A Cool White Christmas – almost two thirds of the continental USA has snow cover

Where’s that “global warming” when you really want it? 😉

This map from NOAA’s National Snow Analyses page shows the snow depth data:


Source: http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/

Automated Model Discussion:

December 26, 2012

  Area Covered By Snow: 61.4%
  Area Covered Last Month: 18.6%
Snow Depth
  Average: 5.1 in
  Minimum: 0.0 in
  Maximum: 1351.5 in
  Std. Dev.: 10.6 in
Snow Water Equivalent
  Average: 0.9 in
  Minimum: 0.0 in
  Maximum: 650.5 in
  Std. Dev.: 2.4 in

This is a perfect time to recall climate researcher Dr. David Viner’s famous missive from back in the year 2000:

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.



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Weather is not climate. Duh.

Ah, you took the bait, thanks! Weather is indeed not climate, except when the climate activists (and some weak minded individuals) say it is. Such as tornado outbreaks or heat waves. Those aren’t climate either – Anthony

David, UK

Remember those aerial images of the UK and Ireland totally covered in snow, ice and frost the past couple of winters? Those events were newsworthy enough, but this is on a whole other scale.

Don’t worry. the warmth is over here for Christmas – the Met Office says so. Temp ATM a sweltering 50 F dropping to a warm sticky 42 F tonight. Siberia could do with some of it.

Bob B.

Come on, everyone knows AGW causes snow coverage /sarc


-It is considered very bad form to discuss global warming during winter !


So there is snow on the ground in winter… So Watt? I hear this is set to be the warmest year ever for the US… and not by a small margin.
REPLY: Let’s switch the time frame to alarmist mode, so it’s hot in the summer and there’s little rain, so what? It’s an interesting weather statistic, so I report it. Get over yourself. – Anthony

Let’s hear Al Gore singlng “I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas.”


I’m catching up on WUWT posts and comments while waiting for the snow to stop. Looks like we’ll wind up with a 6″ dusting. (I do have a nice snowblower to use. Yay!)

When I flew across the country a week ago, the snow covered the ground between the Sierra Nevada foothills until we flew over clouds at the Nebraska/Iowa border. The snow was gone by the time we got to New Jersey, but Norway was covered, too, which they say isn’t guaranteed by Christmas. Oslo at least is pretty snowy at least.
So…not surprised.

Gary Pearse

Hi Anthony, you gave Viner’s quote and the link but I think you should add the date he said it ahead of the quote for those who don’t go to the link.
[Done. -w.]


With record colds in Northern Russia (Siberia) and North America (Alaska) I would expect some uptick in ice covering in the Arctic.
Nothing showing much though.
Lag, ‘warm’ ocean currents…?
Can anybody fill me in on this?


lts not just in the USA.
There is also a large snow cover extent over northern asia, it looks like almost the whole of Russia is under snow cover.

Keith AB

Shane Harris says:
December 26, 2012 at 11:33 am (Edit)
Weather is not climate. Duh.
Au contraire mon ami, I would say that weather is the climate we are experiencing today.


Simon says:
December 26, 2012 at 11:49 am
Jeez – you must be one of the sheeple that believes the ‘warmest eva’ type bulldust? Fine! Believe all you want! – but that means there is no need for you to be here at all – as clearly you are not able to be educated, or indeed, willing to learn or self educate – as several of your previous missives here attest (IIRC). I suggest you return to the ‘other’ sites, as all you are doing here is illustrating your own ignorance and the stupidity of the warmista mantra! Handwaving or shouting dogma here is pointless!

Bryan A

“1. Shane Harris says:
December 26, 2012 at 11:33 am
Weather is not climate. Duh.”
“1. Simon says:
December 26, 2012 at 11:49 am
So there is snow on the ground in winter… So Watt? I hear this is set to be the warmest year ever for the US… and not by a small margin.”
Lets see if I got this right
If it is WARM it is CLIMATE
If it is COLD it is WEATHER
about right???


