Will The Snowiest Decade Continue?

An interesting story for the the MSM, but of course with with obligatory obeisance to the Everything-Imaginable-is-Predicted-By-Climate-Change ~ctm

From CBS Boston

By Barry Burbank November 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm

BOSTON (CBS) — Despite the snow blitz of 2015, many baby boomers still insist that, overall, we don’t get the harsh bitter cold and deep snowy winters like we did in the good ole days.

leominster-snowman-crop

A Leominster teen posing with the giant snowman he built. (Photo credit: Mary Roche)

Weather records prove that just isn’t the case and despite the ongoing claims that snows are becoming rare and hurting winter sports, this millennium has been a blessing to snow lovers and winter sports enthusiasts.

nesisscale

NESIS scale (Photo Courtesy: WeatherBell)

 

Just as the Saffir-Simpson and Fujita Scales were devised to categorize hurricanes and tornadoes, the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) was created by Paul Kocin and Louis Uccellini of the National Weather Service to rank high-impact Northeast storms. This scale has 5 categories including extreme, crippling, major, significant and notable. In addition to meteorological measurements, the index uses population information which provides an indication of a storm’s impacts on society. The NESIS scores are a function of the amount of snow, the area affected by the snowstorm and the number of people living in the path of the storm. The aerial distribution of snowfall and population information are combined in an equation that calculates a NESIS score which varies from around one for smaller storms to over 10 for extreme storms.

nesis

NESIS (Photo Courtesy: WeatherBell)

 

The last decade stands out like a sore thumb! It has had 29 major impact northeast winter storms with NO previous 10-year period with more than 10 storms! In Boston, 7 out of the last 10 years have produced snowfall above the average 43.7 inches.

2008-09: 65.9″
2009-10: 35.7″
2010-11: 81.0″
2011-12: 9.3″
2012-13: 63.4″
2013-14: 58.9″
2014-15: 110.6″ Greatest On Record Back To 1872
2015-16: 36.1″
2016-17: 47.6″
2017-18: 59.9″

nhemissnow1

NHEMIS snow (Photo Courtesy: WeatherBell)

Additionally, the trend for fall snow across the northern hemisphere has been increasing, defying the forecasts over the last two decades for snows becoming an increasingly rare event. The 10-year running mean of the Boston area snowfall has skyrocketed to the highest level since snow records were kept and that goes back about 145 years! Fluctuations in the temperature regime and annual snowfalls are a function of about 25 global factors including changing oceanic oscillations mainly sea-surface temperature anomaly locations which impact atmospheric conditions creating certain jet stream configurations plus others such as solar activity and irradiance, geomagnetic activity, volcanism, etc.

sst

STT (Photo Courtesy: WeatherBell)

Interestingly, some scientists have stated that increasing snow is consistent with climate change because warmer air holds more moisture, more water vapor and this can result in more storms with heavy precipitation. The trick, of course, is having sufficient cold air to produce that snow. But note that 93% of the years with more than 60″ of snow in Boston were colder than average years. The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall. Note the graph depicting declining January through March temperatures for 20 years at a rate of 1.5 degrees F. per decade in the Northeast!

neavgtemp

Northeast Average Temperature (Photo Courtesy: WeatherBell)

Read the full story here:

HT/Bruce, Bruce Courson, Latitude, Bill Curry

 

 

 

 

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88 thoughts on “Will The Snowiest Decade Continue?

  1. Climate change would seem a good enough paradigm to explain a climate which is always changing.

    How you get from that to trillion dollar taxes and destroying industries like automobiles, coal power, nuclear etc, is what I don’t get.

    • Since the term ‘climate change’ has been appropriated by the warmists and given a definition by the UNFCCC that says it is caused by humans, I have no choice but to deny that it is happening. I happily admit that we live with a changing climate.

  2. but of course with with obligatory obeisance to the Everything-Imaginable-is-Predicted-By-Climate-Change

    Actually Charles, and surprisingly, the obeisance seems not so much.

    Yes the article raises the argument that warmer climate can mean more moisture and snow. But then it smacks down that argument by showing that the increased snow has been accompanied by increased cold. And ending with this:

    The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall.

