NoHype Weather -April Snowstorms: The Rule, Not the Exception

By Chris Martz 

Last week, the Great Plains and upper Midwest were pummeled with a late-season blizzard. A wide swath of 10 to 20+ inches of snow buried parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with the highest totals in the 20 to 30 inch range centered in far western Minnesota, and much of South Dakota (Figure 1).¹ The storm was not technically a “bomb cyclone” because the air pressure didn’t drop 24 millibars within 24 hours, although it did get close.

Figure 1.Observed snowfall from Winter Storm Wesley – NWS Twin Cities.

The highest official snowfall report was 30.8 inches in Wallace, South Dakota, although higher amounts in scattered areas were more than likely.² On top of that, an ice storm occurred in numerous Midwestern states, a dust storm moved through the southern Plains, and 80 mph wind gusts were observed in Texas and New Mexico, while thundersnow was reported in other locations.²

The cyclone’s size and intensity was very impressive and the snowfall amounts recorded were stunning; in fact, they would have been substantial had the blizzard occurred even in the depths of winter.

The storm system came after the “bomb cyclone,” which passed through the same area only three weeks prior, causing major flooding issues in Nebraska and nearby states. This was because the near-record cold during February caused the ground to freeze, and with snowmelt and rainfall, all of that water couldn’t seep into the ground leading to widespread flooding.

This didn’t stop journalists from going into overdrive about the storm. Numerous articles, including the one below from CBS News (Figure 2), surfaced claiming that last week’s storm was “caused by climate change,” just like every single weather event “seems” to be a result of these days.

Figure 2.Spring blizzard fueled by Arctic warming, climate change – CBS News.

Is climate change really causing April snowstorms to occur in the Great Plains and Midwest, or is this a rare, but NOT unheard of occurrence? Let’s put this theory to the test and see if it makes any sense.

In the CBS News article, it is made clear that “Arctic Amplification” along with natural processes – strong cold fronts and temperature gradients, typical of spring – are responsible for this storm.³

“Over the past couple of decades, the Arctic has warmed much faster than of the mid-latitudes, especially in winter. Warming of the globe is being caused by heat trapping greenhouse gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels. In the Arctic this warming effect is enhanced by melting sea ice. Ice typically reflects sunlight, keeping the Arctic cool. But since 1970 Arctic sea ice volume has decreased by 50%. Right now, Arctic sea ice extent is at record low levels.”Jeff Berardelli, Spring blizzard fueled by Arctic warming, climate change (CBS News, 12 Apr. 2019).

It is indeed true that the Arctic has warmed more than the mid-latitude regions and tropics over the past 40+ years, resulting in an energy imbalance. Daily mean temperature data from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) shows this very well. Figure 3 below shows the daily mean temperatures for the Arctic in 1970 for the entire course of the year, where the red line represents the observed mean temperatures, and the green line is the average.⁴

It is clearly evident that temperatures were average to slightly below average during 1970 throughout the entire year, with stronger fluctuations during the winter (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Daily mean temperatures in the Arctic (1970) – DMI

Looking at last year’s (2018) data, it is easy to see that the wintertime temperatures were generally warmer than average, while summertime temperatures remain unchanged from where they were in 1970 (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Daily mean temperatures in the Arctic (2018) – DMI

This is where the term “Arctic Amplification” comes in; a greater change in temperatures near the poles compared to the rest of the globe.³ Arctic Amplification is generally more pronounced during the winter months. The maps below from WeatherBELL Analytics shows this visually (Figure 5).⁵ When you look at the two months, – January and July 2018 – it is clearly evident that the tropics and mid-latitudes see very little change in temperatures relative to average, while the polar regions, especially the Arctic see a very large contrast from winter to summer.

Figure 5. Global temperature anomaly maps (January and July 2018) – WeatherBELL Analytics.

So what’s causing this “Arctic Amplification?” The media, as usual, is claiming that this is due to atmospheric carbon dioxide.³ However, it is highly unlikely that a trace gas (CO2) in our atmosphere at 0.04%, is causing all of this warming in the Arctic, despite the fact that carbon dioxide is in fact a greenhouse gas.⁶

What else could it be? Well, the CBS article also stated that loss of sea ice in the Arctic is helping amplify the “carbon dioxide-induced” warming.³ However, this claim is unjustified considering that sea ice is pretty extensive right now (Figure 6).⁵

Figure 6. Sea ice cover (April 13, 2019) U.S. National Ice Center – WeatherBELL Analytics.

