Just Another East Coast Blizzard

Guest post by John Goetz

I read Judah Cohen’s opinion piece in the New York Times yesterday and could not decide if he was being serious or not when he concluded “It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.

He had to be joking, right? There is no way a “director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm” could possibly believe the weather we are experiencing out here on the east coast is in any way different from the past. One need only look through past issues of the New York Times itself to debunk that idea.

I went to the archives section of the newspaper and did a simple headline search on the word “blizzard”, then scanned through the oldest articles first looking for references to blizzards in New York City. A blizzard in mid-March 1888 immediately jumped out as a particularly memorable storm. A headline from the newspaper read:




New-York helpless in a tornado of wind and snow which paralyzed all industry, isolated the city from the rest of the country, caused many accidents and great discomfort, and exposed it to many dangers.

Two feet of snow fell in New York City during the storm, and the wind approached, but did not quite reach, 50 miles per hour. The blizzard was quite expansive, stretching from Ohio to Boston. A report from Cleveland read “Worst snowstorm in a long period of years” with high winds and heavily falling snow following a winter “unusually mild and free from snow, only an occasional cold wave indicating the season of the year“.

While that winter may have been mild in Cleveland, 1888 proved quite harsh in the prairie states. A massive blizzard that accompanied arctic cold of 20 to 40 degrees below zero stretched from Texas to the Dakotas on January 12. Two headlines from the New York Times that January summed up the massive storm. First from January 13:



Yesterday’s storm proved to be of much greater severity than was at first supposed. It was general throughout Minnesota, Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and railroad men say it has not been surpassed since 1872. The storm effects were most severe from the peculiar action of the winds and drifts.

And another from January 21:



The New York City blizzard of March, 1888 certainly left a lasting impression, as it was used to measure several other bruising storms that occurred during the remaining years of that century. This includes the blizzard of March 13, 1891; the February 27, 1894 blizzard where “only about a foot and a half of snow fell in 24 hours” with gale winds up to 44 miles per hour. That storm was closely followed by the monster of April 12, 1894 described by the Times as “almost a repetition of the blizzard of 1888.

Then came the blizzard of January 28, 1897 that slammed the eastern seaboard. An article reported from Baltimore said the city had 7 inches of snow, the “most severe storm of the present season. There have been few heavier snowfalls since the blizzard of 1888. Ice has fastened itself in the waters of the rivers and Chesapeake Bay“. Then just northeast of New York City came the word that “Rockville, Conn., reports a fall of 34 inches of snow, drifts 5 to 8 feet deep, and that the blizzard has been the most severe since 1888.

The final blizzard of the 1800’s did not, apparently, rise to the level where it could be compared with that of 1888. This storm occurred on February 11, 1899,  and was nothing more than heavy snow accompanied by 50+ mile per hour winds, and it followed a week of record cold where, as the storm began, “the mercury mounted to a comparatively dizzy height of 6 degrees above zero“.

That storm of 1888 sure must have been something. I can tell you this – I sure don’t long for those “good old days.”

1888 blizzard references (requires a NYT subscription to open PDFs):

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Robert of Ottawa
December 27, 2010 2:07 pm

But unlike previous blizzards – these are WARM blizzards.

c. j. acworth
December 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Here in New Hampshire I just finished plowing 16″ of Global Warming out of the private road my neighbors and I live on so I can maybe get to work tomorrow.

Frank K.
December 27, 2010 2:16 pm

“Same as it ever was” — Talking Heads

R. de Haan
December 27, 2010 2:17 pm

It’s the same mantra everywhere.
It’s not a conspiracy, only a well coordinated propaganda campaign by the UN World Meteorological Organization to save the frozen ruins of the Global Warming doctrine in order to provide our political elite with a basis to sell us out and turn the West into an IDIOCRACY.

December 27, 2010 2:21 pm

I dunno where that person lived before, but this was a relatively normal nor’easter up in Boston. I know folks in DC and south near the coast freak out at 1″ but this was just your usual ugly up here. Nothing all that big. At least for us it was snow and not ice. My son finally made some money with the plow on his F-150.

December 27, 2010 2:22 pm

“One need only look through past issues of the New York Times itself to debunk that idea.”
This is why it is imperative to set up Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) in Oceania ASAP. There’s no other way to correct past errors.

December 27, 2010 2:24 pm

The 1888 blizzard is still well known among weather enthusiasts in the northeast. Google searches find several links and several photos. In Boston it was the impetus to build their subway system.
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/blizzard/blizz.txt (compares the 1993 “Storm of the Century” with 1888)

James Sexton
December 27, 2010 2:28 pm
December 27, 2010 2:31 pm

but those were all weather…
….this time it’s caused by less ice, warming the air, creating a negative/positive air flow, creating a low/high pressure, creating the snow………….
this time it’s different, because there’s people trying to make money off it

John F. Hultquist
December 27, 2010 2:33 pm

My mother, born in 1907 on a farm in western PA, would later tell her small children how she had to walk two miles to the one room school house with the snow “up to here” and she would hold her hand just above her belt. We would exclaim and she would smile. Years later we realized that as a first grader she was much less tall than as an adult and the snow she described was rather normal in western PA. Nothing has changed in the hundred years.
And no, she did not tell us her walk to school was uphill both ways.