    !!?! WUWT? This .. in the MSM?

    • I’ve met several Boston Market TV mets over the years. I even bought my weather station from one as he was upgrading.

      One I’d exchanged Emails with I finally met at one of Heartland’s climate conferences.

      Despite what appears from some of the TV stations news director dictates, several of them do not fully buy into MSM line, and some have a good scientist’s skepticism.

      I’ve met Barry, but just in passing at the Southern NE weather conferences He’s a good meteorologist and certainly more interested in understanding how New England’s tricky weather behaves than following a dogma.

      • The MSM is double speak, don’t read too much into it. I can say from my experience in Canada, snow does take cold but not too much, too cold means there is not enough humidity with blue sky’s. Ideally you need -5C to -10C and lots of moisture. In some very cold places it looks like they get more snow, where in fact it has a lot do with the fact it never melts.

        • But then the surface temperatures in Boston can drop further than in the interior and still dump a lot of snow. All it takes is a low pressure off the coast drawing in all that warm, moist air from the gulf stream (which is nearly 70F at that latitude) over the cold air in Boston and it will snow to beat the band.

          • I discovered several years ago that Concord NH’s biggest snowfalls in each month were less than those nearer the coast (e.g. Portland ME, Boston MA, Providence RI, Windsor Locks CT, and Worcester MA). I’m confident the issue is that Concord is some 100 km from the coast and some hills between us and it, and distance in general, mean we don’t get as much unmodified maritime air.

            The Gulf stream passes New England to the south, it goes quite a ways east before it reaches Boston’s latitude.

            https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/54000/54734/gulf_stream_modis_lrg.gif

            The Atlantic is generally well above freezing into January. December is a good month for rain or freezing rain. The northwest side of coastal storms are often below freezing. Concord gets is biggest snowfalls when the storm track goes through northern MA and southern NH. That’s rain for Boston and maybe Portland, snow for Concord.

        • Halloween 2012 in northern Alberta, temperature was -35* celsius, and we got 3 feet of snow that night

    • What is the water content of the snow ?, is it the light fluffy stuff or the heavy “heart attack” kind ?

  3. Not sure of the classifications on a Snow Fall Impact Scale but in New Zealand we have had significant snowfall this winter. The season started early and the south of the South Island has snow forecast to 400 meters today due to move north over the next couple of days. Very uncommon for The third week of November

  4. We’ve already seen enough snow to confound Al Gore’s reference to “our children” here in Jersey county, IL at this date. We seem to be experiencing cold in the areas of the NH where most of the people live and not-so-cold in the uninhabited extreme latitudes.

    • Sure seems like warm SSTs increase tropospheric moisture up north (and wintertime minimum temps there). This appears to be most of what keeps the global temperature as high as it has remained since the super El Nino of ’15-’16.
      Any thoughts?

  5. Boston 2010-11: 81.0″ …was there for that. It Sucked the Big One.

    Between breaks on the snow blowers, my next-door neighbor and me used to joke this was how Ice Ages must start. By Valentine’s Day, I had 4 foot deep layer of dense snow in my backyard. The Wall of Snow between my driveway and my neighbor’s driveway (a 10 foot wide strip) was at 7-8 feet high and the snow blowers could no longer get it any higher and we had to start reducing the width of our driveway before the snowfall finally relented after mid-February. The snow wasn’t all gone until May.
    I Can’t imagine the 2014-2015 winter.

    That’s one big reason why I live in Tucson Arizona now.

    • Another sign of impending ice age is people migrating south. For instance, from Boston to Arizona.

      • My relatives in Buffalo NY brag about their lake effect snow storms like goals in a hockey game. To each his own I guess, but I like a break from winter in Apache Junction as well.

      • That put into my mind the image of Bullwinkle falling through the air yelling “Hold on Rocky, I’m gettin’ there fast as I can!”