Lower Great Lakes area on map about to change color/colour

I didn’t take any bait. But apparently you are waiting under the bridge like a troll with an agenda. Go ahead and keep preaching to people who already agree with you. Cheers. From the rest of your comments, apparently your audience lacks the critical facilities necessary for breathing.
REPLY: Lol! Troll? As site owner I have to moderate comments. Typical response for somebody who lost the argument in the first sentence. Anthony


I have to wonder how accurate that map is they’re showing especially for seasonal. I live in the SWON(south western ontario) or smack in the middle of all the great lakes in a traditional snowbelt area, and it’s as green as anything here still. And when I was out driving between Windsor and Toronto yesterday it was the same. Though we’ll be getting 2-5″ of snow in the next few days.

Physics Major

Maximum snow depth = 1351.5 inches (113 feet)? Where would that be?

Shane Harris says:
Weather is not climate. Duh.

So, Shane, can you tell that to “Dirty Weather” AlGore and “30 year average of weather is climate” Hanson? Pretty please?
One of the most deceptive parts of ‘Climate Science’ is the use of the “30 year average of weather” as a “climatology”. It is part of the very definition of “Climate Science” that it is weather just a 30 year average of it.
Now, what makes that incredibly dumb is that we know there are 60 year cycles of the oceans (PDO / AMO) and thus weather. We know there are 179 year cycles of the sun and lunar tides, and thus weather.
In reality, your climate depends on geology. Altitude, latitude, distance from water, land form (behind mountains is dryer). The Mediterranean has had a “Mediterranean climate” type for thousands of years, and will continue to have one. Even when, like a couple of years back, it snows in Marseilles or Paris has a hot summer. Even when the AMO makes them hotter for 30 years, then colder for 30 years. It’s all just weather.
But, you see, the Skeptic side is not the ones with the “weather problem”. We know it’s all just weather. It’s the “climate scientists” who think weather is “climate” and furthermore, think it is getting hotter and snow will go away. THEY made the predictions / projections / guesses / hand-waving-shouting that said snow was going away. Snow hasn’t gone away. They were wrong.
So since THEY set the rules that ‘weather over time’ can be used as the benchmark, WE get to keep trotting out the weather, and doing it over a long time, showing how foolish they are.
So look out your window and weep. It’s snowing in the N. Hemisphere and the amount and extent are beyond the “climatology”. The predictions / projections / frantic hand waving / guesses are wrong and the “climate scientists” need to start planning their exit strategy before they end up being public laughing stocks. (Oh, sorry, too late…)
Oh Boy! You are really going to keep trying to sell that “warm snow” meme eh? The GIStemp books are cooked. The NOAA / NCDC GHCN dataset is adjusted to the 9s… and Hadley has lost their data. There is just no way you can say how warm it is from that dreck.
So look out the window, notice the snow records. See the glaciers growing (Shasta growing fast! Antarctica too!) see the fact that the weather is remarkably like it was in the 1950s just like the LAST warm to cold PDO / AMO flip. Eventually you will catch on that a “30 year average of weather” is bogus and just measures slope on a sine wave weather cycle.
See, I’ve now lived a whole PDO cycle. So trying to tell ME that it is warmer now than it was when I was a kid is not going to work. It isn’t. I remember what it was like. Not only that, I talked to ‘old people’ when I was a kid. My Dad filled me in on the ’30s. It’s never been warmer than that since. He was in Iowa then. We visited during my lifetime and it’s not as hot as he described. No “dust bowl”.
The “climate science” folks are busted. The snow shows it. Oh, and remember that 2009 was a high snow year too. First time in 30 to 60 years in many places. Now we’ve got another similar year. This as we come off the TOP of this solar cycle. You have another decade of “lower than this” to look forward to. Get used to it.
There’s about an 18 year lag from equator to Alaska as the water temps move up. As ‘the flip’ was about 1998, in about 2016 the arctic starts getting colder water in from Alaska. Don’t know the lag on the Atlantic side, but as the cool Atlantic slows the gulf stream, that warm source falters. ( I’ve got an animation of it showing a slowing). So my guess would be that about 2016 from both sides and then it ices up hard.
Russia is having “coldest in 30 years” and “coldest in 50 years” kind of weather. China is having a lot of snow too. While the present map is only up to the 18th of Dec, you can see that the N.H. overall is over the “climatology” extent.