The only other plausible explanation can be increased water vapor levels in the atmosphere. Water vapor generally comprises 1% to 4% of the entire volume of the atmosphere, as it is highly variable by region and by season.⁶ It is well-known that water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere, thus increasing it’s concentration would result in amplified warming.⁷

Given the fact that ocean cycles (AMO and PDO) are currently in their “warm modes,” it’s no surprise that more evaporation of water is occurring, leading to increased concentrations of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere.⁷ One could argue that the warmer oceans are being caused by carbon dioxide increase, however, this does not stack up because the heat capacity of the ocean is far greater than that of the atmosphere, which means that what is happening in the atmosphere is likely not driving the oceans.⁷

The CBS article goes on and on about how the Arctic Amplification is resulting in a “wall of red” over Canada and Alaska forcing colder air to be shoved southward (Figure 7).³

However, the honest explanation of this requires a knowledge of meteorology and basic laws of physics. Any meteorologist or weather forecaster should understand Newton’s laws of motion. The most important of these laws for our case, is Newton’s third law, which states that for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.⁸ Therefore, for every ridge (warm air) of high pressure, there must be a trough (colder air) of low pressure, which is exactly what we see in the diagram below.³ This happened because the atmosphere was trying to balance itself out, as it’s always attempting to do; and maybe it was amplified by water vapor’s warming effects, but it did not occur because of carbon dioxide.

Figure 7. 2-meter temperature anomaly – April 11, 2019.

The article did do a great job explaining how the cyclone was amplified by natural aspects, including the fact that moisture was advected (horizontally transported) out of the Gulf of Mexico, which was anomalously warm, and how the clashing of the different air masses both intensified the storm.³

Of course, the warm Gulf was “caused by climate change” too, but the fact of the matter is that a warmer Gulf just happened to be present at that time, which allowed ridging (high pressure) to develop in the southeastern United States creating a nice southerly flow of moist, warm air from the Gulf. This entire setup was ideal for this intense storm system to occur, it could have been predicted before computer modelling showed it.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that these late-season snowstorms are rare, but NOT unheard of occurrences. If we look at our weather history (thank you Farmer’s Almanac), it turns out that April snowstorms indeed happen in the Great Plains and upper Midwest (Figure 8).⁹

Figure 8. Notable Plains and upper Midwest snowstorms. – Farmer’s Almanac.

The reason I go to a historical perspective on this is because late-season snowstorms of the past occurred without any climate change attribution. It’s only proper to question why storms like this are now being blamed on a trace gas in our atmosphere when all of the natural components were there to begin with.

If one has a good understanding of meteorology and weather history, then they are likely going to come to the same conclusion as I did. I want to take a moment to thank Tony Heller and Joe Bastardi for keeping our weather history alive, as a lot of it would be lost without their contribution.

The bottom line is this: April snowstorms in the Great Plains and Midwest; they are the rule, NOT the exception.


[1] Interpolated Observed Snowfall Analysis during 72h predecing 2019 April 13, 12:00 UTC (NWS Twin Cities, 13 Apr. 2019). Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[2] Winter Storm Wesley, an Early April Blizzard and Ice Storm for the Plains and Midwest (RECAP) (The Weather Channel, 8 Apr. 2019). Retrieved 14 April, 2019.

[3] Berardelli, Joe, Spring blizzard fueled by Arctic warming, climate change (CBS News, 12 Apr. 2019). Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[4] Daily Mean Temperatures in the Arctic 1958 – 2019 (DMI Danish Meteorological Institute). Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[5] NWP Reanalysis Based Global Temperature Monitoring | WeatherBEll Analytics (WeatherBELL Models, 2015). Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[6] Introduction to the Atmosphere (National Weather Service) Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[7] Bastardi, Joe, Increased Water Vapor, Not CO2, Most Likely Reason For Recent Warm Septembers(Patriot Post, 29 Oct. 2018) Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[8] Haby, Jeff, Newton’s Laws (Weather Prediction Education) Retrieved 14 April 2019.

[9] McLeod, Jamie, Snow Kidding! Historic Spring Snowstorms (Farmer’s Almanac) Retrieved 14 April 2019.

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Zig Zag Wanderer
April 16, 2019 6:10 pm

So it appears that the polar amplification is also mainly in the winters. As far as my limited knowledge can tell me, that can have very little effect on the overall temperature or weather systems, and will probably result in net cooling in the Arctic if anything at all.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
April 17, 2019 3:16 am

The IR absorption of water vapor is much stronger than that of CO2, and the specific wavelengths that water absorbs overlap with CO2.

So the only places that moderate increases in CO2 can make any difference is where the atmosphere contains very little water vapor. Such as at the poles and maybe over deserts.

Give this effect a scary sounding name and off you go.