  6. One thing to keep in mind with the question of temperature and snow fall is the water content of the snow.
    If it is warmer at the surface, the snow is compact and accumulated depths are far lower than for the dry fluffy stuff that cold temps produce.
    Also, any warm layers will result in no snow at all, but rather some of what they call a wintery mix, or the most dangerous kind of precip, the dreaded freezing rain.
    It is always warm to hot in the tropics, and it is warm air clashing with cold air that produces mid-latitude cyclones, which gives us most of our snow.
    It is pure self-interesting disingenuousness that has led to this ridiculous situation we are in now, in which every sort of weather problem is attributed to climate change cause by CO2 induced global warming.
    Warmistas have changed their story and moved the goal posts so many times it is not even amusing anymore…it is sickening.
    How anyone still can talk this garbage with a straight face, let alone believe it or build a career as a so-called scientist saying it, is something I am quite certain will be a subject of future books and discussion of mass delusion and corruption in government financed research.

  7. As a point if interest, the Left Coast State of Washington has been under a High Pressure system so we have had air stagnation, cold mornings, and sunny days. The NWS says to expect similar until this coming Wednesday when there will be a change. So now counting the days: 4, 3, 2, 1 …

    • Yeah, What’s up with that? The official climate forecast from Oregon State University said that November would be very wet. Where? I have had 2 days of rain so far!

  8. Wow, maybe it’s because WeatherBell is about the only source of graphics like that so far this winter? Later on the US models will catch up and the missive will be “climate out of control”.

  9. I remember it seeming much colder as a kid in the midwest, but this is probably because cars and buses did not have adequate heaters in the 60s, so we froze our butts off.

    • Do not eschew the surface to weight issue. Little kids have a whole lot more surface area relative to their mass than adults.

      • Neither eschew the fact that kids have way more energy than us old farts, and will run around all day in soaking wet clothes.

    • If you can find “uncorrected” temperature data, I think you’ll see reoccurring cycles, we’re coming out of a warming phase, so it probably was colder back then. As I recall, snow beginning in November was typical back then, not uncommon. I expect it will become typical again.

  10. “Interestingly, some scientists have stated that increasing snow is consistent with climate change because warmer air holds more moisture, more water vapor and this can result in more storms with heavy precipitation.”

    What ‘some scientists have stated’ would make sense if not for the fact that the warm air itself will reduce the duration of the winter season – when precipitation falls as snow instead of rain. Suppose a location with an average 15 week snowy season has that reduced by a week at each end because of warmer air. Then actual snowfalls during 13 weeks would have to be about 15% greater than ‘pre-warming’ snowfalls to amount to total snowfalls observed before the warming.

    For parts of Antarctica where the temperature is cold enough to have, say, a 52-week snowy season, what the scientists have stated makes sense to me. However, if scientists are implying that climate change–warming–will be responsible for increased annual snowfall in a place like Boston, I think they’re just making stuff up because the knowledge level of their target audience doesn’t need to extend beyond propagating nonsense and organizing demonstrations.

    • With snow and precipitation, temperatures go down. At all-India level, during 2002 and 2009 presented deficit [ 0.81 and .79 of average] and the temperature increased by 0.7 and 0.9 oC. Also, I studied and published the relationship between precipitation and global average temperature and evaporation. They showed reduction in solar radiation reaching the surface and thus evaporation. This is for the entire northeast Brazil. These we generally call as after affects.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Sorry, there is mistake in line 4: it is not average temperature but it is average solar radiation

        sjreddy

  11. When I was a little kid growing up in New England the snow was often higher than my waist. By the time I smartened up and moved to Southern California after college it rarely approached my knees.

    [Think about it and why it applies to the general discussion before rejecting my direct observations]

  12. CTM: “Note the graph depicting declining January through March temperatures for 20 years at a rate of 1.5 degrees F. per decade in the Northeast!”

    *****

    Note the graph was cherry picked……1996-2015. Why not show the most current 20 year period? Or better yet, the full record
    (+ 0.3 F/decade):

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/regional/time-series/101/tavg/3/3/1895-2018?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000&trend=true&trend_base=10&firsttrendyear=1895&lasttrendyear=2018

    • What I think he was getting at was that the decline in temperature caused or was at least associated with an increase in snowfall.
      Constantly in Australia we were told that our children would not know what snow was.
      Global warming to some degree is a matter of fact.
      Most on this site do not see this as catastrophic.
      The forcings that dropped or stall temperature are worth studying.
      If CO2 was the only contol knob, no 20 year period should see a temperature fall or pause,
      in the face of rising atmospheric CO2.

