Amazing time-lapse of #blizzard2016

From NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation office via William Putnam –

The NASA GEOS-5 atmospheric data assimilation system follows an historic winter storm as it approaches the mid-Atlantic this weekend 2016 January 22-24 where it is expected to produce a wide swath of more than 2 feet of snow. The near-real-time operational GEOS-5 system ingests more than 5 million observations every six hours producing comprehensive analyses and forecasts of the atmosphere each day at 25-km global resolution. This experimental product uses the global mesoscale capabilities of GEOS-5 to downscale the operational product to 6-km global resolution. Subsequent forecasts are launched with this product providing a detailed view of the developing storm and its predicted evolution across the region.

The simulated field visualized here is outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). Clouds block longwave radiation that is emitted from the Earth’s surface producing cold OLR values in regions of thick/deep cloudiness. Thus, OLR provides a satellite-eye view of clouds from storm systems around the globe, including the developing blizzard across the eastern United States.

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David Riser
January 24, 2016 8:09 am

Does not seem to be working. I just get a big ! in the middle of a white expanse of screen.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 24, 2016 11:07 am

Your site is amazing Anthony!

Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 24, 2016 11:59 am

Tetchy today Anthony? Not that I don’t agree with you…

Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 24, 2016 1:56 pm

Works for me.

David Riser
Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 24, 2016 2:23 pm

It didn’t work at first. reloaded it, restarted the machine etc. Nothing wrong with my equipment. It just magically started working about 20min later. Just the vagaries of the internet.

Proud Skeptic
Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 24, 2016 2:34 pm


Reply to  Anthony Watts
January 25, 2016 5:02 am

I started having infrequent problems with my old PC (Dell “Dimension” E-521) when viewing the WUWT site …. and only the WUWT site …… and MS Windows would post a message stating that had stopped responding and it had terminated Internet Explorer (IE) and would re-start it again.
So, 3 weeks ago I purchased a new Dell “Inspiron” 3452 with Windows 10, 4gb of RAM and a 500gb hard drive and as of yesterday I was still experiencing the same problem. Oftentimes my IE would stall on a WUWT page, no messages or nothing, and would not react to keyboard or mouse interrupts. And when I would view the Task Manager it showed that IE was highly active and using 40% to 80+% of the CPU time, …. 0% Internet, …. and slowly “grabbing” more n’ more of the available RAM memory (from 300 mb up to 900+ mb). And the only way I could regain control was to terminate IE via “stop process” in the Task Manager.
And Dell Support personnel told me that the above problem was neither my fault or their fault, but was a problem with the WUWT web site.

Reply to  David Riser
January 24, 2016 12:00 pm

Might be your browser – or a program might need updating. I usually have trouble with firefox, but can play things in Chrome; recently the java updated and voila – no problem even in firefox 🙂

Reply to  4TimesAYear
January 24, 2016 5:33 pm

THANKS. I had to go into Add Ons in Firefox and turn Java Applets on – then the video loaded. Thanks for the tip.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
January 25, 2016 4:44 am

You’re welcome – glad it worked! 😀

Reply to  David Riser
January 24, 2016 3:37 pm

It worked fine for me, even though I am on my ancient iPad! WUWT is one of the most efficient sites I visit and usually loads very quickly. Thanks Anth.ny.

Reply to  David Riser
January 24, 2016 4:03 pm

probably hit the site as cache or cdn was updating, would affect people differently depending on their physical location. uses edgecast for media which would explain it

January 24, 2016 8:09 am

Or is it the first east coast blizzard of 2016? Joe Bastardi says look at 1965-66.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
January 24, 2016 9:24 am

Look at 1978.

Reply to  kokoda
January 24, 2016 11:06 am

Look at January 1996.

Steve R
Reply to  kokoda
January 25, 2016 4:12 am


Reply to  Dawtgtomis
January 24, 2016 11:58 am

Remember 65-66 blizzards well. Back to back blizzards approximately a week a part leaving ~3′ of snow and much higher drifts. Even with constant plowing they couldn’t keep the roads clean.