December 27, 2010 2:36 pm

Yes, we’re in the midst of climate change – from warming to cooling – so what’s new? By the time the warmists admit it, the climate will be back to warming again, while they will be figuring out how to tax and scare us into believing in death by ice with their inverted hockey sticks! BTW was Al Gore going to give some big speech on AGW in New York?

Pamela Gray
December 27, 2010 2:38 pm

Well, well, well. Judah certainly has interesting things to say about the AO now and back in 2005. So which is it Judah?

David L
December 27, 2010 2:40 pm

Carefull there, you’re going to inadvertantly prove that current snow storms are less frequent, less severe, less windy, less cold, and have less snow than the past, which will naturally be conclusive proof of AGW. I think this nor’easter was 0.3C warmer than the one in 1888.

December 27, 2010 2:43 pm

Only 8 inches of global warming at my house. When I was a kid we used to get twice as much global warming on a regular basis.

Leon Brozyna
December 27, 2010 2:47 pm

And when the glaciers once again start their march south through Canada and into the northern reaches of the U.S., these fools will blame it all on global climate whatever.

Green Acres
December 27, 2010 2:50 pm

The NY Times piece is an incredible pile of nonsense. Let’s see, the diminished ice in the Arctic leads to greater moisture available, which leads to more snow in Siberia, which causes colder and snowier weather. Problem is, the diminished ice in the Arctic is in the summer and it doesn’t snow much in Siberia in the summer. Last I looked, ice extent in the Arctic in the winter is normal (whatever normal is). So what is this guy saying, the increased moisture from the summer just kind of lurks around Siberia until it gets cold enough to snow? Ridiculous. And how about the Southern Hemisphere? No shortage of ice there, summer or winter. So I guess the CO2 only works its magic in the Northern Hemisphere
The other main problem with this Siberia explanation is more difficult to explain away with pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo. If the effect of global warming is to create colder and snowier winters, what happens to the dire predictions of drought, rising sea levels, heat waves, etc.? Apparently, the new explanation is that we will all freeze to death because of global warming! You know the warmists are scraping the bottom of the barrel when they break out this foolishness.

December 27, 2010 2:52 pm

Here, on another continent, there’s been 10″of global warming on the ground for over a month. Quite unusual. The last global warming disappeared end of March, to reappear only 6 months later. If this trend continues and we get more two months of global warming every year, it’ll be just another three years before it all connects and we’ll have a full year of global warming. Next thing you know it’s glaciers ringing at the front door.

December 27, 2010 2:59 pm

Well … you’ve got to read this:
27 February 1894 New York Times (free)
Pessimistic old gentlemen who have been entertaining grave fears for the “old- fashioned Winters we used to have” should have been very much cheered up …
Reply: Yeah, I read that during my search. Lots of interesting articles piled up in the archive, including some during that same time frame that discussed the horrific winters being suffered in England. Another post …

December 27, 2010 3:02 pm
Theo Goodwin
December 27, 2010 3:06 pm

I believe that this blast of cold air is nothing out of the ordinary, with one exception, and that is the fact that the cold air extends so far south. These cold air masses usually stop in the vicinity of Florida’s panhandle or maybe Gainesville. But for the last three years they have hit Central Florida and we have suffered considerably. I was outside in the sunshine about 4:00 pm and the temperature was 47 F with a windchill in the neighborhood of 40. That is the lowest temperature in sunshine that I have experienced in Central Florida.

December 27, 2010 3:09 pm

Look at this one as well … a fascinating piece (free) on 7 March 1920
Compares the storm of 1888 with the storm of 1920 … detailed stats

December 27, 2010 3:10 pm

Judah is correct (politically) because the Lame Ducks repealed the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics just before Christmas. You may have missed that news in the bustle of the Season.

rob m.
December 27, 2010 3:28 pm

@Theo: The orange trees in Central Florida were wiped out 20 or so years ago by similar cold fronts you are experiencing now.

December 27, 2010 3:36 pm

@ R. de Haan: speaking of Idiocracy:

David L
December 27, 2010 3:39 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
December 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm
I believe that this blast of cold air is nothing out of the ordinary, with one exception, and that is the fact that the cold air extends so far south. These cold air masses usually stop in the vicinity of Florida’s panhandle or maybe Gainesville. But for the last three years they have hit Central Florida and we have suffered considerably. I was outside in the sunshine about 4:00 pm and the temperature was 47 F with a windchill in the neighborhood of 40. That is the lowest temperature in sunshine that I have experienced in Central Florida.”
Actually, as a child growing up in the 70’s, I always remembered the news stories during Xmas break about the cold in Florida endangering the orange groves. My aunt had a place down there and we always watched the news and she would comment on the ruined oranges. But that was during a time everyone was being warned about global cooling and the next ice age. Of course the news supported that theory even back then.

Tom Jones
December 27, 2010 3:44 pm

He described the oceans as being warmer. The World Met report didn’t say that, it said that certain sea surface temperatures were higher. The NODC says that the OHC is falling, or heating a lot more slowly, depending on which study you listen to.
What it really says is that the Warmists are not giving up yet, not by a long shot. How many cold years is it going to take? Decades. They never will.