      • Who said CO2 is the only control knob??

        ******
        What happens when a winter Nor’easter forms over record-warm SST’s? Big snow.

        “The heatwave of 2018 fits with a much longer trend in the region, which is among the fastest-warming parts of the global ocean. In the past three decades, the Gulf of Maine has warmed by 0.06°C (0.11°F) per year, three times faster than the global average. Over the past 15 years, the basin has warmed at seven times the global average. The Gulf has warmed faster than 99 percent of the global ocean.”

        https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92734/watery-heatwave-cooks-the-gulf-of-maine

        *Notice the relevant information people on this website leave out!

        • Meh, the last 30 years featured a positive AMO. Let’s see how the upcoming negative AMO compares to the last negative AMO.

          If you want big snow, you also need cold air from Canada to produce the heat difference to drive the storm.

          If you want to experience a really big snow with really big winds in New England, you need to go back to 1978. It was only one of two big storms that year, and there have been storms with more snow, but never one with the impact (and timing) of the Blizzard of ’78. (N.B. Not to be confused with the midwest Blizzard of ’78 which was mostly cold rain in New England.)

          • “If you want big snow, you also need cold air from Canada to produce the heat difference to drive the storm.”

            As far as I’m concerned, take as much as you need! We have more than enough, and I don’t believe we’re about to run out. This year, next year, or by 2100.

        • “Nor’easters are usually most intense during winter in New England and Atlantic Canada. They thrive on converging air masses—the cold polar air mass and the warmer air over the water—and are more severe in winter when the difference in temperature between these air masses is greater.”

          And last March, for example, the Gulf Stream running along the US East Coast was 14 F above the 1961 – 1990 average.

          “Talk about coming in like a lion, March of 2018 has been relentless.
          Four nor’easters swept through our region…”

          http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/amp/2018/03/fourth-noreaster-of-march-and-first-of-the-spring-is-here.html

          • You’re getting warmer, you’ve added cold polar air. Now add in the storm track and weather conditions conducive to triggering coastal storms. In March I had 21″ of snow near Concord, but Pepperell MA (closer to Boston) had 47″! 2001 was another big year, I had 38″, Pepperell had 43″. It wasn’t very cold, per the temperature chart you don’t like.

            https://werme.bizland.com/werme/sdd/ne-1718.html

            All in all, there are lots of drivers, cold temperatures are just one of them. People along the mid-Atlantic don’t make a big fuss about nor’easters that bring rain.

        • Lots of hindsight blame on global warming/climate change. Where were these predictions that snow was going to increase in a warmer world before it happened?

          Too wet, too dry, too much snow, too little snow, too warm, too cold…a theoretical link/blame gets placed on global warming/climate change even if it contradicts what was expected.

        • “Who said CO2 is the only control knob??”

          That’s what the climate scientists have been saying. CO2 is so powerful that nothing else matters.

  13. Thats really interesting.
    This discussion however did not include this recent bit of information, it confined itself to snow falls in the northern hemisphere to 2017, the reason for the news item.The northern hemisphere is arguably bigger than the Gulf of Maine.It discussed lower tropospheric temperatures,I assume.
    Its just responding to a news item, viz.

    ‘So, what gives? What can we expect going forward in the decades ahead? Are we indeed looking at a new paradigm? There is great uncertainty about the scope and prediction of climate change. Will there be a switch in direction? The Earth has experienced major cooling occurrences five times over the past 1000 years. When will the pendulum swing? Arctic temperatures and arctic ice extent varies in a predictable 60-70 year cycle. The greatest warming has been happening in the Arctic region and that can produce a weaker, less stable jetstream that allows frigid air to dive farther south to mix with the warmer oceans to trigger more potential snow events. It’s all cyclical.’

