. Arizona Snowbowl has received 238 inches of snow this winter! You read that correctly – Arizona.
Squaw Valley, California (site of the 1960 Winter Olympics) is reporting at least 10 feet of snow on the ground. Ski conditions around Salt Lake City (site of the 2002 Olympics) are excellent. Wolf Creek, Colorado is reporting close to ten feet on the ground. European ski areas are reporting excellent snow. Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico is reporting one of their best ski seasons ever. North Carolina ski areas are reporting some of their best conditions ever. Scotland is reporting the best ski conditions in 50 years. Washington DC is shut down due to snow.
Most of the ski areas in British Columbia have excellent snow, but be assured that the press will highlight the one area which doesn’t – and will not provide a sensible explanation for the cause. They will blame it on global warming, and will intentionally ignore ski conditions in most of the globe.
The glass is 10% empty, not 90% full.
Winter snow season has been slowly shrinking in past 50 years, says researcher
This graphic might help some people understand the winter weather patterns in an El Nino year. Same thing happened in 1998. Note where Vancouver is: in the warm pattern.