The Science of Snowfall and Climate Snowjobs

Jim Steele

Jim Steele

“As scientists who study what controls snowfall admit, “There are “no easy answers” to the question of climate change and snow” Nonetheless click bait media doesnt hesitate to fear monger that we are on the verge of the “end of snow”

However the science of snowfall reveals how natural weather oscillations affect the transport of moisture which determines changes in regional snowpack, and each region experience unique conditions.

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, and proud member of the CO2 Coalition.

Transcript below.

Welcome back everyone.

This video addresses another atrocious media claim, this time by Bloomberg Green, that very soon there will be an end to snow. This fear mongering has been pushed for over a decade now.

In 2000, Dr. David Viner, the senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, predicted within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”.

But a quick review should show why such fear mongering is not supported by the science of snowfall.

Bloomberg’s journalists clearly do not understand the difference between natural weather oscillations and climate change. They compared the Sierra Nevada’s heavy snowfall in 2019 with low snowfall in 2022 as evidence of a declining trend in snowfall.

But they NEVER addressed the well-known effects of El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that cause such variations.

Studies detailing 3-fold changes in Sierra Nevada snowfall over the years have been published, such as Christy’s 2010 research paper.

By ignoring a wealth of snowfall science, Bloomberg’s so-called journalists will be better known for their ridiculous end of snow predictions.

Both the media and alarmist scientists are guilty of cherry-picking just the decline in springtime snow extent to push their end of snow fears. But during the winter, snowfall has increased And autumn snowfall has also increased.

Such contrasting trends again suggest that snow extent is not being controlled by global warming

In an interview, Dr David Robinson, New Jersey’s state climatologist and head of the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab stated,

“There are “no easy answers” to the question of climate change and snow”

Regions that cover less than 6% of northern hemisphere explain 62%–92% of the interannual variance across the continents.

Snow will change in most places as the climate continues to warm, but exactly how and why, may be among the most challenging questions about weather and climate change

So, ignore the doomsayers! Let’s quickly examine why there are indeed “no easy answers”

As temperatures fall, significant snowfall happens each winter in the northern two thirds of the United States. The locations illustrated here in red experience the heaviest snowfall and are governed by very different moisture transport dynamics, prohibiting any one size fits all analysis of changes in global snowfall.

First remember what every elementary school child is told; no two snowflakes are the same. That may not be entirely true, but it speaks to the varying conditions of temperature and moisture that control snowflake formation, creating a huge spectrum of differing snowflake crystals that produce different snowpacks, from heavy wet snow to dry powdery snow.

So, it could also be argued no two snowpacks are exactly alike. The density and thus water content of snowpacks can vary 3-fold. Depending on when the snow falls the snowpack can become denser over time.so simply measuring the extent of snow cover from satellites, fails to determine how much water fell as snow So, scientists use snow water equivalent measurements, but those measurements require time consuming efforts and thus provide a very limited sample size of snow conditions.

Still, we do know that El Nino cycles and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation have very significant impacts on the snow water equivalent. Thus, the effects of natural oscillations must be considered for any analysis of snowfall trends.

Temperature and moisture have opposing effects on snowfall. As temperatures decrease to the point where snowflakes can form and reach the ground, the amount of moisture in the air decreases reducing the amount of snow

The northern hemisphere’s latitudes with greatest snowfall are also regions with the lowest winter atmospheric moisture.

Predictions that global warming will melt more snow, suggest the biggest declines in snow extent will happen at the relatively warmer southerly edge of the northern hemisphere’s snow extent.

But as surveyed by Kunkle 2016, the pattern of decreasing and increasing snowfall does not fit global warming expectations, again suggesting that varied dynamics of moisture transport are the key to understanding snowfall variations.

Furthermore, many studies unscientifically simply assume a global average temperature affects all regions equally. But as illustrated by Cohen 2014, much of the mid latitudes have experienced winter cooling for the past 2 decades.

And in contrast to global warming hypotheses, despite cooling over most of Eurasia, that region has experienced less snowfall.

Warmer air holds more moisture. And it is the transport of that moisture to cooler regions that provides enough water vapor for significant snowfall.

If warm air at 20 degrees Celsius is cooled to the freezing point, it will precipitate over 60% of its moisture. Typically, atmospheric rivers bringing moisture from the warm tropics will dump the most snow when making landfall further northward.

In contrast, because cold arctic air masses averaging minus 10 to 30 degrees Celsius, that cold air hold insignificant amounts of moisture, and cannot bring significant snowfall directly to the regions it passes over.

Nonetheless that cold air can cause warm air water vapor to precipitate as snow.

Typically, all moisture at higher altitudes forms snow, but if it descends through a warmer air mass, it turns to rain.

If that rain then falls through a colder air mass nearer the ground it forms sleet or freezing surface rain.

By preventing melt, snow accumulation only happens where the air is cold enough all the way to the surface.

At weather fronts, cold air will force warm moist air to rise to altitudes where temperatures are cold enough to initiate snowflake formations

As storms move across the land, the counter-clockwise motion of the winds pulls cold air down from the north to interact with warm moist air being drawn northward.

Thus, the more northerly latitude of winter storm tracks will more likely produce the cold air required for snow accumulation. However, as storm tracks move northwards, snow fall could be reduced further south.

However, studies find that although storm track latitudes have varied over the past 300 years there is no apparent trend as expected from global warming theories.

Mountains have a tremendous effect on snowfall. Moist air forced upslope to cooler altitudes is the reason the greatest snowfall in the United States is found in mountainous regions.

Although snow rarely falls over the west coast flatlands, just a hundred miles further east, heavy snow falls in the Sierra Nevada and cascade mountain ranges.