    It does not look catastrophic, the models only show it is.
    Quo Vadis?

  14. Um, yes, the Midwest Blizzard of ’78. That was the year when my Honey protected his family and his house by climbing onto the roof and shovelling the snow off, lest we have 239′ of snow in the middle of the living-room floor. As did a great many other householders Near Chicago.

    We still had one pile of snow ~3′ deep in our front yard late in June.

    Actually we’ve been a bit beforehand this year. Two snows so far! One maybe 10 days ago — 1-1/2″ at a guess, and it was heavy wet snow so the sidewalk and streets melted it off pretty quickly. But then the temp dropped and it actually stayed below freezing for some days, so that snow on the grass departed only slowly.

    Then this morning, I woke up to another heavy, wet snow, but no more than an inch I think. Temp rose to a bit above freezing, and by dusk it was mostly melted.

    The earliest snow I can remember in the last 10 or 15 years was in the first week of December; and that happened twice. Mostly in the last 25 years or so we’ve had to wait till almost Christmas to see enough worth talking about; and sometimes, not even then.

    Anyhow, I love the snow and get sulky when I feel we’re being shortchanged. A’course, I no longer have to shovel it. :>)

    • Lewis says,
      “This discussion however did not include this recent bit of information, it confined itself to snow falls in the northern hemisphere to 2017……”

      *****

      Really?? Maybe you missed this:

      “The 10-year running mean of the Boston area snowfall has skyrocketed to the highest level since snow records were kept and that goes back about 145 years!”

      and this:

      “The last decade stands out like a sore thumb! It has had 29 major impact northeast winter storms with NO previous 10-year period with more than 10 storms! In Boston, 7 out of the last 10 years have produced snowfall above the average 43.7 inches.”

      And several graphs specific to the Northeast US.

      • “The heatwave of 2018 fits with a much longer trend in the region,’
        Thats the ‘bit’I was talking about.

  15. Any particular reason why the bottom chart stops in 2015? We have Jan-Mar data for the NE region of the US up to 2018 now.

    Also, the snow chart shows fall snow events, not spring, so why not compare it with NE region fall temperatures? (These have been rising at a rate of +1.1 deg F per decade since 1996.)

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/regional/time-series/101/tavg/3/11/1996-2018?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000&trend=true&trend_base=10&firsttrendyear=1996&lasttrendyear=2018

    • Sorry, I missed snape’s comment above which also asked why the bottom chart stops in 2015. There is still a 20-year cooling trend if you end it in 2018, but you have to sacrifice that nice big dip in 2014/15!

  16. Ric

    “All in all, there are lots of drivers, cold temperatures are just one of them.”

    Of course, but predictably, CTM left out the remarkably warm SST’s during the recent heavy snow years.

    ****

    Regarding the AMO, are you aware that the graphs we see are detrended? The long term trend (warming) has been removed. From Wiki:

    “The AMO signal is usually defined from the patterns of SST variability in the North Atlantic once any linear trend has been removed. This detrending is intended to remove the influence of greenhouse gas-induced global warming from the analysis.”

  17. Prior to the record snowfall in the winter of 2014–15, Joe d’Aleo and I send a written warning to my friend at the EIA, stating that the NWS weather forecast that EIA used was extremely in error, and warning of a very cold and snowy winter to come, especially for the NorthEast Coast.

    The EIA reran their lower 48 USA energy demand for that winter using Joe’s forecast and calculated an additional 11% total energy required for the winter months. The actual energy consumption were one percent lower than Joe’s forecast and 10% higher in the NWS forecast. That is a huge amount of energy.

    I do not know what contingency the EIA uses, so I don’t know if we saved any lives. Nevertheless, I believe we did a good deed and we may have indeed significantly reduced human suffering.

    In summary, if you want an accurate weather forecast, go to WeatherBell, it NWS.

    • Fair warning:
      I’m calling down another very hard winter on the US Northeast, extending up into Canada.

      The reason I’m doing this is that you deserve it. You continue to bleat about global warming, in a world that is about to get colder.

      You continue to blather on about climate change and the need to eliminate fossil fuels – do that tomorrow and most of you will be dead within a month or two.

      Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels and that number has not changed significantly in decades. Fossil fuel energy provides almost everything you need to survive in this complex world. It IS that simple!

      So enjoy the bitter cold and snow this winter, good people, and maybe you will actually learn something.

      Cold kills far more people then heat in the world today, probably about 2 million excess winter deaths per year.

      Bundle up!

    • 11%, wow, I knew the NWS seasonal forecast was blown, didn’t know it was that bad. My January and February bills were over $600. After that season, New England started bringing in LNG from the Caribbean to augment the inadequate capacity of the pipelines. The 2016 bills were nearly halved thanks to warmer temps and cheaper gas.

      I don’t watch Joe’s weather reports every day, but I do rely on them for a good look at what’s really going on and as much better source of seasonal forecasts. It’s been very interesting watching the models’ long range outlooks from NWS and others converge on WeatherBell’s as we get closer to the forecasted month.

  18. Following on from comments above, how come this article shows the northern hemisphere snow extent chart for the fall (autumn) season but northeast US average temperature charts for spring?

    The premise of the article is that colder temperatures mean more snow. To make this point, surely the author should be comparing seasons like for like; fall snow cover versus fall temperatures and spring snow cover versus spring temperatures.

    Problem is, when you do this, the premise of ‘colder = more snow’ falls apart. The opposite is true. Here is the northern hemisphere spring snow extent chart from the same ultimate source (Rutgers) as the fall chart in the article:

    https://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/images/nhland_season2.png

    Spring snow extent in the NH has sharply *declined* over the period of measurement. So reduced NH snow cover in spring coincides with a period of relatively cool springs in the NE region of the US. As for fall, the opposite occurs. As the chart in the article shows, fall snow extent in the NH has increased in recent years, while average fall temperatures in the NE US region have risen at a rate of 1.1 deg F per decade since 1996.

    blob:null/9aed31ca-4d62-4b3b-8245-d2d83d67d27d

    The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall.

    Not when you compare temperatures and snow extent in their proper seasons, apparently.

    • DWR54
      Well you yourself are not comparing like with like.
      Because if you are going to compare NE America spring temps with spring snow cover. Then you should be using the N America spring snow cover rather then the NH spring snow extent. Where of course the decline in spring snow cover extent has been much slower then the NH as awhole.
      Also during Jan to Mar there has been little change in the N America snow extent. lts only when you move into May and June has there been any real decline in snow extent in N America.

      • taxed

        Did you read the above article? I didn’t set the parameters used, the author did. It was the author of the article who chose to compare NH snow extent with temperatures in NE USA. Odd that you didn’t notice this and challenge the article’s author about it, rather than me.

        • DWR54
          Yes its not how l would have gone about doing the article myself. But if you are going to challenge it. Then you should have corrected it by using like with like.
          The reason l suspect you did not is because had you done so it would have lent support to the authors case. lts that what am pointing out.

          • Taxed,

            But if you are going to challenge it. Then you should have corrected it by using like with like.

            Comparing like for like is exactly what I did. It was the point of my post. The author of the article claimed that cold conditions equate to more snow over the long term. It was the author of the article who chose the parameters of NH snow extent and temperatures in the NE US region. Why he did that, I don’t know. Ask him.

            To back this argument the author compared fall snow extent with spring temperatures. I suggested it would be more meaningful to compare fall snow extent with fall temperatures and the same for spring (like for like).

            I discovered that when you do that, you get the exact opposite result from what the author is claiming: long term NH fall snow cover is increasing at the same time in which long term NE US fall temperatures rise; long term NH spring snow cover is reducing at the same time in which are long term NE US spring temperatures have reduced slightly.

            When you use the author’s chosen parameters but select like for like seasons, you find that increased snow extent correlates to warmer temperatures and reduced snow extent correlates to cooler temperatures, not vice versa, as the author claimed.