December 27, 2010 3:46 pm

Charles M. Russell did some of his most iconic paintings in the 1880’s here in Montana:
“In 1882 he went to work as a cowboy, working as night wrangler on cattle drives and round-ups. During the bitter cold winter of 1886-1887, Charlie was staying on the O.H. Ranch. In a reply to the owners of the ranch who asked about the condition of their herd, Charlie drew a sketch of a gaunt, starving cow surrounded by wolves, and titled it “Waiting for a Chinook” The sketch was reproduced in the Montana newspapers, and is still today one of Charlie’s best-known pictures.”

December 27, 2010 3:51 pm

If 2010 is the hottest on record surpassing 1998, where were all the blizzards in 99 and 2000.

December 27, 2010 3:58 pm

rob m. says:
December 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm
@Theo: The orange trees in Central Florida were wiped out 20 or so years ago by similar cold fronts you are experiencing now.
Rob, here’s a little fact-oid for you.
Prior to the mid 1800’s, oranges were grown as far north as South Carolina. There were huge orange groves in south Georgia.
Here’s an excellent link and write up about Florida history and Florida freezes. A lot of information on the Florida citrus history too…..

Theo Goodwin
December 27, 2010 4:04 pm

rob m. says:
December 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm
“@Theo: The orange trees in Central Florida were wiped out 20 or so years ago by similar cold fronts you are experiencing now.”
Actually, the old timers say 1974 was the year that orange groves retreated south by 50 or 100 miles. I did not mean to suggest that the cold we are experiencing in Central Florida at this time deserves some special recognition. All I meant is that the last three years have been colder than usual.

December 27, 2010 4:04 pm

The following is a reference from “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds”
“it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one” – Charles MacKay, preface, unnumbered page, written 1841, reprinted 14th November, 2010.

December 27, 2010 4:05 pm

Okay. This is getting bothersome. I remember all the GISS and IPCC graphs that started in the 1880s. They cherry picked a 19th century cold period and argued relentlessly that the 1990s were the warmest ever — just look at their graphs. Now we are having winters as cold as some in the 1880s. Doesn’t that simply mean the unrelenting, out-of-control global warming we were supposed to be afraid of just didn’t transpire?
Were the Northeast blizzards of the 1880s caused by the global warming since the depths of the 18th century Little Ice Age? Didn’t Svante Arrhenius argue that by allowing more CO2 into the atmosphere, society could create and manage global warming to avoid another mini ice age?
We need to revive the fine art of ridicule.
BTW: The last snow report for the High Sierra for 2010 is in: snow depth is 207% of normal. If all this were caused by global warming, would it not be all rain and flooding, not frozen?

David L. Hagen
December 27, 2010 4:18 pm

On the 1886-7 storm

An arctic storm front moved in, keeping temperatures at 20 below zero for weeks. Starving cattle searching for food and water drifted in the blizzards and froze to death. Literally hundreds of thousands of animals perished (the winter would later be called “The Big Die-Up.”)

“Waiting for a Chinook”

CRS, Dr.P.H.
December 27, 2010 4:18 pm

Don’t worry, they always have ocean acidification in their back-pockets. We are already starting to see more stories about new, dangerous aspects of ocean acidification, with the latest being disruption of the ocean’s nitrogen cycle. See:
These folks do not intend to go quietly into the night….

December 27, 2010 4:34 pm

P.F. says:
December 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Doesn’t that simply mean the unrelenting, out-of-control global warming we were supposed to be afraid of just didn’t transpire?
that and the “no significant warming” thing
We need to revive the fine art of ridicule.
no kidding, I’m all for that…………

December 27, 2010 4:40 pm

I can’t believe the failed CAGW scientists are still weaving their web of lies. There is nothing unusual about the latest spell of bad global weather and it has all happened in a similar way many many times before in the past.
There are lots of us here on WUWT long enough in the tooth to remember back to the 70’s, when the approach of the next ice age was the message of climate science. Their simple computer models always tended to predict snowball Earth syndrome and they were certain the end of civilisation as we knew it was round the corner.
The reality of climate is that it is never stable. It is a dynamic system which is always oscillating up and down, driven by the underlying deterministic chaos.
For UK WUWTers, the link to the Piers Corbyn video can be found here-

Paul Coppin
December 27, 2010 4:55 pm

But, but, but… surely this nor’ester was much more robust than previous ones, especially more so than in 1888. And those inches of snow – so much more robust inches than in days of yor. The 12 inches of new wind-driven snow is much worse than the foot of wind-blown snow of the the old millennium.

Richard G
December 27, 2010 5:02 pm

The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Fransisco – Mark Twain

December 27, 2010 5:02 pm

It might be worth getting a scientific perspective on this. The mark of a science is to predict or describe events that despite being highly improbable are in fact true. The laptop on which I write this requires the electrical properties of atoms to work to consistently millions of times a second. A similar feat must be achieved by the software. It requires a level of complexity that no one individual can comprehend in a lifetime.
Strong science is based on explaining or predicting the improbable. Weak, or pseudo-science consists of explaining every random event that actually occurs, and never being able to conceive of a random event where it will be contradicted. To be able to explain the extreme cold we are experiancing as evidence of global warming would be such an incidence if it could have been predicted in advance by the theory. Instead it was predicted by the alternative theories. Ex-post assimilation to AGW theory is simply to move AGW theory further away from true science.