Willis Eschenbach

Simon says:
December 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

So there is snow on the ground in winter… So Watt? I hear this is set to be the warmest year ever for the US… and not by a small margin.

Well, maybe so, maybe no, but if you want me to believe your claim about the “warmest year ever” you’ll have to provide a citation. At this point in the climate game, I don’t trust anyone.


I remember earlier in the year BBC reporters here in UK walking up & down near dried up river beds quoting “because of climate change” then shortly after it started to rain & boy has it rained & has never stopped raining since. This is now apparently due to “the warming atmosphere” & ” The Experts” say we will have to get used to it, as we will see more of this in the future.
The BBC environment section & a great deal of the media are so full of it.
Who the hell co-ordinates all this.
Sky news a couple of weeks ago had a brief early morning report of how useless & waste of money wind turbines were.
How refreshing I thought.. but within a day the replay facility was removed.
Who has the right to do this … Govt climate bodies ?
Will we ever get balaced reporting or is the politics just too strong & twisted.


As if we all don’t know it yet – if there’s no snow and it’s warm, then it’s global warming. If there’s snow, then it’s because of warming in Arctic causing increased moisture contents which is caused by global warming. And if it’s freezing then it’s extreme weather which is again caused by global warming. These guys cover all bases.
Of course, nothing of it is about science.


Perhaps the snow job will be undone by actual snow.


Here in Sweden Stockholm had the third White Christmas in four years. The last time that happened was in 1916-19, and as a matter of fact all of Sweden was snow covered on Christmas Eve (which is the big Holiday here) for the second time in three year, and that hasn’t happened since the nineteenth century.

“warmest year ever”
Would that be the warmest year ever after Hansen and NASA get through making “adjustments” to make that happen? Back in the 70s I was taught in college that tampering with the data was scientific fraud. Now it seems to be a career enhancer.

Steamboat McGoo

Heinlein said it best: Climate is what you expect. Weather is what you get.

Harriet Harridan

You’ll all remember this:
“Met Office: Arctic sea-ice loss linked to colder, drier UK winters”
When we actually get…
Floods cause pre-Christmas disruption
Dozens of communities have been affected by floods, and a week of further rain threatens more holiday misery.”

Willis Eschenbach

Shane Harris says:
December 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I didn’t take any bait. But apparently you are waiting under the bridge like a troll with an agenda. Go ahead and keep preaching to people who already agree with you. Cheers. From the rest of your comments, apparently your audience lacks the critical facilities necessary for breathing.

Bad news, my friend. You indeed took the bait, and we all sat here and watched you take it.
Now, you can argue that you didn’t want to take the bait. You can argue that Anthony is a terrible, awful man for putting out the bait. You can argue that the bait was so irresistible that you had no choice. You can argue a whole host of things, you can spin it however you want.
But you can’t argue that you “didn’t take any bait”, amigo, that ship has already sailed, and we all sat here and watched it leave.
Finally, I’m still waiting for your citation for your unsupported claim about the temperature of the year 2012.
PS—You start by taking the bait, then you have the gall to claim you didn’t take the bait, and now you’re going to diss the audience here, saying that they lack “the critical facilities necessary for breathing”?
Really? That’s your plan for getting people to believe you? Hella-good tactics there, my friend. Because from where I sit, I can tell you who looks like they are lacking in “critical facilities” …

William Marshall

Did you know the concept of a White Christmas was thought up by Charles Dickens, when the first decade of his life there was a ‘White Christmas’ every year! Or is it an urban myth?

Bruce Cobb

Cold + moisture = snow = Old Physics
Warm + moisture = even more snow = New, Improved Physics
Climate “scientists”, making the rules up as they go along.
Quite a system they’ve got going.


markstoval says:
December 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm
Back in the 70s I was taught in college that tampering with the data was scientific fraud. Now it seems to be a career enhancer.
They don’t tamper with it, they correct it for the errors caused by instrumentation, station moves and an uncooperative Mother Nature, who doesn’t have a PhD in Climatology (so her views don’t count).