The amount of snow is governed by El Nino cycles. El Nino brings warm moist air to the southern USA. Accordingly, studies such as Lute 2014 have detailed how El Nino years bring high snowfalls to the Sierra Nevada, but reduced snowfall to the Pacific northwest.

A swing to La Nina-like conditions brings dryness to California and the southern United States. The reduced Sierra Nevada snowfall of 2022, and fear mongered by Bloomberg’s “ End of Snow” click bait atrocity, was the result of reduced moisture transport associated with current La Nina conditions and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

La Nina, however, directs more moisture northward causing more snow in the pacific northwest and the northern United States

Other studies have shown oscillating years of much more vs much less snowfall in the Sierra Nevada for the last seven decades.

In the northern Sierra Nevada, there was an insignificant decreasing trend.

But an insignificant increasing trend in the southern Sierra Nevada

And at low elevations in the southern Sierra Nevada where global warming hypotheses expect the greatest loss of snow, there has been an insignificant increase in snowfall

The heavy snowfall in the Rocky Mountains is also partially determined by El Nino cycles. However, the moisture carried from the pacific by westerly winds during the winter loses much of that moisture before reaching Colorado, resulting in the dry powdery snow that is so favored by skiers.

But that changes in the spring!

A low-pressure system settles in during the spring causing easterly winds to carry moisture from the Gulf of Mexico westward. These dynamics deliver wetter snow and as much if not more snow than falls during the winter.

Despite the lack of mountains, the midwestern USA experiences heavy snowfall from lake-effect snow. Cold dry Arctic air will absorb copious moisture as it passes over the relatively warmer great lakes and then dumps it inland.

Studies associated with NOAA have mapped out the contributions from lake-effect snow. They reported that while non-lake-effect snowfall has decreased in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, lake-effect snow has increased.

They attributed the increase in lake effect snow to declines in ice cover caused by global warming. But that is inaccurate and not very truthful for a government sponsored scientific study.

It has been well established that lake effect snow is governed by many variables: Besides ice cover, wind speed and wind direction have major impacts. When the winds blow along the long axis of a lake more moisture is absorbed, and greater snowfall occurs.

Indeed, ice cover does have a major effect, however only lake eerie ever completely freezes each year, while most of the deeper lakes maintain large areas of open water illustrated here by dark purple colors.

Although ice cover declined as NOAA noted from 1975 to 2000. Ice cover then increased from 2000 onward, contrary to global warming predictions of declining ice cover.

Cold dry winds blowing from Siberia absorb moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan. Upslope snowfall then deposits great amounts of snow on the mountain tops leaving very little moisture to reach Japan’s east coast

The strength and direction of those winds changes as the high-pressure system over Siberia varies.

The strength and location of the Aleutian low pressure system, which is altered by El Nino cycles and the Pacific Decadal oscillation, also alters the pressure gradient which controls the strength and direction of the winds and thus the amount of sea-effect snow accumulation.

Due to such variability, Japan’s local snow accumulation has exhibited no trend in one location,

increasing snowfall trends in others,

and decreasing trends in still others.

The last region in the United States of high snowfall is in the northeast.Moisture from the Atlantic is delivered via winter storms known as “nor-easters” and dumped in the higher elevations of the Green or White Mountains further inland.

Snowfall here is largely governed by moisture transport that varies with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation.

The related Arctic Oscillation determines where and how much cold Arctic air moves southward to interact with relatively warm moist air flowing from the Atlantic.

The many possible interactions amongst the natural oscillations, described in this video, have huge effects on moisture transport and thus snow accumulation.

So snowpacks will naturally ebb and flow accordingly.

Thus, the great complexities governing snowfall across the northern hemisphere indeed provide no easy answers regards the effect of climate change.

So don’t believe the doomsayers. The science has yet to support their fear mongering.

And don’t hesitate to buy your children winter sports equipment. There will be plenty of snow most years for them to enjoy.

And I am so confident of the science of snowfall, that I promise to reimburse everyone’s winter sports expenditures, if “the end of snow”, ever really happens in our lifetimes!

This video will be added to our Videos page.

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Loydo
August 27, 2022 6:18 pm

Promising stuff about snowfall? I don’t think that usually works out very well.

“As scientists admit… there are “no easy answers” to the question of climate change and snow”

But in the end we get easy answers;

“I am so confident of the science of snowfall, that I promise…”

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Loydo
August 27, 2022 6:41 pm

There has been virtually no net change in NH snow cover in 50 years i.e most of the entire period the IPCC claims human activity has driven the global climate.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 28, 2022 2:02 am

Why should there be a change in snowfall?

The slightly warmer troposphere (mainly TMIN) may slightly reduce snowfall, but the slightly warmer oceans increase the amount of water that evaporates into the air, which can slightly increase precipitation. The result is little or no change in snowfall.

Reply to  Loydo
August 27, 2022 6:49 pm

YOU ARE SUCH A BORING FOOLISH TROLL LOYDO. Try learning some real science and come back when you can at least attempt a meaningful discussion.

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 27, 2022 11:13 pm

Stop commenting until YOU can learn how to be polite.
That is the least an author can do.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 27, 2022 11:48 pm

Hmmmm. Why does Richard defend a known troll?

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2022 2:13 am

Thanks for confirming my comment.\
You are nasty to people who disagree with you.

The so=called troll ridiculed your predictions about snow. Perhaps because climate predictions have been consistently wrong. The last thing climate science needs is more predictions. We already have CAGW, which is a prediction. not reality. And then we have Nut Zero, predicted to stop CAGW. A predicted solution to a prediction of climate doom. We have predictions up the wazoo.

I don’t know why Rutgers does not combine the three Northern Hemisphere snowfall charts. If they did, the trend would be close to flat. About what one would expect with a slight global warming (mainly TMIN) reducing snowfall, offset by more water vapor in the atmosphere, causing slightly more precipitation. I doubt if many people would be unhappy with less snow and more rain, except for ski bums.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 4:47 am

loydo said, “ I don’t think that usually works out very well.”

That is a comment from a troll. Opinion with no facts to prove the assertion! Basically, it is an ad hominem attack. If trolls don’t want nasty reply’s, they should respond with some scientific data to underscore their assertions.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 28, 2022 6:02 am

Loydo is absolutely correct that climate predictions are rarely correct. They are so rarely correct that we climate realists should not make predictions.

Loydo does not have to provide a list of wrong climate predictions made in the past 50 years to prove his point. Everyone here should already know that. I feel the same way about Steele’s snow prediction — as useful as flipping a coin.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 8:06 pm

Loydo is absolutely correct that climate predictions are rarely correct.

The reason that there is any validity to your claim is that most of the predictions are from alarmists predicting radical changes. Their track record argues that any prediction based on “Business as Usual” is a much safer bet than catastrophism.

Editor
Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 28, 2022 1:18 pm

Trolls can’t do that Jim which is why they fail.

He didn’t address the post at all and didn’t get the main point Mr. Steele’s was making about it either because he isn’t here to be part of a meaningful discussion.

This if the full quote of which Loydo picked apart for his trolling gambit:

“As scientists who study what controls snowfall admit, “There are “no easy answers” to the question of climate change and snow” Nonetheless click bait media doesn’t hesitate to fear monger that we are on the verge of the “end of snow”

If this is the best Loydo can do, then he is running on empty, and everyone sees this warmist/alarmist loser as he really is.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sunsettommy
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 6:24 am

Richard it is you being nasty. I have no regrets about being nasty to trolls. They always disagree but for malicious reasons. You have been here long enough to know Loydo’s mission is simply to do drive-by smears every chance he/she/it can. Why waste time assuming he is ever sincere and seeking meaningful debate? Your defense of Loydo is motivated for other reasons.

I am also nasty when people totally fabricate what I say and then attack me with their fabrication. That was certainly the case with you a while back. Apparently you are still bitter about being exposed. You try to hide your nastiness with passive aggressive attacks feigning moral superiority.

Despite what you claim in your little vendetta here, I seek disagreement whenever it is legit. We all learn that way. I will engage in vigorous disagreement where I believe the evidence is on my side but simply not respond when I can’t say one way or another.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 6:17 am

Your comments insult the author, is that your way to be polite ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 28, 2022 10:26 am

I guess I must agree with everything an author writes and never mention that he is extremely rude to commenters who disagree with him?
That won’t be happening — I believe in free speech.
What is the purpose of comments? \
Only to congratulate the author, and never to disagree with him?

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 10:49 am

LOL Such double talk! Free speech eh? Yet your first comment was dictating to me how to reply to a troll “Stop commenting until YOU can learn how to be polite”

The only thing in this video you have disagrede with is that I dared to state there will be no end of snow, instead of stating that in the way only you want it said such as  “the end of snow is just one of many wrong predictions”

Your attack here is just your personal vendetta because I exposed you when you attacked me with fabricated statements, and then incessantly whined that it was I being nasty for confronting your dishonesty. Get over it!

You never smell your own stink, Richard!

Editor
Reply to  Loydo
August 27, 2022 7:01 pm

I am confident that you didn’t read the article which I don’t think that usually works out very well for lazy thinkers like you who don’t know how to get easy answers that are already discovered because you don’t read the article.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Loydo
August 27, 2022 8:14 pm

1. “Promising stuff about snowfall” has worked out abysmally for –> human CO2 emissions scammers.

2. “the question of climate change and snow”

“the science of snow.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Janice Moore
Reply to  Loydo
August 27, 2022 11:17 pm

Yet another meaningless climate prediction
They are usually wrong

Editor
August 27, 2022 7:05 pm

I think the decline in spring snowfall is a reflection to the climate shift of the late 1970’s ending of the global cooling trend and the end of the strong 1983-1985 La-Nina phase after that snowfall declined to a lower level over time.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sunsettommy
Robert Wager
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 29, 2022 2:05 pm

La Niña gave us huge amounts of snow (West Coast of Canada) last winter and it looks to be the same this year.

Tommyboy
August 27, 2022 7:07 pm
taxed
August 27, 2022 7:10 pm

Here in my local area in North Linc’s England there has been no warming trend in the timing of the first snowfall over the last 45 years. Which with warming of the Arctic and sea’s its abit of a climate puzzle as to why this is the case.
I will go into more detail later as to reasons why l think this is happening.

taxed
Reply to  taxed
August 28, 2022 1:19 am

In lowland England for there to be any chance of early season (before December) snowfall.
Then we are almost totally dependent on the Arctic for the supply of cold air, as the air over western Russia is rarely cold enough to cause snow here in England this early in the season.

So warming in the Arctic along side any warming of the seas around the UK should have certainly been making the chances of having snowfall before December less likely. So its really interesting is why this has not been the case. The only reasons l can think of why this has not been the case is that the claims of warming in the Arctic are not true or the weather has become more efficient at transporting this cold air to the south with less warming along the way.
l think its the latter of these two reasons which is the cause.
How the weather does this l think is linked to the jet stream. The more the looping of the jet stream out of the Arctic circle the more efficient it becomes at transporting this cold air to the south. lts this increased efficiency is what has compensated for any warming of the Arctic air that mat have taken place, and so its the reason for the lack of change in the timing of the first snowfall here in England.

taxed
Reply to  taxed
August 28, 2022 2:12 am

Here is the data for my first snowfall of the season here in the Bottesford area of North Lincolnshire England. l classed the first snow fall as the first time l observed falling snow flakes or signs of falling snow during the night. So this includes any sleet or wet snow as been the first snow. But this has been the case since the start of the record.