Gary D.
December 27, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Pamela Gray says:
December 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm
This storm seems to be right up Judah’s alley. Per his paper though
2) As more open water becomes available in the late summer and early fall, a previously frozen moisture source becomes available, providing greater low-level moisture and resulting in increased Siberian snow cover. 3) An increase in snow cover leads to greater frequency of a negative AO through the dynamic pathway previously postulated. We are in the process of examining these proposed linkages.
Since his paper, which is really hard to read, is on point per his article, I can understand why he – was chosen by the Team? – wrote the article for the NYT. I would have to spend way longer than I am willing to understand whether I agree with his conclusion, but he certainly has the background to address the subject.

D. King
December 27, 2010 5:04 pm

CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
December 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Don’t worry, they always have ocean acidification in their back-pockets.
Yes, but we have this.
Seems like our little crustacean friends would have
dissolved away long ago.

December 27, 2010 5:37 pm

You don’t have to go back to 1888 for a big blizzard. In 1947 a blizzard shut down the entire city of New York so that nothing moved.

December 27, 2010 5:43 pm

The NE gets lots of heavy snowfall this storm was unusual in hitting places much farther south. Norfolk VA got around 14 to 15 inches so it was close to my personal VA record of 15-inches in 1989 but it fell short of the late 1800’s record of 18+ inches, coming in 2nd or 3rd. Good thing about SE VA is that today with above freezing temperatures and some sun, any cleared areas melted down to wet pavement by afternoon. So my mornings shoveling paid off with ice-free walks and drive. The bad ones are when after the snow it gets cold and stays cold for a few weeks, pretty rare in SE VA that that happens.

Pamela Gray
December 27, 2010 5:50 pm

But Gary, Judah is talking temperature, not snow, in his opinion piece above, to wit, “The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it..”
However, in his earlier paper, he does not see much of a trend in his temperature series and these natural oscillations, to wit, “While the NAO and AO may contribute to regional warming in the NH for particular periods, differences in both trend and pattern strongly suggest that the pattern and magnitude of the global warming trend over the last 30 years are largely independent of the AO and NAO.”
Snow cover is another topic which he treats separately from the temperature trend and contributes increasing snow cover to either the negative AO (which I agree with), or late Summer early Fall Arctic available moisture (a very tenuous thesis in my opinion) causing later snow in the mountains. So I stand by my catch of what I think is a flip flop on his part.
In a nutshell, it appears to me that what he is saying is that while the oscillating AO bears little resemblance to global warming temperatures, it now does to cooling temperatures? If so he is standing on the wrong side of the creek to be saying that.

Pamela Gray
December 27, 2010 6:02 pm

Say! I just thought of something! What if the decreasing number of temperature monitoring sites ended up concentrating themselves within the reaches of weather pattern variation effects attributable to the oscillating AO? The AO produces fairly predictable regional temperature swings and precipitation changes, so having relatively more sensors within its reach could help explain at least part of the recent rise and the current lack of one. The last positive JFM AO trend certainly matches the rise in temperature that occurred at the same time, and now matches the lack of a rising trend. If you take (I know, I know) the Pacific ENSO affects out of it, the match might even be better.
So maybe it isn’t so much the overall reduction in sensors, or the change in altitude, or siting problems, or UHI, but a greater concentration within the arms of the AO.

Al Gore's Brother
December 27, 2010 6:06 pm

All I know is that my grandparents grew up in Rhode Island and I remember them telling me stories of the early 1900’s and the terrible snows and winds that plagued the east coast back then. To see it happening again just re-confirms that the climate does change. In the summer it gets warm (hot) and in the winter it gets cold. Sometimes it doesn’t get as hot in the summer and sometimes it doesn’t get as cold in the winter. This has been happening for millinea. Why is this a problem? And why do we need to stop it?

Pamela Gray
December 27, 2010 6:37 pm

Now I’m on a roll. La Nina and El Nino also produce fairly predictable regional weather pattern variations. If station reduction became concentrated in these “weather tracks”, the sensors would pick up El Nino warming and La Nina cooling in spades. If we were in the middle of a warm PDO cycle, the resulting temperatures on the sensors would show up as a false positive to CO2 global warming. Likewise with a cold PDO.
Of course I’ve also had a bit of mulled spiced wine so I could just be talkin through my hat.

Pamela Gray
December 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Or maybe it was the station migration AWAY from the influence of the AO. That would be the case in Russia? When I see the typical weather pattern variation response to a negative AO in the Northern reaches of Russia (IE deep freeze with a negative AO) and then consider the possible migration South of temperature stations there, I’m thinkin we might be comparing apples to oranges now.

December 27, 2010 6:46 pm

I remember the blizzard of 1996 when we had three of these Nor’easters in a row. The snow was deeper than my car was high.
This is always a fun read:

February 2-3 and February 16, 1996, storms: The Delmarva received 4 snowstorms in about 5 weeks from January 7 through February 16. The storm on February 2-3, dropped up to two feet of snow over Dorchester County. The entire Lower Eastern Shore was covered by another 1 to 2 feet of snow. On February 16, another storm struck dropping 5 to 8 inches over the Lower Eastern Shore and 8 to 12 inches on the Upper Eastern Shore. These storms combined to produce the snowiest season this century on the Delmarva! The Lower Shore (Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties) saw 28 to 35 inches of snow in those five weeks. Dorchester, Talbot, and Caroline Counties saw 45 to 59 inches of snow. The Upper Shore (Cecil, Kent, and Queen Annes Counties) saw 38 to 42 inches. Record snow also fell across Southern Maryland. The record in Hollywood stood at 54.7 inches set during the winter of 1898-99. The 1995-96 winter dropped 59 inches of snow on Hollywood. The series of big snow storms went on to break an all time record at Baltimore with a season total of 62.5 inches. It broke the old record of 52 inches (set 1963-64 season) by almost a foot! Snow records at Baltimore go back to 1883.