Frank K.

We in New Hampshire are going to be experiencing the brunt of this “rare” snow storm (renamed by the Weather Channel as “Viner Events”, in honor of the esteemed Climate Scientist(tm) who predicted in the early 2000s that snow would become a “rare” event). We are expecting 12 – 18 inches in my area (which are now measured by the Weather Channel in “Viner Units” 1 cm of snow = 1 V.U., so we will be getting 30.5 – 45.7 V.U. of snow). Of course, this has NEVER ever happened in recent years in New Hampshire – nope, we NEVER get any snow any more…
To the visiting trolls who are now all confused that snow still exists in our “warming world,” please note:
When Jim Hansen was called on his “Y2K” error, which made 1934 the hottest year in the U.S., he replied (paraphrasing) that the U.S. was less than 2% of the earth’s surface, and so it didn’t matter.
PLEASE, trolls, remember that – according to NASA GISS, what happens climatologically in the U.S. doesn’t matter…
More on the Y2K error here…

just as Curry explained. low arctic sea extent contributes to higher NH snowfall in the winter.
REPLY: Yup, a negative feedback. – Anthony


Other Andy
What looks to be part of the answer has been the jet stream. Twice during December it has pushed up from the south, moved up across the pole and then pushed back down south again.
What this has the effect of doing is pushing up warm air up into the Arctic and then pushing down cold Arctic air across the NH.
lts this that has been part of the reason for the very cold winter weather in Russia and Canada.

Lawrie Ayres

Happy Christmas from Wingham Australia. It’s been dry here this spring but we’ve just had 60 mm in the past fortnight so the land responds and the grass grows. BoM forecast a very hot summer and we have had several warm days followed soon by cool southerly changes. It is hot in the West but that’s normal. BoM are desperate for a hot year. They were caught out by Jo Nova and friends and had to rejig the temperature record so now they have to earn respect again. Not likely with the same crew and same philosophy. Every hot day the alarmists are out and about and the corrupt press give them air time and column inches. Cool days and silence. No cyclones near Aus so far although there was a severe one in Fiji. Problems coming for the alarmists I fear and it couldn’t happen to better scam artists.
Happy New Year to all at WUWT. Success in 2013.


Northern Hemisphere snow is purely a local phenomenon. No sign of any snow here. We just had a few “record hot on this day” (according to the BOM) days. Coolish over Xmas, but nice and sunny now. So yes, the Global Warming is keeping Brisbane warm.

Frank K.

Steven Mosher says:
December 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm
“just as Curry explained. low arctic sea extent contributes to higher NH snowfall in the winter.”
So winters must have been dryer (minimal snowfall) back in the 1970s when the arctic ice extent was higher…right?
More about the dry, snow-free seventies here…
(Of course, global cooling was all the rage back then – who knew??).


Over at the Guardian, there is a piece by the arch believer in warming, George Monbiot, which has him visiting hospital after an accident in icy conditions.

Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
Mother Nature’s Response to the Global Warmers.


Steven Mosher says:
December 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm
just as Curry explained. low arctic sea extent contributes to higher NH snowfall in the winter.
REPLY: Yup, a negative feedback. – Anthony
Ooooh, but it is so much more complicated than that.
I grew up on the Canadian prairies, noted for their harsh winters. One of the things that I noticed over the years was that years with a lot of snow, particularly if a significant amount of it arrived early in the season, were coupled with early springs. Winters with little snow often had late springs where winter just seemed to “hand on” much longer than usual.
This always seemed counter intuitive to me until an old farmer explained it. Snow makes an excellent insulator. So lotsa snow = less cooling of the earth beneath the snow. Not much snow = more cooling of the earth. The heat capacity of just the first few feet of dirt is high enough that this makes a substantive difference to how quickly the snow melts in the spring and the earth warms to the point that it no longer suppresses air temps.
Low arctic sea ice = colder arctic oceans = negative feedback
Low arctic sea ice = more snow = negative feedback
more snow = positive feedback
Some day when I’m motivated enough I\d like to see of the snowfall records and arrival of spring (how would you define it? ) actually correlate as well as my memory and that of old farmers.