  19. The snow (and ?rain? right ?) increases of the past decade or so are parallel to the changes in the 11 year solar cycle (the ?symptomatic? sunspots and the ?effective? geo-solar-magnitism.
    Svensmark being indicated as correct in his assertions of the ?symptomatic? low sunspot count and low geo-solar-magnetism = high cosmic ray penetration = more clouds = more rain / snow = cooler temps (a) reflection b) cool air down, warm air up is more easily dispersed into “space” ???????

  20. One contributing factor to increased reported snow accumulations starting a few years after 2000 was a change in the measurement of snow accumulation at airports by the George W. Bush administration. Before this change, snow accumulation was measured by government employees according to two methods, the climatological method and the aviation method (I’m not sure I got the names of these methods exactly right). Both methods involve measuring snow accumulation on a snow board and cleaning off the snow accumulation at regular intervals. For the climatological method, used for weather records, the interval is 6 hours. For the aviation method, which has better correlation with visibility and other aviation impacts, the interval is one hour. The change by the George W. Bush administration was to have these measurements done by private contractors, and only pay them to measure according to the aviation method – which reads higher than the climatological method if 6 hours worth of accumulation experiences melting or compacting during that 6 hours. Snowstorms with such shrinking of their accumulations while the storms are in progress are common in the Northeast.

    • And there is this problem, most if not all the official NWS reporting sites were changed from manned to automatic reporting stations. If the weather station did not get a certain amount of snow *every* year snow measurement equipment is not included. That is why Portland Oregon did not ‘officially’ have any snowfall for 10 years (1998-2008). NWS forecasters for SW Washington & NW Oregon finally had enough of that nonsense when in Dec of 2008 Portland had 24″ of snow on the ground and PDX still officially had no snow. The forecasters started measuring snowfall at their office 4mi from the official weather site and putting their measurements in the official observations. I only wonder how many stations that “haven’t” had any snow since the late ’90’s are in the same situation but don’t have anyone who can override the observations.

    • Many of the NWS stations don’t even “do” snow and liquid equivalent. Just MM (missing) in place of snow amounts & little to nothing shows up in the precip amount despite many inches of snow. Pathetic & indicative of the current incompetence.
      http://w2.weather.gov/climate/

  21. I fell on the ice in our driveway yesterday. (No, I wasn’t badly injured — had swelling on my outer thigh, which went away last night). Stupid warming.

  22. I find all this amusing. Here in Maine we have had over three feet of snow in the mountains and 5-6 inches here near Portland this past week. It reminded me that this is the 50th anniversary of the Winter of 69 when both Sunday River and Sugarloaf received over 300 inches of snow and Mount Washington topped 500 inches. That year we also had heavy snow in November. As to the individual who remembers waist high snow as child, but only knee high as an adult. I wonder if the distance from his knees to the ground as an adult might be about the same as the distance from his waist to the ground as a child. As to the blizzard of 78 we had bigger storms in both 52 and 69. Of course, those storms never close down Maine the way they close down Mass. I don’t still have the popular bumper sticker “We survived the Winter of 69”. but they were everywhere that spring.

    • The Blizzard of ’78 had a fairly small extent and much less impact in northern New England than southern New England. It has a surprisingly small (to us) NESIS number.

      However, for folks in eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut, it shut down all stories of 1969 in the area.

      • Here in the Pacific NW, snowfall is a matter of elevation. The mountains get hammered, but the major population centers, like Seattle and Portland, tend to get nothing but rain.

        Sucks for people like me love the snow.

        • Mt. Baker ski resort (Washington) averages 663″ annual snowfall. The city of Bellingham, 50 miles away, only gets 7″.

          • And then there was the winter, 1998-1999, when Mt. Baker ski resort had to close because the snow was so deep that the ski lift chairs were dragging on the top of the snow. The total snowfall for the winter was 1140″ (95′ or 28.96m). In one month alone they received 304″/25.33’/772cm.

            The Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington are the snowiest in the world, with the mountains in British Columbia coming second. Neither of which can hold a candle to the Northeast US when it comes to just cold.

    • If the global warming fanatics want to send some warm air to northern Maine I’d be grateful.