For Baltimore (typical for Mid-Atlantic region):
# Snowiest Month = 40.5 inches, Feb. 2003
# Snowiest Season = 62.5 inches during the 1995-1996 winter
# Least Snowiest Season = 0.7 inches during the 1949-1950 winter
I’ll not be forgetting 1996. That was the year I left the region for California. I left in April and there was *still* snow on the ground in the wooded areas. That was the first winter I could remember where the ground was covered for the entire winter and well into spring.

December 27, 2010 6:46 pm

[Bob growling]
The (self snipped) who plowed my driveway did it at 2:00AM, about halfway through the storm. When I tried to call him to complain during the day today, I got a busy signal or no answer, which meant to me that he’d received numerous complaints and wasn’t answering the phone. It took me almost two hours to dig out the 12-inch drifts from second half of the storm. I believe I’ll back charge him for the time spent, when and if he sends a bill.

December 27, 2010 7:31 pm

Alan Caruba gives Judah Cohen a hard time over his piece. Its a fun read.
via Tom Nelson

Honest ABE
December 27, 2010 7:36 pm

Tucker Carlson talked about this article on Fox News – the two warmists were completely off their rocker. The one gal even said that the only thing that would disprove global warming was if the climate didn’t change at all – according to her the climate has never changed.
Ugh, such stupidity gives me a headache.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
December 27, 2010 7:53 pm

Check out the article and comments in Real Climate, “Cold winter in a world of warming?”
They don’t know WTF is going on either!! Hilarious! Gavin says:
“It’s difficult for me to understand how one can evaluate the consequences of the Earth’s passage around the sun, if the local changes are so much unknown. The global consequences are just the sum of local consequences – if they are so many unknown in the local responses of seasons, rains, etc.. how can one evaluate any sensible figure ? and more generally, if the LOCAL variance is higher than the seasonal cycle (which can be true even if the GLOBAL one is not), how can it affect significantly the all day life of people living in some place? Indeed, it is truly a mystery. – gavin”
What’s a mystery, Gavin, is how you mopes think you can keep this scientific con-job going for another day!! Good luck with that!

Ranger Joe
December 27, 2010 9:09 pm

The Blizzard of ’88 was the catalyst for the construction of the NY Subway System after the Big Apple was paralyzed and people died. In it’s day it was the largest construction project ever undertaken and an engineering triumph.

December 27, 2010 11:08 pm

Washington may not have much snow, but Mount Washington has.
The mountain near Comox had 2.5 metres of snow over a 48-hour period, now bringing the base on the slopes to a whopping 510 cm.

December 27, 2010 11:40 pm

thegoodlocust says:
December 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm
Tucker Carlson talked about this article on Fox News – the two warmists were completely off their rocker. The one gal even said that the only thing that would disprove global warming was if the climate didn’t change at all – according to her the climate has never changed.
Ugh, such stupidity gives me a headache.

It gives anyone with half a brain a headache. I was talking to an aquaintance yesterday for about 45 minutes. In those 45 minutes, I convinced him that AGW is not a strongly supported theory and that I am an intelligent person. Both his statements. He claimed that the snow storm was caused by AGW, and I laughed and proceeded to explain why it was highly unlikely to be related to AGW, and that the “scientists” claiming that it was were usually full of [self-snip]. I explained both the grave uncertainties of AGW and the weakness of the scientific research that supposedly supports it. Models “proving” positive feedback when they’re programmed to do so, the paltry records of actual temperatures, the misrepresentation of UHI and land use changes, the poor situation of monitoring stations, and the blatant hypocrisy of claiming this storm was caused by AGW when the prior claims of AGW supporters was that there would be less of this… as I cleaned the better than a foot of Global Warming off my car tonight for work, it was at least a small consolation that I realized that at least it gave me an opportunity to teach one of the unlearned masses that swallowing that crock of [snip again] whole will lead to nothing but heartache.

December 28, 2010 1:06 am

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Cold is Warm

stephen richards
December 28, 2010 1:32 am

Robert of Ottawa says:
December 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm
But unlike previous blizzards – these are WARM blizzards.
with rotten snow

stephen richards
December 28, 2010 1:35 am

NovaReason says:
December 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm
What’s more, he will now tell at least another 8 people according to market research I saw some tears ago.
There you are, you enlightened 9 people in the space of 45 mins, genius

December 28, 2010 2:13 am

stephen richards says:
December 28, 2010 at 1:35 am
Score! I feel 9x more effective now. And all thanks to in depth research, literally *days* solid spent reading WUWT, linked references, ClimateDepot, climateprogress, realclimate (yeah… I read the other side, mostly to try and sniff out the really good bull[snip])… so when I calculate *that* in… I need to talk to more idiots to make my time more worthwhile.
Quick, queue me up some more misguided sheeple for face time! 😀

George Lawson
December 28, 2010 2:17 am

In fairness to the New York Times and in the interests of balanced reporting we should offer an open invitation to Judah Cohen to blog on this site in defence of his position.