Reply to  CoRev
January 24, 2016 1:44 pm

that was weather, this is climate!

Reply to  CoRev
January 24, 2016 1:44 pm

But no! the climate’s warming, so this must be weather too.

Reply to  CoRev
January 24, 2016 9:12 pm

Well, overall there is a bit of a warming thumb under the up-down scale. But not so much.
And I do think CO2 is the main cause. We have increased it by 40%. Yeah, that’s not much volume, but a lot less CO2 goes a very long way at first, for that first 100ppm. It is at its current slow rate only because it is saturating.

January 24, 2016 8:11 am

Nice illustration/animation.

January 24, 2016 8:13 am

Nice illustration/animation. Satellites are amazing.

January 24, 2016 8:17 am

Hey New York liberals, how are those Solar Powered snowblowers working out for ya ?? LOL

Reply to  Marcus
January 24, 2016 12:45 pm

If NY Liberals – the blowers are wind-powered – what else – and they are fine!
Mods – a leeetle bit sarc.
But a fabulous animation.
See the dusk and the dawn rush in; the cities at night – and a cover of snow.
Menicholas is good; and also :
“Satellites are amazing.” c/o dalyplanet2

January 24, 2016 8:17 am

It’s more interesting in the video to watch the other storm slamming into Greenland. Does anyone measdure the snowfall there, other than along the coast?

G. Karst
January 24, 2016 8:26 am

It was a large snowstorm, but it seems to me it was, once again, over-hyped by government and media. Power outages were short and winds were not outrageous. The main hazard seemed to be unskilled drivers and fat out-of shape snow shovellers. Had the storm lasted 2 or 3 days longer – maybe the hype would have reflected reality. GK

Don K
Reply to  G. Karst
January 24, 2016 10:07 am

What? You telling me there are survivors? I’m sure The Weather Channel told me that every living creature between Knoxville and Providence was doomed.

Reply to  G. Karst
January 24, 2016 11:02 am

I think it may have been the only storm to ever drop so much snow over such a wide area. And winds were right about where I saw them predicted, just about up to 35 MPH in the big cities, and up near 60 at the coast.
I think they got this one about right. Now, whether or not snow storms are worthy of 25 hour wall to wall coverage, that is a matter of opinion.
I prefer lots of detail to the old days of my youth, when you got 30 seconds twice a day, (often) from a guy more interested in telling jokes about the weather than relaying important details of what was unfolding.
But that is just me.
Just sayin’.

Reply to  Menicholas
January 24, 2016 11:05 am

Correction…such a wide area in relation to the large cities in the NE. Of course, lots of storms
have been larger, and many have dropped more snow, but this one seems to have zeroed in on the large metro areas.

January 24, 2016 8:34 am

At the beginning of the week, the forecast was for 6″ +/- of snow for our locale. With a better idea of the track on Thursday, the forecast was for 3″ +/-. On Friday, it was forecast that the snow would start about noon and we’d get about 1″ as the storm was going to slide by to the south of us.
Friday evening, about 7:00 pm local time, as I was watching out for our dogs in the yard, I saw a snowflake drift by. As best as I can tell that was it. After getting the dogs in I said to my wife, “Hey honey! We survived the snowflake of 2016.”
These storms are hard to forecast.

Reply to  H.R.
January 24, 2016 10:58 am

The resolution of the GFS model is 18 kilometers. That is one pixel, so I can forgive them not being able to discern detail over distances of less than twice to three times this amount, especially before the storm has even fully developed.

January 24, 2016 8:36 am

Still a decent sized storm for many areas that are not really used to this kind of snowfall.

January 24, 2016 8:49 am

Hmmm… 32.5″ of snow on my deck here in the DC suburbs. There is an 8-foot drift next to the northeast corner of my house. Weatherbell said we’d have roughly 30″ last monday, when the National Weather Service said <18 inches. If my livelihood depended on the weather, I know which service I would be purchasing… Good job Joe Bastardi!

Reply to  DrSandman
January 24, 2016 9:56 am

Joe Bastardi said 14.4 inches in Central Park NYC, way way off. Joe is right on global warming, as a weather forecaster, not so much.