Bait-breath Harris:
Yes, Yes, confess, you took it hook,line and sinker. Genuine full-ripe stinkbait. That you for that.


“record hot on this day according to the BOM”
After BOM fine-tuned, adjusted,cooked, corrected, homogenized and tweaked the data, ‘records’ are even more meaningless than they were.


meanwhile, guess what HOT CAGW revelations aren’t in the following:
24 Dec: Livescience: Wynne Parry: The Hottest Climate Change Stories of 2012
Global warming was hot news this year, literally…

It was not the only loony prediction David Viner made. Try this one from 2006
Climate change could “dramatically” change the face of British tourism in the next 20 years, with European tourists flocking to the UK to escape unbearably hot continental summers, experts say.
Weather changes may provide revival opportunities for northern seaside towns such as Blackpool and put new strains on roads and development in southern coastal resorts, a study in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism said.


Frank K. says:
December 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm
> We in New Hampshire are going to be experiencing the brunt of this “rare” snow storm (renamed by the Weather Channel as “Viner Events”…).
What snows in New Hampshire stays in New Hampshire. (Until it melts or sublimates.)
I filled the gas tank on the snowblower. Seemed to make more sense than doing it after the storm.
Got some work stuff here to take home, a definite WFH day tomorrow.


Meanwhile, the MSM studiously ignore multiple hundreds killed by brutal cold in eastern Europe http://rt.com/news/cold-moscow-december-russia-757/
hoping against hope for a fraction of a degree record warm margin somewhere in the west.


The 21st, we had Snowmageddon. Over 50 cm.(20″) of the white stuff fell so fast that i had to shovel off the roof! Power went out around 2:30 pm and only came back 36 hours later.
Now, how the heck those Maya knew that it was the end of time (clocks stopped) and that 3 (Mayan) days of darkness (their days start at sundown) would follow is beyond me.
Maybe they had computer models? Nah, at least their predictions came to pass…
Happy holidays everyone! 😉

james griffin

The CAGW crowd have an agenda based around CO2’s potential to burn up the planet. However that was tested 500 million years ago and failed the test. CO2 was around 5,700ppm which is about 15 times today’e level. If the Alarmists were right we would not be here as the planet would have burned up….but instead it greened up.
So what has gone wrong?
Simple…the more you stack up CO2 the less heat you get. In other words the relationsip is not linear but logarithmic and we have had 75% of all the heat we will get from CO2. A doubling from today’s level will create about 1C+ of heat and a further doubling will yield less than 1/10th of 1C so no problem.
If the leaks from the coming IPCC assessment are true then sensitivity will be stated at around 1.6C which is not dangerous and we would eventually expect it to be rounded down to circa 1.2C. Simple enough to understand….we can do a a colouring book with an explanation for some of the alarmists who have decided to visit us tonight.

Willis Eschenbach

Steven Mosher says:
December 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

just as Curry explained. low arctic sea extent contributes to higher NH snowfall in the winter.

Thanks, Steven. You are correct that the data shows that for every million sq. km. of lost arctic sea ice in SON, we get about an extra million km of NH snow in DJF, or a bit less. However, the R^2 is not strong, the SON sea ice only explains about a quarter of the change in DJF NH snow.
So …
• 3/4 of the changes in NH snowfall are NOT due to changes in sea ice.
• The standard deviation of the error in the historical snow estimate using Judith’s method is about 1.12 million sq. km.
• The standard deviation of the snowfall is bigger than the SD of the error, 1.3 million sq. km.
• the relationship is weak (R^2 = 0.28)
As a result, while we can see that there is a part of the snowfall that is related to the ice loss, the error is large and the relationship is poor … and as a result, the idea that somehow winter snowfall isn’t weather doesn’t pass the data test.