1977-78 27th Nov am
1978-79 27th Nov am
1979-80 19th Dec pm
1980-81 28th Nov am
1981-82 8th Dec am
1982-83 16th Dec pm
1983-84 11th Dec pm
1984-85 2nd Jan pm
1985-86 12th Nov am
1986-87 21st Nov am
1987-88 22nd Jan am
1988-89 20th Nov am
1989-90 12th Dec am
1990-91 8th Dec am
1991-92 19th Dec pm
1992-93 4th Jan am
1993-94 20th Nov pm
1994-95 31st Dec am
1995-96 17th Nov am
1996-97 19th Nov am
1997-98 2nd Dec pm
1998-99 5th Dec am
1999-00 18th Nov pm
2000-01 30th Oct am
2001-02 8th Nov am
2002-03 4th Jan am
2003-04 22nd Dec am
2004-05 18th Jan am
2005-06 28th Nov pm
2006-07 23rd Jan pm
2007-08 23rd Nov am
2008-09 23rd Nov am
2009-10 17th Dec am
2010-11 25th Nov am
2011-12 5th Dec am
2012-13 27th Oct am
2013-14 27th Jan am
2014-15 26th Dec pm
2015-16 21st Nov am
2016-17 18th Nov am
2017-18 29th Nov am
2018-19 27th Oct am
2019-20 11th Feb am
2020-21 4th Dec pm
2021-22 26th Nov pm

am or pm is which half of the day the snowfall fell in.

taxed
Reply to  taxed
August 28, 2022 7:46 am

Just to correct an error the 1977-78 date should be 21st Nov am and not the 27th Nov am.

Johne Morton
August 27, 2022 7:54 pm

Having lived in Colorado for over 20 years, I’ve noticed that during super cold periods, say single digits or well below zero (Fahrenheit), any snow we get is very small, which makes sense because air at those temperatures can’t hold much water. Some of our biggest snowstorms are in autumn and spring. We’re also entirely landlocked, with no great lakes or ocean nearby. In theory, in a warmer world, our snowfall should go up. Since I’ve lived here, the only thing I’ve noticed is the huge swings between El Niño and La Niña years…

Scissor
Reply to  Johne Morton
August 27, 2022 8:53 pm

Once in a while we get huge amounts of dry snow that combined with wind give us a blizzard and tremendous drifts. I recall 3 or 4 storms like this in the past 40 years or so. It happens more often in the mountains. I recall 84″ around Rollinsville once in 24 hours.

Curious George
Reply to  Johne Morton
August 28, 2022 8:15 am

I did not even know what the snow was until I skied Salt Lake City canyons. These are mountains in the middle of a desert, and they benefit from a “lake effect” of the Great Salt Lake. Tons of unbelievably light powder snow.

Janice Moore
August 27, 2022 8:19 pm

Another excellent lecture by Professor Steele. Thank you for your generous sharing of all your graphs, etc., which you no doubt spent many hours compiling.

Last edited 3 months ago by Janice Moore
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Janice Moore
August 28, 2022 3:21 am

I agree, and thanks to Jim for the transcript.

ATheoK
August 27, 2022 8:39 pm

Excellent article, Dr. Steele!

Non-actionable aside comments.

In 2000, Dr. David Viner, the senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, predicted within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”.

During the two decades since that infamous prediction, children in Algiers, Israel, other countries in the Mideast have learned what snow is.

Spring Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent” Graphic.

Looks like half of a sixty year cycle, one quarter of two consecutive 60 year cycles.

First remember what every elementary school child is told; no two snowflakes are the same. That may not be entirely true, but it speaks to the varying conditions of temperature and moisture that control snowflake formation, creating a huge spectrum of differing snowflake crystals that produce different snowpacks, from heavy wet snow to dry powdery snow.”

A typical high school challenge question in the math club way back when.
The input variables are mind boggling, but doable.
The sheer number of snowflakes per volume numbers are high enough.

The chance of one person finding two identical snowflakes approaches infinity rather quickly.

Personally, a grade school teacher should have the class practice mathematics by calculating total snowflakes per cubic inch during the younger grades. They can work on chance statistics by 8th grade.

Loydo
Reply to  ATheoK
August 28, 2022 1:25 am

He’s not a PhD, nor a Professor. He’s retired bird-watcher.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 3:24 am

Watch out, Mr. Greene is going to chastise you for your disdain and insulting attitude.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 28, 2022 6:14 am

Loydo gets annoying at the speed of sound

Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 6:14 am

That’s a low-down nasty character attack Loydo.

The last thing climate science needs is more Ph.D.’s and Professors spouting visions of climate doom. Steele says he earned a BS Biology in 1982 and finalized his MA Biology in 1989, Two science degrees — how many science degrees do you have Loydo?

I have a BS degree. So what? I’ve been retired since January 2005. So what? And I sometimes watch birds when they are in our four bird feeders. What’s wrong with that?

Steele’s website is at the link below. I don’t agree with every word he writes, but it is worth reading all of his reports:

A Walk On The Natural Side (perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com)

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 7:00 am

“That’s a low-down nasty character attack Loydo.”

Why would you ever expect anything else from Loydo?

