The nation is rather abuzz over the huge snowstorm (which I dubbed Snowzilla) this week, and I thought I’d put together a collection of loosley related news items. In light of Krauthammer’s recent comment, I’m glad I chose Snowzilla for the name.
Refreshing sanity — It’s La Niña, obviously: Dr. Louis Uccellini, head of NCEP, winter storm textbook expert: “We are linking the storm tracks to the La Nina pattern which dominates the flow coming off the Pacific,” Uccellini explained to AP in a telephone interview. “This follows the pattern we would expect through the Ohio Valley and with heavy precipitation to the Great Lakes…You can’t relate climate change to individual storm systems. Clearly, there have been similar storms in previous decades. As intense as this storm is, it’s equivalent to other major storms that they’ve seen in past decades”
First the satellite image:
The animation: showing Snowzilla forming, and stomping all over the nation east of the Mississippi:
Intense Blizzard Rolls Across the U.S.
A massive winter storm system is rolling across the Plains and Midwest U.S., headed for the New England Region. Snow amounts of up to three feet have been dumped in some parts of Illinois and Indiana, and more is on its way. Whereas the Midwest is plagued with snow, ice will be the danger in Pennsylvania. Temperatures are warming from Maryland south, which will bring only rain to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
This animation shows GOES-East satellite infrared water vapor imagery from January 29 -February 1, 2011. The GOES satellites provide visible and infrared imagery of the U.S. every 15 minutes. The blue colored areas show the most intense, moist areas of the atmosphere that are responsible for these major precipitation events. Also included, at the end, is the snow precipitation amounts from Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2011.
The snow cover map:
The snow and cold records:
The northern hemisphere snow:
The graph from Rutgers snow lab, and 2011 isn’t even on the books yet:
The photos – Chicago on February 2nd:
Dallas: Fountain Place Fountains Frozen
The Superbowl – now more about the weather than football:
The there was the rolling blackouts: wind power shoulders some blame
Plus, the embarrassing revelation that Texas had to get electricity from Mexico:
Gore and the pundits:
Gore’s pronouncement about the “snow being caused by global warming”, so stupid even Jay Leno made fun of it.
And then there’s this Godzilla/Snowzilla moment:
Charles Krauthammer: ‘If Godzilla Appeared on National Mall Gore Would Say It’s Global Warming’
And finally, the word on Gore’s imagined water vapor increase:
From Dr. Roger Peilke:
From NOAA ESRL:
Click for a larger image
Note the second graph, precipitable water. How is it with global warming that in 1950’s we had so much more precipitable water than in the present? Notice the spike in 1998 – that’s the big El Niño that did that. If anything, if there’s a claim to more water vapor in 2010, it would be to the large El Niño that year. It will be interesting to plot this again in a few months to see if there’s a spike just like 1998
Only problem is, that we have a strong La Niña in the middle of Snowzilla now:
UPDATE: The original preciptable water plot from NCEP has been updated to be more current. Thanks to commenter “c james”. NCEP also provides a map of preciptable water in the near term. Here’s what it looks like during the Snowzilla event: