Easter Blizzard in the Northeastern US, Global Warming to Blame?

From the “weather is not climate” department, post by Mike Lorrey:

Loon caught in Easter Blizzard on Eastman Lake
Loon caught in Easter Blizzard on Eastman Lake - Credit: Cathy Lacombe

I woke up today to find a couple inches of snow accumulating on my deck, and was thinking about setting up a nice picture there with some of the birds that visit and some of the easter eggs the family has been making this week, when my sixth grade teacher, Catherine Lacombe, who lives down the street from me on Eastman Lake, sent me this link to a picture she took this morning of a Loon caught on the lake in the blizzard. Apparently the Loon was taking navigational and seasonal advice from Al Gore, and wasn’t very amused at all the white stuff coming down. (click on the picture above to get a high res version uploaded by Cathy to The Weather Channel)

This Easter Blizzard is part of the storm system thats providing rain to much of the east coast today, but for northern New England, has converted to snow, sleet, and ice from western Vermont and New Hampshire this morning up to the most northeastern Maine by this evening. We in the north country are usually happy to get snow for Christmas, and thrilled to have it for Thanksgiving, but Easter weekend?

National Weather Service weather report on todays blizzard.
National Weather Service weather report on todays blizzard.
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April 23, 2011 2:02 pm

I’m up in New Hamster for a week or so & we got quite a good belt of snow to-day. Like I need an excuse to stay inside and drink.

April 23, 2011 2:13 pm

Just so I’m clear on the concept…
…I confuse easily
It still has to be cold to snow, right?

Stephen Brown
April 23, 2011 2:15 pm

I wonder what this weather is doing to the crop-growing in the area?
Looks like it is going to be a rather curtailed growing season for just about anything.

April 23, 2011 2:16 pm

Easter Blizzards are not new. I remember driving through one in 1970…. but Easter was on March 29th that year. Just cold rain here in Connecticut this time.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
April 23, 2011 2:38 pm

I didn’t get the latest memo: is it more snow means global warming, or is it back to less snow means global warming? And is it late Spring means global warming, or is it still early Spring?

April 23, 2011 2:43 pm

Warm= global warming
Cold= weather
Always the same!

April 23, 2011 3:01 pm

Here in the Northwest it’s a record cold spring. Farmers are a month behind schedule in planting because nights are still freezing.

Fred from Canuckistan
April 23, 2011 3:08 pm

Where is Al Gore ?

April 23, 2011 3:23 pm

Due to global warming spring is arriving earlier and earlier. Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past. A warmer climate means more snow. Snow extent is reduced due to global warming.
Governments are now advised to formulate policies based on the following peer reviewed research.
Winters maybe warmer in the NH
Winters maybe colder in the NH
It gets clearer and clearer as time goes by.

April 23, 2011 3:26 pm

This is the lastest Easter in almost 60 years. I wonder if any places in the lower 48 will see snow in May. I say yes.

April 23, 2011 3:26 pm

Snow is soon to be a thing of the past in the Sierra….Just not this soon….
“Breezy. Numerous showers. Snow level 6500 feet. Snow accumulation up to 2 inches. Highs 45 to 55. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph in the afternoon. Ridge gusts up to 50 mph increasing to 65 mph in the afternoon.”
That’s the forecast for Tahoe Donner, for Easter Sunday, April 24, 2010

Frank K.
April 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Yup – snow this morning in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire. Nothing is sticking to the ground, thank goodness, but made for a cold, wet day. And I had to postpone my marathon training long run until tomorrow afternoon…

April 23, 2011 3:37 pm

Loons don’t mind snow. But if the lake freezes, the loon can’t catch fish. That would upset the loon rather badly.
The loons was more upset about having its picture taken than anything else — damned paparazzi!

Jim Cole
April 23, 2011 3:38 pm

Like R.E. Phelan, I also recall the northeastern blizzard of 1970. It was my first year of grad school and my future (and still) wife flew out from our native California to visit. Borrowed my roommate’s car and off we went to Cape Cod.
Everything was fine until about 2pm when the big, fat flakes started to fall. Mass Dept Trans closed the highway at the Scituate rotary before we got out, so we and a few thousand other “climate refugees” got stuck on the Cape. We CA snow-newbies were totally unprepared, ended up post-holing through a foot of wet, cold slop to a motel that was not really open yet for the season. We survived – maybe that’s why we’re still married.
Forty years is about right for the cold-warm-cold cycle we’ve been through

Richard Sharpe
April 23, 2011 3:41 pm

drjohn says on April 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Warm= global warming
Cold= weather
Always the same!

I expect that after a few years of global cooling they will go back to spreading alarmism about the coming ice age.

Mike from Canmore
April 23, 2011 3:43 pm

Here in Vancouver, the local mountains have received gobs of snow over the last couple of weeks. I was up at Whistler yesterday (first time this year) and was absolutely astonished at how close the snow was to the Gondola.
I told my girls, age 4/6/8. (first time skiing Whistler all together; truly memorable day as it was gorgeous), that despite what their envirowacko teachers will tell them. It appears as if they have been born at a wonderful time. i.e. the next 20 – 30 years should deliver some stellar snowfalls!! Too bad we won’t be able to afford it as the provincial gov’t is poised to carbon tax the hell out of us.

April 23, 2011 3:47 pm

Repeat after me: a warmer climate means more or less NH snow cover. [see this]

“The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during March 2011 was above average, marking the ninth largest,…..This marks the largest March snow cover extent for the Northern Hemisphere since 1986, and the sixth consecutive month with above average snow cover. ”

“As shown in the time series to the right, mean Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during March 2007 was below average, consistent with anomalously warm conditions across Asia, Europe, and the contiguous U.S. March 2007 snow cover extent for the Northern Hemisphere was the 9th lowest extent on record, and it has been below average in 15 of the past 20 years.”

Mike Hebb
April 23, 2011 3:50 pm

Snow is it here in central Vermont. Total ground covered and coming down sideways this morning. Forecast for rain never happened probably due to my elevation. Got up to almost 55 yesterday. There are still snow patches in the woods. We’re sugaring a little later this year as we’re still getting frosts but the garden was up at this time last year.

April 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Yes fun. It’s the Sun wot does it. It was all in our WeatherAction Long Range weather forecast issued early April. Please see http://bit.ly/gnCOhY Thanks Piers

April 23, 2011 4:04 pm

Easter is late this year, and it’s an La Nina year, but here on the Southern Great Plains of Texas, Easter weekend snows are pretty common. But not this year…

April 23, 2011 4:07 pm

And we have a splendidly warm and sunny and dry April here in Germany. It would be a great opportunity for some warmist propaganda, but our warmists (who are also our anti-nuclear protesters) are too busy demonstrating against the evils of nuclear power.

April 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Richard Sharpe says:
April 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm
“I expect that after a few years of global cooling they will go back to spreading alarmism about the coming ice age.”
They will also tell us that their computer models always pedicted that; you know, we’ve always been at war with Oceania and all that…

April 23, 2011 4:14 pm

It has been warm over here in the UK. Now for many of last years it has been cold, wet or both. We tend to notice this as it’s a Bank Holiday weekend and we all love to moan about the weather over here spoiling our breaks.
Thing is, no one blamed gobal warming when the weather was lousy over the last few years but now it’s warm, of course it must be GLOBAL WARMING. Jeez, it’s enough to make you cry, or drink, or both!

April 23, 2011 4:21 pm

It poured here in NW Calif. last night, and has been raining ever since.
Had to get out the longjohns, winter is not over.
Mountains are getting very mushy, with rockslides onto the highways a weekly event.
People are getting nervous. Where is Spring? Why are the weather forecasts upside down? Something is very wrong with the GCMs.
Aye, Piers, its the Sun wot done it.

April 23, 2011 4:24 pm

Jim Cole says: April 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm
Geez, I’m glad for the confirmation… couldn’t find a inner-net-thingy site that referenced it. Was your point of origin for that trip New Haven, by any chance? Interesting place at an interesting time.

April 23, 2011 4:32 pm

Jim Cole says: April 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm
And Jim, that’s a GREAT story. Stranded in a Northeast blizzard and a 40 year marriage. Maybe we could make a movie…

April 23, 2011 4:32 pm

Off topic – sorry – Tip & Notes is full,
Some journalism on Globe International – heavyweight financiers of CAGW political junkets and lobbying:
Lobbyists who cleared ‘Climategate’ academics funded by taxpayers and the BBC

Common Sense
April 23, 2011 4:45 pm

It’s not uncommon for the Denver area to get snow all the way until June. It melts pretty quickly though. In fact, even though La Nina has left us windy and dry, we had about 6 inches of snow last week and probably a few more inches tonight.
I’ve seen it snow in July at 7200 feet, basically the foothills and only 30 miles from Denver.
This is the last weekend for skiing, even though the mountains are still getting pounded by snow. I think Breckenridge said it was a record for them with 511 inches so far and more on the way.

April 23, 2011 4:48 pm

Beesaman says:
April 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Remember, you are to expect earlier springs due to global warming and more snow and cold in winter due to global warming. It’s ‘climate change’ when it’s warm and weather when it’s cold.

April 23, 2011 5:00 pm

Fred from Canuckistan says:
April 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm
Where is Al Gore ?
Check photo again. Lower left quadrant. (Sorry, lovely bird. That wasn’t nice.)

April 23, 2011 5:05 pm

There was a decent sized snow in the Boston area in the second week of May back in 1977. 8-10″ of wet heavy snow where I lived (10 miles west of the city). Somebody put together a 30 yr. anniversary snow map:
Wow, 17″ in Catskill NY. It was a big deal because all the leaves were out, catching the snow and causing massive tree-limb destruction. The most ever in my neighborhood. NY must have been a disaster zone. But that was back when the big fear was global cooling, soon to be the new fear I suspect.

kbray in California
April 23, 2011 5:55 pm

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
April 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm
J. Hansen

April 23, 2011 6:12 pm

Warmer = warmer
Colder = warmer
More snow = warmer
Less snow = warmer
Got it yet?

Jeff Wiita
April 23, 2011 6:20 pm

This is beginning to look a lot like Anthropogenic Global Cooling.
Keep Smiling 🙂

Richard M
April 23, 2011 6:25 pm

We got about 4″ this past week in SE Minnesota. Temps have been below normal for almost 2 weeks and have been as much as 12C below average. Might finally get to normal tomorrow.

April 23, 2011 7:06 pm

Jeff Wiita says:
April 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm
This is beginning to look a lot like Anthropogenic Global Cooling.

Indeed it does, though the Anthropogenic forcing part was/is promised to be warmest evah. Something like a colder than normal cold cycle coming on.
So, there is a contradiction going on here. It cannot be the warmest ever and colder than normal cold at the Global scale. There is but one Earth.

kbray in California
April 23, 2011 7:17 pm

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a fundamental particle like a quark.
Since AGWs are part of everything they cause everything.
AGW is the elusive “God particle” they’ve been looking for.
Believers in and promoters of AGW can absorb strange God-like qualities from working too much with the individual God particles by writing too many papers and getting too many grants. It’s a danger often seen manifested in this field of science(religion).
So thank you God-particles, AGW causes everything. Now we know why.

April 23, 2011 7:26 pm

MattN says:
April 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Climate change means simply, that as CO2 warms the climate, we get very cold spots and more snow in these spots. Didn’t you see the inconvenient movie “Day After Tomorrow”?
This can be shown in your oven. Sometimes, when we cook an Easter ham, part of the ham doesn’t cook. That is why we have to turn the ham as it cooks. As the oven heats, it produces cold spots (sometimes). It is called “disproportionating equilibria” or “separation of enthalpies”, or “demixing”. The same thing happens when you take salt water and let it sit for a while. After an hour or so, zones of fresh water appear (sometimes).
That is why I recommend turning he ham as the oven heats. (Same with a turkey).
AGW “climatologists” are very familiar with turkeys.

Tom T
April 23, 2011 7:36 pm

Here in Vermont (I’m just here for the weekend) we had about 3 ” of snow and it still hasn’t melted. It is on thing to have snow on Easter, it is something else when Easter falls on the April 24, the second latest it can fall.

Paul Deacon
April 23, 2011 7:52 pm

I remember snow in Bristol, England (mild west coast climate) in May when I was a boy. Would have been about early 70s.

Jean Parisot
April 23, 2011 8:10 pm

But the troposphere is warm.

Mike McMillan
April 23, 2011 8:39 pm

FergalR says: April 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Off topic – sorry – Tip & Notes is full.
Some journalism on
Globe International – heavyweight financiers of CAGW political junkets and lobbying. . .

The Telegraph has done some serious investigative journalism here.
Good tip.

Elizabeth (not the queen)
April 23, 2011 9:17 pm

Sorry, but I have no sympathy whatsoever for our American friends caught in the snow this weekend. We’ve had neverending cold here in northwestern Alberta, running 10 degrees C below average practically the entire month. Overnight temps of -10C are comon and we are running out of firewood AGAIN. Finally this holiday weekend, we’re enjoying some balmy weather. Hopefully it will aid the melting of our still abundant snow, yet more spring snow storms are forecast for late next week. This kind of weather is common for March, not so much April. As for winter, I’ve had enough.