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2022 10:19 am

I guess I’m an optimist
I’m waiting for a brilliant Griffter comment too..

Pflashgordon
Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 7:54 am

And so, Loydo, come out and tell us, what are you and what are your credentials and your age / life experience? By your immature and perpetually erroneous or off topic comments, each of the WUWT readers likely has a pretty accurate profile of you. Prove us wrong.

Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 10:01 am

Indeed I’m not a professor but because I was the Director of a University research and educational facility and taught university classes, people keep calling me “professor” so after a while I stop correcting them.

Loydo pushes the Wizard of Oz mentality that I would “only have a brain” with the right piece of paper. Obviously Loydo has never sat in on pHd dissertations that were so bogus, but colleagues not wanting to get in pissing matches dont deny the candidate that piece of paper, but bad mouth it in private.

Nevertheless, Loydo has tried to denigrate me with that same smear here and elsewhere. He is a professional troll.

What we should always judge people by is the fruits of their labor. Are their arguments logical and supported by evidence? Have predictions come true? I know plenty of plumbers and ranchers, without any degrees, that talk quite intelligently about climate.

Part of my work as the Director of SNFC did focus on birds. I predicted that a crash in bird life in one meadow was the result of landscape changes that disrupted the hydrology and NOT climate like many professors suggested was the reason. So based on that prediction, we restored the hydrology and wildlife returned better than before.

The US Forest Service awarded me a Certificate of Appreciation for my research. Clearly one doesnt need a pHd to do good science and build a more resilient environment

Jim USFS certificate.png
Last edited 3 months ago by Jim Steele
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2022 3:10 pm

Of course my humble achievements are no match for Loydo’s

Loydo certificate of appreciation - Made with PosterMyWall (1).jpg
Graemethecat
Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 10:59 am

Hopeless little troll Loydo is clearly running out of road as he/she/it no longer even attempts to rebut the article, but goes straight to ad hominem insults.

Loydo
Reply to  Graemethecat
August 28, 2022 2:33 pm

I pointed out the risk of making snow predictions. That is not an ad hominem insult nor is it trolling. This site is renowned for ridiculing snow predictions. Thin-skinned and can’t abide criticism.

Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 3:17 pm

Clearly you and Richard Greene are the only honest realist here. LOL

Editor
Reply to  Loydo
August 28, 2022 6:32 pm

You didn’t specify anything about it in detail and certainly ignored the main point of the article which you keep showing YOU never read it.

I don’t think you have a clue about what the post is talking about.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Loydo
August 29, 2022 1:51 am

Describing Jim Steele as a retired birdwatcher isn’t ad hom?

Mark BLR
Reply to  Loydo
August 29, 2022 3:33 am

He’s [a] retired bird-watcher …

… who checks his grammar before posting.

A retired bird watcher : 2 + 2 = 4
Loydo : Mathematicians, you have to rewrite the laws of integer arithmetic ! ! !

A retired bird watcher : E = mc²
Loydo : Physicists, you have to come up with an alternative to Special Relativity ! ! !

Michael Valentine Smith : Loydo, thou art not God …

RickWill
August 27, 2022 8:40 pm

Snow will change in most places as the climate continues to warm, but exactly how and why, may be among the most challenging questions about weather and climate change

What “climate” is continuing to warm?

The Southern Ocean has been cooling throughout the satellite era. The Equatorial zone is stuck at the existing temperature as shown by zero trend in the Nino34 region.

Are these regions excluded from “climate”.

NCEP_Three_Trends-3.png
RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
August 27, 2022 8:52 pm

There are trends in solar intensity occurring due to orbital changes. The snow trends follow the change in solar intensity. Currently most notable in spring and autumn in the mid northern latitudes.

The precession cycle is shifting perihelion away from the austral summer solstice but closer to the boreal summer solstice. Ultimately that means reduced solar intensity during boreal winters when the sun is lifting water into the atmosphere in the Southern Hemisphere at its greatest rate. Some 12Tt of water gets transported from the oceans to land in December. An increasing proportion of that willl end up as snow on Northern land masses as the winter solar intensity reduces. The present cycle of glaciation began 500 years ago but very little indication of snow accumulating yet. That will be observerved in the current millennium.

Solar_EMR_51N.png
Reply to  RickWill
August 27, 2022 11:19 pm

“There are trends in solar intensity occurring due to orbital changes.”

Irrelevant for 50 year periods

RickWill
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 27, 2022 11:47 pm

The difference between spring and autumn peaks at 51N is more than 0.6W/m^2 in the past 40 years. The change will be 1.5W/m^2 by 2080. . That increase in solar intensity is real and exceeds most claims about the imagined impact of CO2.

And when you integrate the energy over the spring months compared to the autumn months the difference is even more significant.

Reply to  RickWill
August 28, 2022 2:19 am

0.6W/m^2 in the past 40 years?

If true, that’s less than 0.018%
Irrelevant.

Averaged over the entire planet, the amount of sunlight arriving at the top of Earth’s atmosphere is only one-fourth of the total solar irradiance, or approximately 340 watts per square meter.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 6:22 am

There is a much more variing and important UV radiation.

RickWill
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 28, 2022 3:21 pm

I was pointing out the reason for the observed TRENDS not the bigger swings.

RickWill
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 3:20 pm

The solar intensity only averages 273W/m^2 over a year at 51N in the present time. In December solar intensity averages 98W/m^2 at 51N.

The only reason UK is not a snow mountain is because heat is retained in the surrounding ocean water. The ocean integrates the energy input meaning the peak and minimum temperatures are 3 months out of phase with the solar intensity.

And snow forming is not a linear process with temperature. There is a threshold temperature.