Richard M
April 16, 2019 6:34 pm

A lot of what was presented by CBS was right. They just got the cause wrong. The main reason for the changes in the Arctic is the +AMO. It has transported warm water into the arctic which has led to a lot of ice melting.

When the ice melts in the Arctic the air warms. Tremendous amounts of energy are released into the air from open water that was previously covered in ice. It also releases more water vapor with open water.

The +PDO has been another factor which led to higher levels of water vapor from the more numerous El Nino events. You can see the increases in global precipitation as well.

I would not be surprised to see both the AMO and the PDO move into their negative modes in the next 2-3 years. If I am right, the Arctic ice will increase and the cooling will have a major impact on the global temperature.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Richard M
April 16, 2019 8:27 pm

When ice freezes the air warms. Salutations from Canada.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Richard M
April 16, 2019 8:48 pm

There can be no effects of any kind from CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere in the winter in the Arctic as there is not solar input. (Snipped for policy violation) MOD

Also at the height of summer sunlight comes in at such a low angle that it must pass through a much longer slice of the atmosphere, decreasing the arriving solar input to 17% of vertical sunlight. And, at this low angle the solar energy per square meter is less as well, at 17% of normal. 17% of 17% is 3%. At the height of summer, solar input is too low to heat anything.

This 3% light hitting open water would indeed be absorbed, but evaporative cooling would cancel this meager input immediately. And, it should not be forgotten that the average summer light up there would only be half of this amount. As mentioned in the article, it’s warm water being pumped into the Arctic Basin by the NAO that melts the ice very effectively from below as the warmer water would tend to stay at the top of the water column under the ice. Then, there is indeed some bottom igneous activity in some places and the odd weather system that drives large amounts of ice out of the Arctic, as happened in 2007, which had NAO, ice blown southward, and bottom heat activity—a perfect storm of melting and removal.

Greenhouse gases do not work in the dark. Period.

And we do not see the summer temperatures doing anything out of the normal, well, maybe even a bit below average during the 2018 melt season.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Charles Higley
April 17, 2019 3:02 pm

“Greenhouse gases do not work in the dark. Period.”

So LWIR does not radiate to space in the dark eh?
It does. Period.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Richard M
April 16, 2019 8:50 pm

I apologize. (SNIPPED)

(You should apologize, for policy violation) MOD

GP Hanner
April 16, 2019 7:12 pm

I lived in western South Dakota for thirteen years. Late winter and early spring was the season for powerful blizzards to form. I always watched the low pressure systems that came into the desert southwest. If they passed over or near the “Four Corners” area we had a pretty good chance of a blizzard. Sometimes they came through in fairly rapid succession.
Back then, I don’t recall hearing much about the El Niño/La Niña phenomena. I suppose El Niño could reinforce the formation of blizzards.

Reply to  GP Hanner
April 17, 2019 4:58 am

I live in Wyoming. Even our weatherman says our heaviest snows come in March and April. Over the years, the heaviest snows I’ve seen here are in October and then in the spring. People think the snow comes in December and January, but it does not. It’s just something people tend to believe and the media exploits that erroneous belief. Yes, spring snowstorms are completely normal and expected. (Cattlemen are well aware of this.)

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Sheri
April 17, 2019 3:53 pm

Warmer air can hold more moisture, thus heavy snows occur when warmer moist air mingles w/ cold air. As former MT and WA resident (35 yrs combined), April does bring some heavy and more-often wet snows.

RE the warmer winter arctic temps, increased atmospheric humidity will increase the minimum temperature. Any experts care to comment on this as a cause?

nw sage
April 16, 2019 7:24 pm

Not a bomb cyclone? Well perhaps a bomblet?

April 16, 2019 8:15 pm

Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota people don’t care about spring blizzards.
We are used to them, no problem.
But the flooding this year is already a 100-year flood even before this last blizzard.
My brother said, “There are dams 100+ years old that collapsed from this flooding.”
Now, more flooding is on the way.

Curious George
Reply to  Cynthia
April 17, 2019 8:03 am

Don’t dams usually collapse from a lack of maintenance?

April 16, 2019 8:38 pm

My birthday is April 9th. I have lived in the Midwest near the 45th Parallel my entire life and it has snowed many times on or around my birthday. Many times.

Gary Pearse
April 16, 2019 8:57 pm

The red arctic is a bit of a joke.
Yeah arctic amplification warms it a couple of degrees but a couple of degrees above -40C. The air mass is coming down from a still very cold Arctic basin inlate April. The relativity of the terminology and coloring is part of the deceit. It has non scientific (and likely many supposedly scientific types in the meme) buffaloed.

The reason the sealevel rise rate remains modest and linear over more than a hundred years is because the tropics remains unchanged, the Arctic “warming” is still multi tens of degrees below the freezing point and the massive ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland are tall as snowy mountains in the temperate zone. Snowcapped Mount Robson in the southern Canadian Rockies is just under 4000m and the glaciers terminate ~2000 m el.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 17, 2019 2:58 am

“Yeah arctic amplification warms it a couple of degrees but a couple of degrees above -40C. The air mass is coming down from a still very cold Arctic basin inlate April. The relativity of the terminology and coloring is part of the deceit.”

The alarmists want to give us the impression that the arctic is melting like the ice does in the US after a spring snowstorm.

Climate science is full of deceptions. It’s scandulous.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 17, 2019 4:04 pm

You are stating the obvious:

“Climate science is full of deceptions.”

I recall when TV meteorologists would forecast warm (~90F) and sunny weather, they would show a map with a smiling sun – implying good weather for outdoor activities. Today, if the forecast is above 60F the map color is “caution” yellow. Lord forbid it be above 90F, then the color is “scorched earth” brown. When the forecast is “scorched earth” brown, my wife and I like to travel south to the beach.

April 16, 2019 9:19 pm

“It’s only proper to question why storms like this are now being blamed on a trace gas in our atmosphere when all of the natural components were there to begin with.”

You don’t understand: the blame has to fall on something that can’t defend itself, therefore, pick a gas – any gas – and pound on it, as long as you include the proper adjective (e.g., trace) with it. Jargon is the meat and potatoes of something like this. The use of “bomb cyclone” this year started early on with Accuweather on their front page, and now THEY are asking who came up with it? Hoopla is almost de rigeur right now in the current world of communications. It’s how the media get attention for something, even if they’re out of line using it. It has little to nothing to do with accuracy.

I got photos of the snow, noted the depth (about 5.5 inches) and also looked around for treebuds breaking open. The snow is gone. My yard is a soggy mess. And yet, frankly, I expect one more before this is over.

Reply to  Sara
April 17, 2019 5:02 am

The proper term is “Explosive cyclogenesis”. Is that more or less scary?

The term is not new and not improper in any way. It started in the 40s and 50s and has been used ever since. We just attribute sinister connotations to it because we hate climate science. Using a proper weather term is now considered wrong……

Reply to  Sheri
April 17, 2019 7:47 am

Explosive cyclogenesis – OOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhh! I like that even better!!!! It’s polysyllabic, hoity-toity in its inferral (you don’t really understand it because —–) , and sounds much less trendy than cyclone bomb.

April 16, 2019 11:56 pm

CO2 can’t do anything else but contribute to a net radiative flux from elementary air volume V1 to V2 when :
– V1 temperature T1 and/or V1 pressure P1 is greater than V2 temperature T2 and/or pressure P2,
– the distance d(V1, V2) is smaller than the mean free path of a 15µm walelength photon (some 30m in the lower troposphere, much more in the upper troposphere and beyond).

This is mainly due to the emissivity of CO2+H2O vapor mixture with respect to Pco2, Ph2o, P, T.
So, CO2 radiative effect can’t do anything else than contribute to equilibrate temperatures from warmer to cooler zones and can’t in any way be the cause of “Arctic amplification” or any other temperatures difference. In fact, the radiative CO2 contribution, if any, is to (very slightly) oppose temperature differences in the atmosphere.
This “fight” against temperature differences acts also with respect to the vertical temperatures lapse rate, inducing an upward radiative propagation.
In the upper troposphere and beyond, the net effect of CO2 is to cool the atmosphere by radiative heat transfer into space. The downward convection of this radiatively cooled air contributes to cool down the lower troposphere.

CO2+H2O emissivity approximation : See Modest 2003 – Radiative heat transfer, chap.10 for example.
Net CO2 radiative effect : See Kondratyev 1969, Manabe – Möller 1961 for example.

E J Zuiderwijk
April 17, 2019 1:32 am

We have a saying in Holland stating that ‘sweet little April sometimes dons a white hat’.

April 17, 2019 4:53 am

I grew up in the Denver area 50-40 years ago. It was always said that March and April are the two snowiest months of the year there. Not unusual at all.

April 17, 2019 5:09 am

I hear that Notre Dame burned down because of climate change because it was perceived to be a hotter fire than in the past.

william matlack
Reply to  Thom
April 17, 2019 7:36 am

Im sure that isis will claim responsibility for this fire ; Al Gore will blame it on carbon pollution and Justin Trudeau will come up with some way to tax it. sarc…

Kevin kilty
April 17, 2019 6:00 am

So a warming Arctic produces a “wall” that pushes cold air farther south. For all these organizations who believe in science, maybe they could run their copy past someone with reasonable scientific knowledge and thinking before blabbing such silliness.

Robert Bissett
Reply to  Kevin kilty
April 17, 2019 8:09 am

If memory serves, a warm air mass moves up over a colder, denser mass, cooling in the process and dropping it’s moisture as rain or snow. No pushing involved. Zat right?

Joe Ebeni
April 17, 2019 6:00 am

There must have been a lot of “arctic amplification” from 1875 to 1900. Digitized newspapers are a boon to historians and must be a bane to alarmists. I just did a very quick search of newspapers from 1875 -1899 with the search terms “April” and “Blizzard”. there were hits in 18 of the 25 years. The largest concentration of articles seem to occur in 1892, 1893, 1894 and 1896.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Joe Ebeni
April 17, 2019 7:35 am

South Texas droughts in the 1880s-90s were thought to signal a change in climate after 1870 which showed up in loss of vegetation, confounded by overgrazing. (Price, W. A. and G. Gunter. 1943. Certain recent geological and biological changes in south Texas, with consideration of probable causes. Transactions Texas Academy Science. 26:138-156.) Then we had the really bad drought of the 50s. 30s not as bad in S Texas.

December, 1880, was very cold with snow in Brownsville (on the Rio Grande). (Griffiths, J. F. And G. Ainsworth. 1981. One hundred years of Texas weather. Office State Climatologist, Texas A & M. University Monograph Series. 1:1-205.)

We need to study old Spanish records as they worried about northers (and hurricanes) going from Mexico to Spain and back since the 1500s, Vera Cruz was founded in 1519. Northers were reported in Cuba and the Bahamas. Leaving Vera Cruz they needed to go into the northern Gulf to avoid the trade winds.

Smoking Frog
April 17, 2019 6:27 am

I am baffled by the idea that the existence of low pressure areas corresponding to high pressure areas follows from Newton’s Third Law. The action of moving some air may raise the pressure in one area and lower it in another, but the lowering is not a reaction. I think the author is laboring under a misconception. Am I missing something?

Smoking Frog
April 17, 2019 6:27 am

I am baffled by the idea that the existence of low pressure areas corresponding to high pressure areas follows from Newton’s Third Law. The action of moving some air may raise the pressure in one area and lower it in another, but the lowering is not a reaction. I think the author is laboring under a misconception. Am I missing something?

April 17, 2019 6:58 am

I remember early April 1987 in southwest Virginia. 10″ of wet snow mixed w/alittle rain in Blacksburg, VA, but an astonishing 30″+ in areas like Bluefield, WV and Tazewell, VA. All from a stalled low-pressure system over WV.

D Anderson
April 17, 2019 7:09 am

I’ve seen 65 winters. He’s right. It snows in April in Mn.

April 17, 2019 7:32 am

What I learned from this is that CBS News has still not reformed. I’ll wait another 10 years and check back.

Thomas Homer
April 17, 2019 8:08 am

From the article: “Any meteorologist or weather forecaster should understand Newton’s laws of motion. The most important of these laws for our case, is Newton’s third law, which states that for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.”

Newton’s laws of motion. We can find definitions for Newton’s laws, understand them, and apply them.

Yet there are no laws that support claims like this:
“It is well-known that water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere, thus increasing it’s concentration would result in amplified warming.”

Why are there no laws/axioms/postulates/formulae that support CAGW? There is no science to apply.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Thomas Homer
April 17, 2019 9:20 am

Well there is political SCIENC and the laws being applied are written by Lawyers and bureaucrats to restrict individual liberties, increase taxes and fees (read drive up cost of living) and provide more power to Central Planning.
Speaking of BOMB CYCLONES. all the fallout from the hot air system emanating from the D.C. Beltway system will eventually destroy civilization as you once knew it. Pick up a copy of 1984 better yet download the movie its a real downer. He who controls the class room controls the science. He who controls the science controls the future.

April 17, 2019 9:23 am

April 16th to 17th 2008 snowfall in Nanaimo BC reached over 12 inches outside our front door. My first Canadian ‘snow day’.

So spring snowfalls are not unknown even here in the Pacific northwest.

Joe Ebeni
April 17, 2019 9:54 am

I did a quick sojourn through this site looking for winter-like events in April….just within two decades, 1841-1861. There are also a bunch of early summer-like events.

A big April snowstorm in the northeast dropped 12 inches at New York City, 24 inches in parts of New Jersey and 18 inches in parts of Massachusetts.
Three inches of snow at Columbia, SC fell two weeks later than any previous record late freeze.
“The Lighthouse Storm” of 1851 struck New England on this date. Heavy gales and high seas pounded the coasts of New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The storm arrived at the time of a full moon and high tide producing unusually high storm tides. The storm was so named because it destroyed the lighthouse at Cohasset, MA. Two assistant lighthouse keepers were killed there when the structure was swept away by the storm tide.
The Great Pacques Storm raged for four days in New Jersey. 24 inches of snow fell in the hills with 6 inches on the 15th and 17th at New York City. 18 vessels were wrecked on the Jersey shore including a passenger ship that broke up, killing 340 people.
A late season freeze brought snow to every state in the Union. Even as far south as Houston TX the mercury plunged to 21 degrees.
Portions of Alabama received a surprise 4 inches snow in a late-season storm.
The Genesee Suspension Bridge in Genesee, NY, collapsed under the weight of 12 inches of wet snow weighing 19 pounds per cubic foot. Snow fell to a depth of 48 inches at Liberty in the Catskills.
Heavy snow in parts of Connecticut caused buildings to collapse. Six foot snow drifts were reported.

A foot of wet snow fell in Philadelphia, PA during an early spring storm.

April 17, 2019 10:33 am

“Therefore, for every ridge (warm air) of high pressure, there must be a trough (colder air) of low pressure…”

Cold air is denser than warm air, thus cold air is heavier (more pressure) and displaces lighter/less dense warm air.

The CBS article was OK, but this statement, “…Arctic Amplification is resulting in a “wall of red” over Canada and Alaska forcing colder air to be shoved southward.” Warmer temperatures in that red area are not the cause of the cold, dense air mass descending southward. Basic science here.

Also, CBS, like all warmistas, confuse cause and effect when the claim is maintained that warmer air in the Arctic is behind the melting ice, because well documented data show that warm tropic waters are invading the Arctic – water possesses far more heat density than air, in the neighborhood of 1000 times. Again, basic science.

April 17, 2019 12:28 pm

“while summertime temperatures remain unchanged from where they were in 1970 ”

As a matter of fact there is a slight but definite cooling of summer temperatures after c. 2000 in the DMI data. It’s just a degree or two, but that is significant in an area where temperature hovers just above freezing in summer.

The same trend is visible in Fig 5.

Reply to  tty
April 18, 2019 3:19 pm

Well it’s really interesting to see how quickly some are ready to use a temperature information based on a model when it shows cooling.

Usually, models are considered by WUWT commenters as completely useless tools specialised in showing alarmism.

Here is a model-free comparison of land temperature trends in °C / decade for the Globe with those for 60N-82.5N:
– 1900-2018: 0.08 / 0.23
– 1979-2018: 0.18 / 0.51
– 2000-2018: 0.15 / 0.63

Source: GHCN daily

During the satellite era, there were on average about 14000 active GHCN daily stations per year for the Globe, and 900 for the Arctic.

Reply to  tty
April 18, 2019 4:47 pm


I must keep fair!

A run using the few GHCN daily stations above 80N (maximally 6, out of 6 in Canada, 2 in Greenland, one in Iceland, one in Russia) shows horrifying trends for 1958-2018 (1.16 °C / decade) and for 1979-2018 (1.21 °C / decade).

But, yes: for 2000-2018, they show -0.44 °C / decade.

All trends with 2 sigma showing statistically significant.

Even if these values do not seem to be very trustworthy due to the extreme paucity of data, they are nevertheless similar to what DMI’s reanalysis shows: cooling.

The graph does not show that pretty good, but it certainly would if restricted to the cooling period:

Reply to  tty
April 19, 2019 4:13 am


Even if this thread is not far from 0 °I, I want to correct nonsense written last night near 2 AM. Writing comments during the night often is no good job.

The correct estimates for the Arctic (now including the very well needed 2 sigma), 60N vs. 80N, in °C / decade:
– 1958-2018: 0.38 / 0.69
– 1979-2018: 0.51 / 1.16
– 2000-2018: 0.63 / 1.21
2010-2018: 0.56 ± 0.34 / -0.44 ± 0.90 (!!)

Thus, simply comparing a flip-flop pic of WeatherBELL’s data for summer vs. winter looks a bit too simple.
Ryan Maue’s data is also based on a reanalysis model…

And you experience the same when comparing UAH6.0 LT for different periods at the same latitude bands as above:
– 1979-2018: 0.25 / 0.43
– 2000-2018: 0.23 / 0.43
2010-2018: 0.23 ± 0.20 / 0.16 ± 0.40 (!!)

Regardless whether you look at the surface or in the troposphere: an estimate over 9 years is completely useless. Be it based on 4 stations or on 144 grid cells in the troposphere: the deviations from the mean are so high that the standard error exceeds the estimate. Final point.

April 18, 2019 6:11 pm

More like Arctic De-amplification!

The North Pole dropped about 10 degrees from April 1 to earlier today, to -21.4. NCEP T2m and SORCE TSI shows where the cold came from – a quick reduction in solar TSI forcing when the still-Earth facing sunspot group was center-disk.

The NH temperature build-up was from seasonal insolation change and TSI spikes from recent new sunspot activity over the last few months that lead to recent higher tropical evaporation, driving snow events upon clashing with the expanding cold arctic air.

The same mechanisms happen over and over again.

Haven’t used this one for a while:

The Sun causes warming, cooling and extreme events, not CO2!

Reply to  Bob Weber
April 19, 2019 8:37 am

Bob Weber

Your opinion about the Sun being the one and only cause of everything is from my point of view as extremist as is the opinion of those believing everything actually happening be due to CO2.

The layman I am prefers to keep away from all extremisms, yours included, Bob Weber, and thinks the truth will be a well-done mix of all.

You remember me all these ‘comment’ers pretending that IR radiation plays no role in atmospheric processes.

All these people tell us about conduction from surface, while ignoring that all air constituents (N2, O2, Ar, water vapor, carbon dioxide, …) are perfect insulators, and that their average conduction power (about 25 W/m²) doesn’t go above 10 % of Earth’s IR radiation.

For you, these links might be of few interest:
(Google’s translator might help)

Reply to  Bindidon
April 19, 2019 11:50 am

Solar activity changes are the only viable real-time energy sources of any magnitude affecting the changes in weather and climate. It’s not a generic blank statement, it’s based on exquisite tracking of warming, cooling, and extreme events with solar activity changes.

That you personally are unable to perceive reality as it happens is a common weakness. That you wish to pin a label like extremist reveals you fear learning the truth of the sun’s ever-present real-time control of the weather and climate.

Your dismissive comments are hand-waving without specific refutation of what I actually said. I’ve seen your trolling of others so many times at Dr. Roy’s place, so your comments to me are not a surprise.

Reply to  Bob Weber
April 19, 2019 1:01 pm

Again, Sir, you bring us here nothing more than the arrogance of your certitudes.
I do not feel the need to compete with arrogance.

Nota bene

” I’ve seen your trolling of others so many times at Dr. Roy’s place…”

Do you mean trolls like Robertson, who denies time dilation, names there everybody an idiot when he does not understand what s/he means, or Huffman, or Flynn, who names there everybody “stupid and ignorant” – himself and the former two of course excluded?

Please feel good with them, Sir! No problem for me!

Reply to  Bob Weber
April 19, 2019 1:45 pm

Now you’ve repeated the type of prior behavior of yours I referred to.

It’s not arrogant to describe what I clearly know, all supported by data.

A run using the few GHCN daily stations above 80N (maximally 6, out of 6 in Canada, 2 in Greenland, one in Iceland, one in Russia) shows horrifying trends for 1958-2018 (1.16 °C / decade) and for 1979-2018 (1.21 °C / decade).

But, yes: for 2000-2018, they show -0.44 °C / decade. – Bindidon

The reason the northern stations you mentioned have cooled since 2000 is due to the reduction in solar activity, via TSI. The North Atlantic Heat Content data indicates a solar cycle dependence, a high accumulation period until a few years after the solar modern maximum ended in 2004, followed by a decline interrupted by the bump from SC24.

I wish for you to know that I’ve put together two posters last year, The Solar Cycle Influence for the LASP Sun-Climate Symposium, and ‘Extreme Weather Events and Climate Extremes are Limited by the Duration of Solar Cycle Irradiance Extremes’ for the AGU last fall, and am presently I writing my paper about all of it. So your dismissive attempts to paint me as some kind of whatever are going nowhere fast.

I could easily list many accurate solar-climate predictions I’ve made here at WUWT, that are part of my work. The trouble for you Bindidon is that you absolutely do not know what you are talking about, and therefore the arrogant person here is you.

Johann Wundersamer
April 20, 2019 6:03 am

+ then there’s the QBO, that eccentric dance of 11+ years changing to sunspot minima mode with every 7 / 14. year “drought years” aka La Niña.

But that’s just my personal opinion, eager to learn something new.

April 20, 2019 3:16 pm

Bob Weber

“I could easily list many accurate solar-climate predictions I’ve made here at WUWT, that are part of my work. The trouble for you Bindidon is that you absolutely do not know what you are talking about…”

Well Mr Weber, I have respect for any person having presented here climate matters with success in guest posts.

But nevertheless, data is data is data, and this is how it shows: in a comparison of SORCE data with temperature measurements.

The choice is restricted to measurements above 80N: as opposed to the whole Arctic region (latitude bands 60N-90N) showing no decrease anywhere, this latitude band is suspected (!) to show recent cooling since 2010.

But… this is valid only for those people ignoring that for short time periods and especially at higher latitudes, the 2 sigma confidence intervals for linear estimates often bypass these estimates themselves, thus de facto invalidating them.

We see this pretty good when comparing surface and tropospheric estimates above 80 N, all in °C / decade, for
– the satellite era (1979-2019);
– the SORCE period (2003-2019);
– the period 2010-2019.

– GHCN daily: 1.16 ± 0.10 | 1.22 ± 0.41 | -0.48 ± 0.99
– UAH6.0 LT: 0.43 ± 0.04 | 0.39 ± 0.16 | 0.15 ± 0.42

Any educated scientist would agree that considering data for the period 2010-2019 (let alone shorter parts of it) is statistical nonsense, and that even periods like 2003-2019 in fact better should be avoided.

Nevertheless, below you see a chart comparing, for that period:

– TSI SORCE raw daily data, averaged into months;
– the accumulated anomalies of the data above, wrt your choice (1361.25 W/m²);
– anomalies wrt the monthly means within 1981-2010 of temperature measurements (monthly average of GHCN daily, highest latitude band of UAH 6.0 LT’s 2.5 ° grid).

In this chart, all absolute and anomaly data were uniformly scaled to percentiles to allow for a fair comparison.

It is immediately visible that
– neither surface temperatures let alone those measured in the troposphere show any real cooling;
– the TSI SORCE decline therefore is by no means reflected by these temperature measurements.

A descending top 20 sort of GHCN daily above 80 N:

2018 2 10.38
1995 4 8.15
2016 11 7.62
2005 2 7.12
2006 1 6.70
2011 3 6.34
2002 10 6.32
2012 12 6.16
2016 12 6.02
2013 1 5.81
2011 2 5.81
1998 11 5.80
1959 11 5.51
2016 1 5.37
1996 11 5.33
1958 1 5.29
2010 4 4.98
2018 10 4.84
2017 12 4.84
2016 2 4.79

… and the same for UAH 6.0 LT:

2016 1 3.85
2018 2 3.58
2016 10 3.36
1995 4 3.35
2016 11 3.34
2006 1 3.31
2002 10 3.05
2014 2 2.85
2016 2 2.82
1998 11 2.74
1996 11 2.70
2014 1 2.62
2018 10 2.61
2012 1 2.40
1997 3 2.40
2016 4 2.37
1990 1 2.32
2009 12 2.22
2010 2 2.18
2018 1 2.17

I apologise, Mr Weber, but… the little insignificant layman Bindidon insists and persists: though our Sun clearly is Earth’s one and only energy source, the decline of solar irradiance is not visible in temperature measurements.

Climate is a far too complicated affair to be reduced to single parameters like Sun’s activity, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or CO2’s effect above the tropopause.

It is a mix of all.

J.-P. D. (full name is known to Anthony Watts)

The General
April 29, 2019 3:43 pm

Well…I’m a real simple guy. I’ve lived in 38 places around the world. In extremely hot and humid places…hot and dry to cold and wet…cold and dry to just darn cold! For the past 21 years, I’ve lived 50 miles north of Seattle (cold and very wet).

For the first 18 years here, we were lucky to have 8 weeks of summer weather and sun – for half that time, usually only two to four weeks of decent weather. One year, it was like winter all year, except for 10 days in August. For 18 years, I’ve prayed for just little of that “Global Warming” I kept hearing about. If the world was getting warmer, than why were we not seeing it here in Seattle? God was teaching me patience, I figured. Suddenly…in 2016, our Spring weather was sunny and nice! I finally started seeing people smile and being nice. A great summer followed! God has finally answered my many prayers! Not only that, but 2017 and ‘18 were also great! Wow! The power of prayer works! Even this Spring weather is sunny again, but much cooler. Still…I’ll take it! I’ve decided that prayer works for those who have faith. So many have little spirit-led faith these days. How can I tell? People of genuine faith love all others and don’t espouse hate – they don’t lie, deceive, and cheat – they don’t “steal” the truth. They don’t seek power and fortune at the expense of others, especially taking advantage of the less fortunate.

Even though I don’t understand what you guys are saying most of the time, I do understand that CO2 has little to no affect on warming and trails all atmospheric gases. Why do I know that? I can read. My question is: Why doesn’t everyone else in the world understand it?

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