December 28, 2010 2:40 am

The Triumph of Doublespeak – How UNIPCC Fools Most of the People All of the Time.
IMHO, this 26th June 2009 NZCLIMATE Truth Newsletter No.212 by Dr.Vincent Gray, expert reviewer of all four Assessment Reports by the UNIPCC, is one of the best detailing the deliberate brainwashing tactics used by the warmists.
Perhaps the CAGW lobby should visit Ireland to find out how it has apparently avoided the deadly warming effects of CO2 over the last 3 to 4 years, as all surface stations there currently used by NASA and James Hansen (even at the Airports) have recorded falls between 1.4 and 1.6C. Several of these stations have continuous records for over 130 years. In case I’m accused of cherry-picking, many other “greenfield” sites around the world are showing the same trend. As long departed Professor Julius Sumner Miller would say:- “Why is it so” ??

Chris Wright
December 28, 2010 3:05 am

“It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.“
I love the way global warming has mutated into climate change. Of course, climate change can lead to warming or cooling. These people simply don’t have the courage of their convictions.
Quite possibly that statement will turn out to be true, if the world is starting to move into an era of global cooling.
If he were honest, he would have said: “It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of global warming but because of it.“
But he must have realised how ridiculous that would have sounded. This lack of honesty and courage is beneath contempt.

December 28, 2010 3:58 am

As non-scientific ‘outsider’, it seems to be a sad fact that none of the ‘scientific experts’ know enough about the earth’s climate to be able to give definitive answers to the mysteries of our planet’s long term changing climate cycles; little ego battles aside. However, some will have the temerity to try it, by inventing human-generated and biased computer codes that give them the ‘correct’ information. If the remuneration is appropriate, so follows the appropriate scientific findings. And by withholding information, they eliminate free-choice and fit everything into ‘the plan’.
It doesn’t seem give me a great deal of confidence in science, but it does highlight the trueism: ‘Everyone has their price.’

December 28, 2010 4:03 am

Taken from A Chronological Listing of Early
Weather Events James A. Marusek breadandbutterscience.com/
1697 A.D. In the United States, the winter was intensely cold in the American northeast. Boston harbor was frozen as far down as Nantucket. The Delaware River was closed with thick ice for more than three months so that sleights and sleds passed from Trenton to Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia to Chester on the ice.
Diary of Anna Green Winslow. These excerpts describe the winter of 1771-72 in Boston December 6th, 1771 – “Yesterday I was prevented dining at unkle Joshua’s by a snow storm which lasted till 12 o’clock today… The snow is up to the peoples wast in some places in the street.”
February 22nd – “Since about the middle of December, ult. we have had till this week, a series of cold and stormy weather – every snow storm (of which we have had abundance) except the first, ended with rain, by which means the snow was so hardened that the strong gales at N.W. soon turned it, & all above ground to ice, which this day seven-night was from one to three, four & they say, in some places, five feet (1.5 meters) thick, in the streets of this town.”
March 4th – “We had the greatest fall of snow yesterday we have had this winter.”
March 11th – “Uncle said yesterday that there had not been so much snow on the ground this winter as there was then – it has been vastly added to since then, & is now 7 feet deep
March 21st – “Yesterday, we had by far the gratest storm of wind & snow that there has been this winter. It began to fall yesterday morning & continued falling till after our family were in bed.”
The winter of 1779-80 was known as a “Hard Winter”. The Delaware River at Philadelphia, Pennslyvania in the United States froze around 1 December 1779, and remained a layer of ice two or three feet (0.6-0.9 meters) thick at times until 14 March 1780. Thomas Jefferson recalled “in 1780 the Chesapeake Bay was frozen solid from its head to the mouth of the Potomac.” Weather historian David
M. Ludlum wrote, “The Hard Winter of 1780 is the only winter in American history when the waters surrounding New York City have frozen over and closed to all navigation for five consecutive week.”
Three strong snowstorms struck the area. These occurred on 28 December, 2 & 3 January and 4 & 5 January. When the storms ended, snow was “over three feet (0.9 meters) deep” in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. George Washington noted in his journal that the depth of the snow in Morristown, New Jersey was 18 inches (0.5 meters) after this last storm. His colonial troops crossed from New Jersey to
Staten Island on foot over the frozen bay to do battle with the British. The extreme cold froze harbors and inland bays as far south as the Virginia-North Carolina border. In some places, snowdrifts from ten to twelve feet (3.0-3.7 meters) deep were reported.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States during the winter of 1805, snow drifts reached thirty inches (0.8 meters) high
The winter of 1834-35 was remarkable for the extreme cold in North America. A severe cold wave arrived on the Atlantic coast on 5 & 6 January. The ports of Boston, Portland, Newbury, New Haven, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. were frozen completely. On 3 & 4 January, wagons drove across the ice on the Potomac River. In contrast, the winter in Europe was very mild.
In the United States at the close of the winter in 1842, a New York newspaper said, “The past winter has been the coldest since the settlement of the country, and perhaps, more snow has fallen!” In the United States, on 7 January 1843, there was a great snowfall in Tennessee and intensely cold. The cold extended down into Louisiana and Mississippi. It was also intensely cold from Canada to Eastport,
Maine. The Montreal and Quebec newspapers said the temperature was -36° F (-38° C).1
The United States experienced severe cold and extensive snowstorm in the end of December 1863 and beginning of January 1864. The deepest snow was east of the Mississippi river and north of the Ohio, and the severest cold was in the same region and further west; but the depression of temperature and the atmospheric disturbance extended over the whole country. The following is a list of cold temperatures observed in U.S. cities: 66
Fort Laramie, Wyoming (colder than -38° F / -39° C) on 5, 6 & 7 January
Forest City, Minnesota ( -38° F, -39° C) on 1 January 1864
St. Paul, Minnesota ( -35° F, -37° C) on 1 January 1864
Tamarack, Minnesota ( -35° F, -37° C) on 1 January 1864
Canton, Missouri ( -33° F, -36° C) on 6 January 1864 (cont)
U.S. Colonel W. O. Collins at Fort Laramie, Wyoming in the United States reported on 15 January (1864) “The weather has been so intensely cold, and the snow so deep, that we have not been able to keep open our communication with the different detachments posted in the mountains.

Joe Lalonde
December 28, 2010 4:25 am

What is unusual with the current weather patterns is that they are extremely early in arrival to the norm of winter patterns.
Earlier arrived snow patterns reflect the heat normally absorbed in the ground.

Steve Hill
December 28, 2010 6:12 am

5 dollar gallon gas should make the talking heads happy and even more a jobless.

December 28, 2010 7:59 am

“What is unusual with the current weather patterns is that they are extremely early in arrival to the norm of winter patterns.
Earlier arrived snow patterns reflect the heat normally absorbed in the ground.”
You must be joking, right? The heat normally absorbed in the ground causes artic air masses to form? Believe it or not the “early arrival of Winter” isn’t quite as unusual as you think. In 1776, thick ice floes gave Washington’s attackiing army fits as it traversed the Delaware. Early snows in Europe were a quite normal feature of the LIA (1350-1850). As late as the 1940s, it wasn’t unusual for snows to hit the Central Plains in November. And in 1991, early snows fell on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Going back to the Battle of Agincourt (October of 1415), rain and snow mixed fell in the early morning preceeding the battle. Rain and snow mixed also fell on the Wehrmacht in late October of 1941 , and by November snows were falling.

Danny L
December 28, 2010 8:33 am

Steve Hill.
Wish our petrol (gas) was only $5 a gallon! ( actualy it would be good if it were only £5 a gallon) you dont know when you are well off!

patrick healy
December 28, 2010 9:29 am

i have a confession to make
up to this month i have been a vociferous MMGW agnostic.
then the North Pole decided to move down to Scotland.
we have experienced the coldest month since records began in about 1910.
our global warming cabal in the scottish parliament in Edinburgh have installed thousands of giant cooling fans all over the only natural (or economic resource) we have. this was to prevent runaway global warming. unfortunately no wind blew for the whole month so the cooling fans lay idle.
but not to worry – all our roofs were covered in white pigmentation to prove that the albedo effect (or was it our libido efffect) works.
so my problem is who am i to believe – it appears to me i have witnessed the proof that we can prevent the apoliticalpol scenario of galloping global warming by painting our roofs white.
it certainly worked here as the temp never went above zero for a whole month.
so should i change my allegiance from Benedict to His Unwholiness Al?

Pamela Gray
December 28, 2010 9:31 am

If Judah is right about open water in the Arctic causing tons of precipitation elsewhere, then he must admit that historical records of massive snowstorms and wet deluges in the very same areas must have also been caused thusly. IE, the Arctic has melted before the current rise in CO2.
Logic has teeth which are often used to bite you in your own ass.

R. de Haan
December 28, 2010 9:44 am

December 28, 2010 11:51 am

Its a joke …. these plonkers have spent the last 10 years telling us that our milder winters and the earlier arrival of spring was a sign of global warming …. they can’t have it both ways …… luckily this dumb-ass stupidity is totally transparent to most people.

December 28, 2010 12:10 pm

What these esteemed over credentiled experts fail to realzie is simple meteorology. The fuel as well as precipitation for East Coast and North Atlantic storms is the Gulf Stream. That is, the genesis is in the sub-tropics and not the Artic. The NAO as a matter of fact, is determined in part by the SSTs in the Central Atlantic.
In the past I had no problem with the Alarmist’s assertion that AGW would lead to droughts, mild winters, and summer heat waves. This makes sense if the planet is warming naturally or otherwise. About 5 or 6 years ago many Alarmists at NOAA Hadley, and NASA warned that cold, snowy winters as we knew them would be a thing of the past.
What is ironic is that my children have never really went through the kind of long, frigid, soul crushing winters that we or our parents and grand parents went through on a yearly basis. I can still remember the Winter of 1976-77, which for us in the Western Great Lakes began in mid November. The snow didn’t melt away until early to mid April.

December 28, 2010 3:41 pm

I tend to agree John. The connection between these storms and global warming is rather speculative at this time.
Contrary to the simple-minded opinions of the scoff-scoff brigade, counter-intuitive effects from global warming are not out of the question. For example there was some concern about a freeze in Europe due to a Gulf Stream slow down. That concern receded once the studies came up with more evidence.
The current snows are due to odd weather patterns. It is not clear if the odd weather patterns are just random flukes or are caused by or enhanced by global warning.
A mechanism has been proposed in which greater heat absorption in the Arctic can cause shifts in weather patterns. Still speculative at this stage.
The climate modelling predicted a number of years ago that global warming will produce greater climate variability. We do seem to be seeing that lately. That could be a fluke. If the variability, hot and cold, continues for another 3 years I am calling it proven.

Wat Dabney
December 28, 2010 4:11 pm

Let’s all exercise a little restraint and remember that this amount of snow is the raw pre-adjusted figure. It may well be that when the official NASA statistics are published we’ll find that in fact only half and inch has fallen.

Baa Humbug
December 28, 2010 5:27 pm

Small sign that the times are a changing.
This article and WUWT is referred to in The Australian (major national paper) in an article taking the mickey out of Global Warming.
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town, the temperature goes up and snow comes down

December 28, 2010 5:38 pm

LazyTeenager @ 3.41pm.
“The climate modelling predicted a number of years ago that global warming will produce greater climate variability. We do seem to be seeing that lately. That could be a fluke. If the variability, hot and cold, continues for another 3 years I am calling it proven.”
Whilst it is encouraging that you seem to be trying to keep an open mind, please don’t get sucked into the IPCC Doublespeak tactics. Climate modelling cannot “predict” anything. People can make projections on a variety of “what if” imagined scenarios based on whatever good, bad or indifferent error-prone information is inputted by the modellers. As far as I’m aware, even the most ardent of AGW believers have never claimed there has been a perfect climate model, given the multiple factors and forces affecting this chaotic system make the existence of such a “beast” nigh impossible.
This hasn’t stopped the UNIPCC claiming that since they can’t find sufficient natural variability factors in their inadequate models to explain the alleged “unprecedented” global warming, the seeming correlation of rising CO2 levels must be the causation !
On the known facts available, there is absolutely no definitive evidence that there is “greater climate variability” now than there has been before in the billions of years history of the Earth. One thing you can be sure of is that natural climate variability will continue as it has done since Earth was first formed, complete with cyclical alternative periods of warming and cooling. What it won’t do is “prove” the hypothesis of AGW though many like you may choose to see it as such. Please keep an open mind and continue to question both sides of any debate. True science is never “settled” and “consensus” of no matter how many believers make a wrong hypothesis right!

December 28, 2010 11:43 pm

On his blog Dr Pielke Snr also very politely nukes Judah Cohen’s opinion piece. Then he nukes IPCC grade global climate models using Mr Cohen’s oped.
This is fun. I really am running out of popcorn.
(via Tom Nelson)

December 29, 2010 7:44 am

“The current snows are due to odd weather patterns. It is not clear if the odd weather patterns are just random flukes or are caused by or enhanced by global warning.”
What is so odd about the weather pattern?It is only odd if you are an Alarmists who believes that cold, snowy Winters are a thing of the past. The synoptic weather pattern that produced this storm is nothing out of the ordinary for the Eastern Seaboard. Blizzards do happen in North America during the Winter. Sheesh!!

Don Penim
December 31, 2010 6:14 pm

A great report with headlines and articles from major newspapers from the 1800’s titled “Notable Eastern U.S. Snowstorms of the 19th Century”.
by Donald Sutherland
— The 19th Century, which lay at the edge of the “Little Ice Age” that brought often early winters and late springs to Europe and the North America provides a fascinating illustration of the way the weather once was. Research has suggested that “during the Little Ice Age, both phases of the NAO {North Atlantic Oscillation} seem to have intensified, producing champion storms and numbing cold spells, which imposed enormous cost on Europe and North America”.
The combination of larger pools of colder air an more intense storms likely contributed to remarkable early and extraordinary late snowfalls in the Eastern United States. It might have also contributed to a number of frigid storms that combined heavy snows, high winds, and bitterly cold temperatures. —
The excellent bibliography (starts on page 401) shows the headlines of newspapers during the various major snowstorms of the 1800’s.
If you search through the archives of the newspapers listed you can find the articles behind the headlines. IE:
“Swamped in the Snow” The Washington Post, January 29, 1897
–From Ten Inches to Two Feet of It Covers the East. Blew great guns on the coast. Local Traffic Badly Interrupted in New York City–Up the State Railroads Had Their Snow Plows Out–Vessels in Distress Along the Atlantic Coast–A Regular Blizzard in New England–Dangerously Cold Weather in Florida.
The snow storm which commenced yesterday afternoon abated about noon to-day, leaving the ground in this vicinity hidden beneath a covering of snow ten inches deep. The wind, which had been almost entirely still up to this time, began to blow in fitful gusts, picking the powderlike snow from roofs and elevated railroad structures, and evell the sidewalks and streets and throwing it in blinding masses into the eyes and faces of pedestrians–
“Snow Bound” Boston Globe, Nov 7, 1894
Blizzardous Blizzard It Was Monday Night. Played Havoc with Telegraph and Telephone Wires. Boston Cut Off from the Outside World. Trains Delayed and Trees Badly Damaged. Two Provincetown Brothers Perished in Storm.
The most blizzardous blizzard that has struck New England since March, 1888, arrived Monday night, breaking down telegraph and telephone wires, ruining thousands of shade and fruit trees, delaying trains for hours and…

January 3, 2011 7:41 am

Once again someone confusing weather with climate and using news paper headlines as though they are hard science. Might as well consult with the magic 8 ball. The climate change deniers focus on single events of their choosing and totally ignore the global trends which are backed by robust data. In fact weather extremes have long been postulated as an effect of global warming and climate change. In spite of the blizzard 2010 will still be one of the warmest years globally on record.

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