Changes in solar intensity explain the observed seasonal trends in snowfall. There are significant swings due to the ocean oscillations and these certainly show a strong 11 to 12 year periodicity.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  RickWill
August 28, 2022 3:30 am

“What “climate” is continuing to warm?”

That’s my question, too.

I think some people are assuming too much.

We’ve been warm like this before. Then it cooled about 2.0C down to the 1970’s.

Perhaps this pattern will repeat. That’s as good a guess as guessing it will continue to warm. In fact, it’s a better guess than guessing it will continue to warm because there is precedent in the past for a cooling of 2.0C from temperatures equal to today, whereas, there is no precendent for continuing warming without end as CO2-phobes foresee.

DonK
Reply to  RickWill
August 28, 2022 9:47 am

Are these regions excluded from “climate”.”

They most certainly are. And they will continue to be excluded until they learn to behave appropriately. What sort of world would we be living in if dependent variables were allowed to wander off and do whatever they damn well pleased with complete disregard for officially sanctioned climate models?

j wurts
Reply to  DonK
August 28, 2022 4:40 pm

Well said.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  RickWill
August 29, 2022 5:18 am

Geez, sounds like “global warming” isn’t “global.” You know, just like the climate pseudo-scientists like to say about the warmer-than-today Medieval Warm Period they endlessly try to erase.

H.R.
August 27, 2022 8:56 pm

What a great post on snow, Jim Steele. And thanks for providing a transcript for the hearing impaired. Always appreciated.

I live in a flat portion of the Eastern Midwest where the jet stream loops down. Our snow is devilishly hard to forecast because our snowfall depends on if the jet stream sets up a little East or West of us or a little North or South of us.

For example, just two years back I never broke out the snowblower. I’d clear the drive of a 1″ or 2″ snowfall here and there with a push shovel, about as fast as I could walk. Meanwhile, just 20 miles South they were getting hammered by the same snow systems and power lines were often down and activities were shut down for a day or so while they dug out. It’s gone the other way some years, too.

Our long-term average snowfall total is about 36″ but the variance is huge. Some years we get 18″ – 20″ and other years 50″+ to make that 36″ average. Then surprise! There will be a run of a few years in a row where we have smaller but steady snows that total up near the average at the end of the season.

100 miles North of where I am and 100 miles South of where I am is much easier to forecast. It’s a rare Winter when the jet stream sets up and stays in place long enough to make the weather forecaster’s job easier.

I wrote the above just to back up your discussion of how La Nina and El Nino and the position of the jet stream affect snowfall in various regions. The maps show it well. And if you are in a boundry region like we are, you never can be sure what you’ll get.

P.S. The long-long-long term average for my area can be seen by the terminus of the various glaciations. Our area was always covered by the ice, but the terminus varied by about 40 miles to about 120 miles South of where we live. The last one stopped about 60 miles South of our area.

The only climate change I’m expecting is that we’ll revert to the long-long-long term average. I’m not preparing to plant any palm trees just yet.

Last edited 3 months ago by H.R.
RickWill
Reply to  H.R.
August 27, 2022 9:03 pm

Our area was always covered by the ice, but the terminus varied by about 40 to about 120 miles South of where we live. 

Interesting observation. What latitude and longitude?



H.R.
Reply to  RickWill
August 27, 2022 9:32 pm

Rick, we’re around 85 lon & about 42N or so lat. The region I discuss that is so difficult runs from about 82-ish to 87-ish and 40N +/- a bit.

You can see the dip of the jet stream and snowfall averages on the El Nino and La Nina maps Jim Steele included, and it loops down and starts back up in that region.

What I found interesting was some reconstructions of the terminus of the recent glaciations that some posted right here on WUWT. First time I’d seen something like that, and of course I noticed that where I lived was screwed every time.

What is so interesting is that current weather maps will show a looping pattern that looks like the maps of the various glacial maximums along the Northern part of the US. Not a surprise to many here, but it was to me when I ran across those glacial maps here.

*sigh* There goes my plan to pass down the property through the generations. At some point, the great-great-great-great… great-great-grandchildren are going to have to move.

RickWill
Reply to  H.R.
August 27, 2022 10:56 pm

At some point, the great-great-great-great… great-great-grandchildren are going to have to move.

In human terms, glaciation is a long way off. I doubt there will be any clear trend within 500 years.

There may be ups and downs in glaciers but the long slide into glaciation is a few thousands years away. And it would not take much human activity to prevent glaciation in populated areas.

The Great Lakes have increasing spring and summer sunlight and that will warm them up during summer. They will have less autumn and winter sunlight and that could result in more ice cover.

The Northern Hemisphere will have increasing extremes while the Southern Hemisphere will have reducing extremes. Australia may actually get greener and cooler rather than being the dry continent.

Yooper
Reply to  H.R.
August 28, 2022 5:44 am

I’m at 41.16N and 85.12W so we must be neighbors? And, yeah, last winter the snowblower only ran twice, once driving up from the shed and the other getting put back.

Last edited 3 months ago by Yooper
H.R.
Reply to  Yooper
August 28, 2022 8:08 am

You’re a smidge further North and West, but I think you’re enough in that general area of the bottom of the loop that you get some of that variance in Winter, too. Yeah, we’re neighbors within a hundred or so miles. That’s ‘next door’ in a country the size of the US.

If you run across one of the maps of the glacial maximums, you’ll see that you are definitely in the “always buried” area. I wouldn’t put out the For Sale sign just yet though. It’ll be a while before the next one covers us over, eh?

I never really paid much attention to the Ninos and the jet stream until I ran across the glacial extent maps. Now what I experience in weather makes a lot more sense to me and I can also predict what’s coming a little bit for myself.