April 23, 2011 9:53 pm

bubbagyro says:
April 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm
An oven cooking a ham at 400F has cold spot of … oh … 375F?
So an AGW +5F oven cooks a ham at 405F has cold spots of 380F.
AGW was supposed to be an Earth many degrees C above normal.
That warms both the ‘warm spots’ and the ‘cold spots’
Cold spots matching the 70’s cooling period were NOT supposed to happen.
Back to the ham in the AGW oven:
It has warms spots of 398F and cold spots of 373F.
Oops. Wrong oven.

Jimmy Haigh
April 23, 2011 9:57 pm

Don says:
April 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm
“This is the lastest Easter in almost 60 years. ”
That’ll be because of that global warming they’ve been on about.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
April 23, 2011 10:13 pm

Elizabeth (not the queen) says:
April 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm
we are running out of firewood AGAIN,/i>
Feynman had an interesting view on fire wood.

Werner Brozek
April 23, 2011 10:36 pm

Harsh winter, cold spring nets late opening for golf courses
‘The ground is pretty frozen. And what’s not frozen is pretty wet’
“From 1990 to 1999, we were always open in early April. The latest in that period was April 18.
“But when you look at the last decade, we didn’t open until May 10 in 2002, May 8 in 2003 and May 12 in 2004.
“So much for global warming.”
See the full article in the Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada)

April 23, 2011 10:56 pm

Not a blizzard. In the northeast that requires:
(abbrev. BLZD)- A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:
* Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
* Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than ¼ mile)
The older definition required temps below 20F or so too, and that may still be required in the midwest..

April 23, 2011 11:02 pm

This is very common, nothing unusual at all. Don’t you all remember that famous song: ♫♪”I’m dreaming of a white Easter…”♪♫

April 24, 2011 12:16 am

I expect that after a few years of global cooling they will go back to spreading alarmism about the coming ice age.
That at least makes sense, though, because the next ice age is coming. The Holocene is already one of the longest interglacials in the last million years, and it is most unlikely that it will last another thousand years. It could (start to end) tomorrow. It may have already started to end. The twentieth century appears to be a grand maximum century as far as the sun is concerned, and solar cycle 24 looks as though the grand maximum is very likely to be over.
We have a lot of heat stored away in the ocean from the warm cycle, but if we are in the first solar cycle of an extended minimum, or even if solar behavior regresses back to the lower levels of activity that were more typical over the last several thousand years, we can expect some cooling to begin. At some point the Earth’s climate will become unstable (again) — sustained by warming as long as it stays warm, but if it cools below some critical point we’ll tip into rapid and prolonged cooling. A Maunder type minimum might be all that it takes. I think we’re getting out there to where any 100 year period of highly reduced solar activity could trigger an irreversible cycle of average cooling (as one or another such minimum will eventually do in the next thousand years).
Are we unstable in this way yet? Sitting at the end of a grand solar maximum and without anything like a reliable theory of solar activity capable of extrapolating a century into the future, it is hard to say. Without a clear understanding of why ice ages are happening in the first place — one capable of actually predicting them and explaining them — it is even harder. Then one is thrown back on Bayes; given the past data alone, we might well be. If the sun had remained quiet at the end of the Maunder minimum for another fifty years, we might have cooled enough that even the maximum wouldn’t have succeeded in seriously warming the planet; feedback from high-albedo glaciation might have started an irreversible process that was only delayed by the warm cycle.
We really should fear the cold, not the heat. In the warm cycle since the Dalton minimum, the population of the Earth has increased by 5.5 billion people, and food for at least a couple of billion of them is grown on land that would rapidly become incapable of sustaining meaningful summer agriculture if we merely returned to the climate conditions associated with the Maunder minimum. Worst case scenarios for global warming don’t really kill anyone, certainly not anyone en masse and over a very short timeframe. Even modest real global cooling could cause megadeaths to gigadeaths from plain old starvation in as little as two or three years of successive crop failures due to anomalous frosts in the great breadbaskets of Canada and the Great Plains of the US, in Siberia, in the Ukraine, or frost conditions at all in tropical countries where the migration of frost intolerant food plants into (thousand year) marginal climate zones makes their contribution to the food supply vulnerable.
People should really read things like this:
This wasn’t even the Little Ice Age — it was the Dalton minimum, coupled with a succession of volcanic events that probably caused heterodyning aerosol-based cooling, hardly a “unique and non-reproducible” series of events. Cycle 24 is looking like it might well be on the same order as the Dalton minimum, with a peak well under 100 in sunspot number. We’re better equipped with a heat budget accumulated by the grand maximum, but if cycle 25 is equally low or lower, we will be in serious trouble.
That’s one of the many things that irritates me tremendously about the abuse of numbers by the AGW establishment. They aren’t just doing a disservice to science in general, they are preparing the world for the wrong disaster. Even if they are correct, or partly correct, a warm Earth isn’t to be feared, but embraced. Fear the cold. It will kill people in vast numbers, right now if it comes, even if it only comes for a few years.