      I’ve lived here off and on for 40 years, and this is the first year that I had to plow snow in October. I’ve already plowed three times, and NWS Caribou reports over 24″ of snow season-to-date. The northwest corner of The County has already reported -5 degrees F. The seven day forecast shows no days above freezing even though the average high is still around 40 F.

      My personal observation is that for my area, the storm track is everything. The sweet spot is straight up the Bay of Fundy. That’s when we get 18″+ storms and four foot drifts. When the track is north and west of the bay we tend to get mixed rain, snow, and ice. When the track is over Nova Scotia we get snow, but smaller amounts.

      Am I correct in thinking that the global warming models suggest there should be less wind? They should tell that story to New Brunswick Power. After three major wind storms and extensive outages so far this winter they have already blown through their storm repair budget for the year.

  23. MarkW

    You’re right, some climate scientists have said that CO2 is the control knob for global temperature. Poor wording, in my opinion.

    They were not suggesting that CO2 will overwhelm yearly temperature swings, i.e. (perihelion/aphelion), ENSO or other natural cycles. They were looking at the longer term, and pointing out that if you were to increase water vapor, it would just rain out. Not so with CO2.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.full

  24. “The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall. Note the graph depicting declining January through March temperatures for 20 years at a rate of 1.5 degrees F. per decade in the Northeast!”

    No, that is not the “reality” at all.

    I hope we don’t refute the physical fact that warmer air can hold more WV?
    From a basic meteorological standpoint, the NE states get the majority of their snowfall from “Nor’easters”. These are formed by tropical air over-riding polar air as cyclogenesis takes place across an intense baroclinic gradient there.
    It is the cold air that makes the precip solid, yes… BUT it is the over-riding warm/wet air that gives the intensity.
    Polar air has shown a trend in being more frequently pushed south over recent years, and because of geography, the the NE states are in the firing line – (simplified) the Rockies “bends” the PJS south preferentially as it flows over and rounds the top.

    And BTW – here is the global temp profile for winter 2014/15.
    notice where the (only) blue is in the NH?

    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/NMAPS/tmp_GHCN_GISS_ERSSTv5_1200km_Anom1203_2014_2015_1951_1980_100__180_90_0__2_/amaps.png

    Also in AGW – the “G” means Global.
    Some places in some seasons can go the other way (for a little while yet)
    Your graph is showing surface temperatures.
    Snow is formed in the air-mass of tropical origin thousands of feet above in the case of Nor’easters.
    Which is likely contains more precipitable water

      • Yes the “fuel” for the Nor’easters comes from the SST’s.
        Higher temps both increase the baroclinicity (gradient of atmospheric deltaT) as that air is pushed north against the polar air moving across Canada, meeting over the NE states AND increases the available precipitable water.

        • I should add that both baroclonic squeezing and higher preciptable water aid cyclogenisis. The former by creating greater +ve vorticity aloft given an advancing PJS trough behind and higher WV via release of LH aloft.

          • Thanks, Anthony

            The NWS agrees,
            “the Gulf Stream help keep the coastal waters relatively mild during the winter, which in turn helps warm the cold winter air over the water. This difference in temperature between the warm air over the water and cold Arctic air over the land is the fuel that feeds Nor’easters.”

            https://www.weather.gov/safety/winter-noreaster

  25. Doesn’t snowfall cause more of the sun’s energy to be reflected back and not warm the earth? I think I hear words to that effect each night on the evening weather when there is snow on the ground. Or does the snow just keep the ground colder and then the up-welling radiation from the reflection off of the snow perturb more CO2 molecules and thus make the upper atmosphere and thus the globe warmer?

    • Snow cover is an insulator of heat flux coming up through the ground.
      It is also an efficient absorber/emitter of LWIR and radiates it to space copiously given a dry atmosphere.
      Therefore down-welling LWIR instead of being used maintain a steadier balance between up-welling ground heat flux, is radiated away whilst the up-welling flux is cut-off.
      Result – temperatures can plummet as the sun goes down. There can even be a decline in temps during the day under calm, clear sky conditions as outgoing outstrips incoming, even in places such as the UK.

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