Yooper
Reply to  H.R.
August 28, 2022 11:51 am

The last time I checked I think I concluded that my house here is right on the terminal moraine from the last glacier to make it this far south. My place in the UP gets its power from the largest reservoir in the world, Lake Superior, that feeds a 100+ year old quarter mile long hydro plant at the Soo.

August 27, 2022 11:16 pm

Last winter SE Michigan where I live had less snow, by far, than in any winter since I moved to Michigan in 1977. This observation was from the same home since 1987, and from an apartment four miles south from 1980 to 1987. We love having less snow. The end of snow would be even better. We shovel our snow manually to clear the driveway. Who needs snow?

Curious George
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 8:27 am

Obviously you don’t ski.

Reply to  Curious George
August 28, 2022 10:15 am

Tried to ski in high school.
Worked at a local ski resort.
Skied for free.
Friends broke their legs left and right.
I was more reckless than they were,
so I stopped skiing after two seasons.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Greene
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 29, 2022 6:35 am

I figure that if Sonny Bono, an experienced skier by all accounts, could kill himself by going off-course and finding a tree, that I could do the same with a much higher likelihood.

So I never took up skiing.

Mike Lowe
August 28, 2022 3:09 am

I am convinced that these matters can be discarded by using some simple logic. We know that the world has existed for millions of years, and during that time there must have been many opportunities for every possible weather variant to have occurred, probably many many times. So the current period of relative dryness is not likely to be unique, whch many commentators fail to notice. I am convinced that the main problem now is that people are truly unaware of just how long the Earth has existed, compared with their puny lifetime of less than 100 years. That alone is sufficient for me to understand that commentators do not understand what amazing things can happen over millions of years. They might even find that a long-lived ape could type random letters into a laptop and produce a copy of the Bible!

Pflashgordon
Reply to  Mike Lowe
August 28, 2022 8:26 am

You hit on a key point. Each of our earthly existences is a mere stitch in time, yet we tend to view the world from that very infinitesimal timeframe. However, those blessed with longer lifespans from a human perspective have the opportunity to experience at least a significant piece of various natural cycles. My guess is that many or even most WUWT readers are, shall I say, well ‘seasoned’. That broader perspective, both in weather cycles experienced and in wisdom gained through observation, learning and abstraction about the greater world and human proclivity, leads one to be cautious or skeptical about any person’s, government’s or organization’s audacious claims.

It can be difficult to remember the details of just what I knew, thought I knew, and felt when I was a teen or young adult, but my best single descriptor, in retrospect, would be ‘clueless,’ even once I had accumulated a lot of ‘book learning.’ The younger generations are being misled about climate, socialism, gender and many topics, but fewer any longer have a wise elder (parent, grandparent, teacher) in their lives to mentor, correct, or humble them. We in the West are rapidly entering a savage era with the wholesale collapse of family, faith and freedom. In government schools, it is the blind leading the blind amidst a melee of drugs, sex and violence. Misbehaviors that were once shunned or isolated to small groups are now mainstreamed and ‘celebrated.’

Tom Abbott
August 28, 2022 3:11 am

From the article: “Snow will change in most places as the climate continues to warm,”

Assuming the climate does continue to warm.

The climate has cooled over the last few years, so I don’t see any reason to assume the climate will continue to warm. Some people think CO2 is a reason to think the climate will warm, but not me. I think that is assuming too much.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 28, 2022 6:33 am

I agree. I cringed at his phrase “climate continues to warm”. But I did not delete it from his quote because 1) despite believing in warming, he couldn’t make any solid connections with warming and snowfall and 2) cherry-picking certain words borders on dishonesty.

Richard M
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 28, 2022 7:54 am

Agreed. I’ve pointed out my reasons for believing the CO2 will not cause any additional warming.

1) Saturation of surface radiation.
2) Radiation exchange equilibrium of well mixed gases.
3) Boundary layer feedback.

However, there’s another effect of increasing CO2 that could have some effect. More CO2 increases the overall radiation within the atmosphere. Non-radiating O2 molecules are being replaced by radiating CO2 molecules. This should increase the flow of radiative energy from warm areas of the atmosphere (Tropics) to colder areas. The net result could warm the extra tropics and poles somewhat.

This could also affect snowfall.

Ireneusz Palmowski
August 28, 2022 5:28 am

The warmer the oceans in the north, the greater the snowfall in winter. The reason is obvious – the stratospheric polar vortex, lowers over the Arctic Circle to about 6 km on average, and with it the tropopause and jet stream. “Stratospheric intrusions usually follow strong cold fronts and can extend across multiple states. ”
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/
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Ireneusz Palmowski
August 28, 2022 5:39 am

“During the Little Ice Age, the North Pacific and Atlantic were warm.
The impact of the solar minimum is clear in this image, which shows the temperature difference between 1680, a year at the center of the Maunder Minimum, and 1780, a year of normal solar activity, as calculated by a general circulation model. Deep blue across eastern and central North America and northern Eurasia illustrates where the drop in temperature was the greatest. Nearly all other land areas were also cooler in 1680, as indicated by the varying shades of blue. The few regions that appear to have been warmer in 1680 are Alaska and the eastern Pacific Ocean (left), the North Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland (left of center), and north of Iceland (top center).”
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/7122/chilly-temperatures-during-the-maunder-minimum
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August 28, 2022 5:56 am

The end of snow may be the worst Climate Howler prediction yet.
Everyone can see the snow, every winter — and it’s still there.
That’s different than the CAGW prediction.
You have to wait decades for CAGW to show up, which it never does.

But EVERY prediction of environmental doom has been wrong since the 1960s — the end of snow is just one of many wrong predictions. It doesn’t seem to matter. Plenty of people still believe CAGW is on the way, someday, over the rainbow, and we must save the planet for the children. That is a climate religion based on faith, not science and reason. Their minds can’t be changed by facts data and logic. … There are no data for CAGW, just predictions that have been wrong for over 50 years!

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 28, 2022 6:54 am

You say, “the end of snow is just one of many wrong predictions” and I agree. Thus you are also claiming the converse must be true that “there will be NO “end of snow” in our lifetimes, just as I too concluded.My problem with you Richard, is you talk from both sides of your mouth and get nasty with people who simply state what you imply!

You wrote, “Loydo is absolutely correct that climate predictions are rarely correct…. we climate realists should not make predictions.” Arrogantly believing you are the only realist, you take a nihilist approach to everyone’s arguments, support the trolls (do you also believe in ‘catch and release bail reform’ for criminals?), and attacking others for simply pointing out where the evidence leads, evidence well laid out here in this video.

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2022 10:11 am

“in our lifetimes”,
For young people, lifetimes could be 80 more years
We don’t need 80-year climate predictions.

And you are the nastiest author to ever reply to comments disagreeing with your articles that I have ever read in the past 15 years, since I began reading comments. You get the coveted Bronx Cheer Award. You might want to get anger management therapy.

We don’t need any more climate predictions
We have had enough wrong climate predictions for 50+ years Don’t add to them. Stick to the facts Jack.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Greene
Mark BLR
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 29, 2022 3:48 am

And you are the nastiest author to ever reply to comments disagreeing with your articles that I have ever read in the past 15 years, since I began reading comments.

While a long way from the “nastiest” comment I have ever seen I consider the following to fall into the “not nice” category of responses to people simply discussing alternative opinions.

Ed Berry is a climate science fraud

He is on the leading edge of junk science.

Ed concludes that the majority of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 is in fact natural, not human-made. In fact. the CO2 increase is 100% manmade from CO2 emissions

Ed Berry is, and will remain, a fool.

Anyone who is a member of his cult is also a fool.

Mr MacRae appear[s] to follow Ed Berry.

Therefore Mr. MacRae is a fool.

URL : https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/08/26/global-times-western-countries-retreating-from-climate-change-promises/#comment-3586976

Paul-Graham_Debate-Pyramid.png
Last edited 3 months ago by Mark BLR
Reply to  Mark BLR
August 29, 2022 6:23 am

Mark, Thanks for the link to one of Greene’s many nasty comments. As I have said Richard Greene talks out of both sides of his mouth and is not as morally superior as he pretends to be when attacking others who disagree with him.

Bruce Cobb
August 28, 2022 8:22 am

There’s no business like snow business like no business I know.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 28, 2022 10:04 am

You must be a fellow graduate of the Lame Jokes Academy?
Where I was voted most likely to bomb in a comedy club.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 28, 2022 3:10 pm

There’s no business like snow business like no business I know
Everything about it involves freezing, everywhere the traffic is real slow
Nowhere could you get that numbing feeling while you’re are waiting for that snow plow

Last edited 3 months ago by Gunga Din
George T
August 28, 2022 9:11 am

Appreciate the article. Confirms what I read pertaining to the various circulation patterns that impact our weather and snowfall patterns. I would like to see more investigative science, so the topic climate change can be better understood and proper public policy can be administered.

Reply to  George T
August 28, 2022 9:33 am

Thanks George. WUWT is so valuable because it has been promoting investigative climate science from many authors for many years. As an ecologist I’ve been trying tp promote an understanding of natural climate change which is needed to serve as the “control” before any CO2 attribution can be claimed.

To that end I recently published and presented here “The Big 5 Natural Causes of Global Warming with links to transcripts if you prefer to read)
 
part 1: Varying Atlantic Water Transport
 



 
part 2: Jet Streams and Extreme Weather 



 
part 3: How La Nina Warms the World 

 

part 4: Landscape Changes 

 

part 5: How Clouds Moderate Global Warming 

 

Most recent Media claims CO2 “traps heat”! A big lie or a big stupid ???  The Big 5 Natural Causes of Global Warming: (from published evidence in peer-reviewed science with links to transcripts if you prefer to read)
 
part 1: Varying Atlantic Water Transport
 



 
part 2: Jet Streams and Extreme Weather 



 
part 3: How La Nina Warms the World 

 part 4: Landscape Changes 

 part 5: How Clouds Moderate Global Warming 

 most recently Media claims CO2 “traps heat”! A big lie or a big stupid ??? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36dAG3YkqSE&t=885s  All videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7XNHEz2QCJ_Phf2mvDFk0Q/videos 

Last edited 3 months ago by Jim Steele
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2022 10:03 am

It must be mentioned that the IPCC dismissed all natural causes of climate change as “noise” in 1995. From that year, there was nothing left to blame climate change on that was natural. That simplifies the science, if you like junk science. 4.5 billion years of 100% natural climate change — they all stopped in 1975? That’s quite a tall tale. Presented by the political organization called the IPCC. An organization launched in 1988 to predict dangerous global warming and blame humans. And believe it or not, that’s exactly what they do.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 29, 2022 8:11 am

Yes, the Intergovernmental Propaganda on Climate Control, as I prefer to more realistically call it, was set up with its conclusions already baked in and its mission to sell its bullshit to the masses.

Many a real scientist has, after attempting to contribute something rational, left the IPCC in disgust after bearing witness to what it is really about.

Ulric Lyons
August 29, 2022 6:47 am

Your NAO index chart doesn’t look like this one, it must DJF only.

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