April 24, 2011 2:05 am

You realise that we have been having a bout of ‘man-made global warming’ here in the UK?! All this while you have merely been having ‘weather’ in the NE of the USA?!
Happy Easter to All,

Anthea Collins
April 24, 2011 3:27 am

Here in the south-east of England the weather has been “fine and warm/hot” for too long, for gardeners that is. I’m looking forward to the promised cooling which should bring us some much-needed rain. The warmists who live down here must be rubbing their hands with glee. Go north, young warmists, and see it up there! Wet!!

April 24, 2011 4:06 am

It’s going to really screw up the warmistas minds if the USA has a cooler North and a Hotter South this year, especially if those ice caps keep on hanging around.

April 24, 2011 4:30 am

remember when it used to have to “warm up” to snow?

April 24, 2011 5:02 am

Temperatures in the South East of England topped 80F (27C) yesterday, well above the average for this time of year. The Easter weekend has seen temperatures higher than those in southern Spain and some Greek islands. Beaches across the UK were packed with Britons enjoying the record-breaking Easter Bank Holiday weekend weather.

April 24, 2011 5:34 am

OK, Easter may be a little late, but I do recall trudging through 13 inches of snow in Boston on April 6/7 1982. Vivid recollection of the snow piled up on the fully-bloomed yellow azalea bushes.
There’s brief mention of it here:

Bruce Cobb
April 24, 2011 5:37 am

The interesting thing about yesterdays’ snow, at least here, just south of the Lakes Region in NH, was that it started as rain first thing in the morning, with a temperature around 35°, but then gradually began mixing with snow, with the temperature dropping.
Eventually, it changed to all snow, with a temperature around 32°, somewhere around mid – to – late morning, I believe. We wound up with a light coating on the ground, and perhaps 1/2″ on the vehicles. The temperature stayed in the 30’s a good part of the afternoon, eventually “warming” to around 40° by late afternoon. So far, it’s been a very cool, wet Spring, with the exception of one brief warm spell for a day or so a couple of weeks ago.

April 24, 2011 10:28 am

Out here on the West Coast, we are having our 2nd Winter.
We had a 6 week Spring from mid January to end of February.
The water agencies are just now waking up to a problem we are facing of delayed runoff, with the reservoirs full or darn near full.

Gary Pearse
April 25, 2011 8:03 am

Coldest in 30 years … worst fire’s in TX since the 1970s … worst flood in 40 years … Hmmm. You don’t think we are in for a good spell of cooling..

May 11, 2011 3:15 am

Global Sun Oven:
I live in California near Los Angeles. I purchased sun oven around two years ago (c. 2007). Weighs 21 lbs according to information on web site. Sturdy, well constructed. Made from oak, aluminum, glass, rubber, and plastic.
My opinion is that the product is somewhat better than the company that makes it claims. It is durable and well-made. Comes with attached thermostat which is big help. Supposedly it is made in USA, and this is another plus to me. Also, I find it easy to use. I find that I can set up the oven in 1 to 2 minutes.
I have cooked pizza, soup, nachos, hot dogs, burritos, etc. Food tastes wonderful, and didn’t burn. A few days ago, I made chicken soup, starting with 2 frozen thighs, in a 2 or 3 liter (quart) pot. After around 1.5 hours, the chicken, noodles, and vegetables were well-cooked, and the smell was heavenly! I feel that the soup tasted a little better then if cooked in regular oven or stove. Some Hispanic neighbors (great cooks!) told me they loved the smell of the soup that floated around the area. Yesterday, I cooked a pizza and was surprised it didn’t burn to aluminum foil, but came off rather easy.
According to my experience, the sun oven cooks food around as fast as a regular oven. However, when it is cloudy or overcast, the oven is much less effective (this holds true with any solar oven).
The only caveat is as follows. Oven is not a toy! Use heat pad to take out pots. glass oven cover and cooked items will be VERY HOT! Be sure to watch children around oven. Of course this is true with any oven. Also watch animals. My beast (cat) smelled chicken soup, opened up the oven, pulled out the pot, and was trying to take out the chicken. My daughters and I take oven to park for picnic, and it attracts crowd when we set up.
The oven truly is a remarkable product, and on a sunny day, works great!
Thank you.

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