Reply to  tomwtrevor
January 24, 2016 10:55 am

Sounds like perhaps he split the difference between what the GFS and Euro models had predicted ahead of the storm. In the early runs, the models had the storm cutting off just above NYC.

Tom Judd
January 24, 2016 9:45 am

[Meddling by modelling middling muddy models, no doubt. .mod]

Reply to  Tom Judd
January 24, 2016 10:54 am

I thought it was some fancy new word for a second there.

January 24, 2016 10:07 am

I nominate that as comment of the month.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
January 24, 2016 10:25 am

Sarc-of-the-month Club.

Robin Hewitt
January 24, 2016 10:28 am

The blizzard will arrive in the UK on Tuesday as rain. We have had too much rain of late, a few feet of snow would make a refreshing change, but rain it will be.

January 24, 2016 10:52 am

Very nice transitions from visible to infrared imagery. I like the view at 24 seconds…it shows very clearly the freshly fallen snow extent.

January 24, 2016 10:53 am

Tee hee!
+ some large number!

January 24, 2016 11:06 am

Clouds “block” the Outgoing long wave radiation? Does this guy have a PHD to be that STUPID? My dear sir, during the summer…the red spots in the center of THUNDERSTORMS are the INCEARSE IN OUTGOING LONG WAVE RADIATION. This is the energy thrown off into space that causes RAIN, SNOW and HAIL to condense out of the clouds. It is what makes thunderstorms tremendous heat pumps. This system is NO exception. And the miniscule long wave radation from the actual SURFACE (i.e., oceans or land, assessed as 15% of the total OLR) is dwarfed by the changes in OLR made by bringing an active BACK BODY emitter into the upper atmosphere. LOOK at the PHOTOS from Scott (?) on the ISS. The centers of these storms are the HIGHEST accumulation of water vapor. BEING COOLED DOWN to bring the precipitation. WHAT pray tell…causes that loss of heat of condensation and where does it go.

Reply to  Max Hugoson
January 24, 2016 11:15 am

My understanding is that those infrared images are false color images, and the red is simply showing the coldest and hence highest cloud tops.

Reply to  Max Hugoson
January 24, 2016 11:47 am

Every heat mechanism posited about clouds is true under specific circumstances, but none applies to all circumstances, as far as I can tell. Sometimes clouds retain heat, other times they deliver orders of magnitude more heat into space. I’ve never seen an accounting of that or the heat loss caused by stratospheric cloud decks reflecting incoming heat..

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
January 24, 2016 1:07 pm

But, Dawt,
We have been told, informed, re-assured, even instructed with the infallible authority of POTUS [(c) BOb] , that the science is settled.
I guess you’ll join me in a re-education camp . . .
[Yeah extra-territorial rendition for thinking differently, I guess]
– I very much h o p e this IS /Sarc

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
January 24, 2016 9:13 pm

As long as it’s not an extraterrestrial rendition, I’ll cope.

Reply to  Max Hugoson
January 25, 2016 9:23 pm

Max You are right,,,, and wrong . Greenhouse gas works both directions. The red spots ,heat, you see are reflected from the cloud tops causing cooling as you state. bottom of clouds reflects heat back to earth,cooling clouds and warming earth sueface before the storm drops rain hail etc.

Leon Brozyna
January 24, 2016 11:30 am

Two whole feet of snow … wow … I’m underwhelmed.
Of course, this season the weather gods have smiled kindly on the long suffering mortals around Buffalo where we’ve had a mere 25″ so far this season, in contrast to the normal 54″.
So much nicer than last season, with Snovember, where the official station at the airport got a mere 18″, I got 36″ (didn’t seem too bad then), a few more miles away, the village proper, got 5′ and around county line at 8 miles distance from me got for around 7′ … now that’s some serious snow. And last February’s 4′ of snow, while it was spread throughout the month, was made bad by the fact that the month was the coldest month ever on record. But then, with less than a third of Lake Erie frozen, we’re still subject to good lake effect snow events and those feet of snow can add up pretty fast.

Reply to  Leon Brozyna
January 24, 2016 11:42 am

Such events are always relative to what is typical for the area in which they occur.
here in Florida, it is 90+ degrees nearly every day from May until October. Three such days in a row are a killer heat wave in Buffalo, but down here no one blinks an eye about it…70 degrees would be a record smashing low temperature in Summer here.
Similarly, with snow, in the mountains out west, feet of snow are a weekly event in Winter, and people are equipped and prepared for such. The same event in the southern US would be an unprecedented disaster, as tress and power lines would tumble down, people would freeze to death in cars (in fact, a sudden blizzard in the South back in the 1930s killed people all across Dixie, as they were out on the highways and stranded with no way to get to shelter, and no warm clothing. In the aftermath, a law was passed that every car must be equipped with a heater, and every vehicle sold in the US ever since has a heating unit), and homes would be buried with collapsed roofs.
It was a big storm, but not unprecedented. Records fell, but by tenths of an inch in some cases, or it was a record in one spot but not another just miles away. People in these areas do not have separate snow tires like everyone in Buffalo puts on their car every winter. People do not own snow blowers, or even shovels in some cases. And people do not have experience and practice driving in snow. Some places in the south have little or no snow removal equipment, or supplies of road salt.
Such things are relative.
It is all about what one is used to and prepared for.

January 24, 2016 12:33 pm

2016 is already shaping up to be the warmest year evah, again.

Proud Skeptic
Reply to  philsalmon
January 24, 2016 2:40 pm

LOL! Ever? When exactly did “ever” begin?

Reply to  Proud Skeptic
January 24, 2016 4:59 pm

When “evah” began depends on what you are talking about.
If it is Arctic sea ice, evah started in 1979.
If it is heavy precipitation events, evah began in 1957.
If it is global warming, evah began in 1980, 1952, or 1880…take your pick.
If it is forest fires, evah began in the 1940s.
If it is…you get the idea. The important thing to remember is that all trends must begin at the high/low point of the last cycle, or wherever starting will show the scariest and most CO2-damning trend lines.

Reply to  Proud Skeptic
January 24, 2016 9:30 pm


Richard G
Reply to  philsalmon
January 24, 2016 10:48 pm

When their using man-made temperatures, every year can be the hottest ever. They are just confirmation of CAGW, but not confirmation of actual temperatures.

January 24, 2016 1:52 pm

After NOAA and GISS have recalibrated your steel rulers you will find the snow was nowhere as deep as you think it is.

Reply to  Mjw
January 25, 2016 5:55 am

“After NOAA and GISS have recalibrated your steel rulers you will find the snow was nowhere as deep as you think it is.”
I think they’re conflicted, and will adjust rulers (scales?) regionally. The new metrics will show less snow where snow is expected, and more snow where it usually isn’t. Either way, more snow or less snow is a sign.

charles nelson
January 24, 2016 10:39 pm

“The simulated field visualized here is outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). Clouds block longwave radiation that is emitted from the Earth’s surface producing cold OLR values in regions of thick/deep cloudiness.”
So the clouds are ‘blocking’ emitted (outgoing) radiation are they? Really.
See, I would have argued that the clouds were ‘blocking’ incoming radiation from warming the surface, hence the deficit in outgoing radiation…but hey, what do I know?

Reply to  charles nelson
January 25, 2016 3:28 am

Not much apparently! As correctly stated in the original post the long wave from the surface is blocked and what’s seen instead is the longwave from the tops of the cloud which are much colder than the surface.

charles nelson
Reply to  Phil.
January 25, 2016 3:31 am

What long wave from the surface Phil?
What’s causing the surface to emit long wave Phil?

January 25, 2016 3:39 am

Team of weather observers at Washington’s Reagan National Airport lose snow measuring device ???
The entire city is dysfunctional !! LOL

January 25, 2016 7:08 am

Does anybody know how this recent storm compared to the Great Blizzard of 1888?
Any response will be appreciated.

johann wundersamer
February 4, 2016 3:45 am

meanwhile met moderate?

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