By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Update: The snowstorm in the northeast less than a week after the big blizzard, made it the snowiest 10 day period ever in Boston beating out January 1996. 47.9” fell in the Boston area the last 10 days beating out the 36.6” ending in early January 1996. Over 52 inches fell in the Worcester area in just the last 2 storms where another 17.5 fell after the record 34.5 inch snowstorm fell last week. During the storms, temperatures have been as cold as the single digits and in Maine below zero with heavy snows. If this global warming gets any worse, we will all freeze to death.
The 16.2 inches recorded at Chicago’s O’Hare just during the hours of February 1st (out of 19.3 inches total) were the most ever for any February day in Chicago. The 10.5 inches recorded on February 1st at Rockford (out of 11.9 inches total) ranked #2 all time for the date and #3 all time for any February day in Rockford. For the event as a whole, the 19.3 inches at O’Hare ranks as #5 out of all snow events in Chicago, while the 11.9 inches at Rockford ranks as #10 overall for that city.
Monday was Ground Hog Day and Punxatwney Phil saw his shadow and he forecasts 6 more weeks of winter.
February 2 08:42 AM
The theme had been snows were diminishing due to global warming.
Flashback 2000: ‘Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past’: According to Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.’
The IPCC and US government reports through 2007 had projected snows would become much less common as the climate warms especially in the cities.
Environmentalist from Princeton Michael Oppenheimer and RFK Jr, in the year before the Snomageddon winter both bemoaned their children would never get to enjoy sledding like they did as young in the 1960s.
Sleds and snows were the only way to get around at times in 2009/10.
The New York Times had an article in February, 2014 titled ‘The end of snow.’ The article documented how snow soon was going to be a distant memory and our kids would never see it except in news reels.
EPA’s chief Gina McCarthy said in Colorado snows are decreasing and soon Colorado would be like Amarillo (ironically which 12-14 inches of snow that day).
5 of the top 10 snowstorms have occurred since 2003 in NYC. And the decade has been the snowiest in the eastern US cities since the 1950s (just 5 years in).
And now the same scientists tell us that snowstorms are increasing and they have long known it:
“We’ve long known that warmer-than-normal winters favor snow storms. Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Snowstorms in the Contiguous United States found we are seeing more northern snow storms and that we get more snow storms in warmer years: The temporal distribution of snowstorms exhibited wide fluctuations during 1901-2000....Upward trends occurred in the upper Midwest, East, and Northeast, and the national trend for 1901-2000 was upward, corresponding to trends in strong cyclonic activity.... Assessment of the January-February temperature conditions again showed that most of the United States had 71%-80% of their snowstorms in warmer-than-normal years.’
A future with wetter and warmer winters, which is one outcome expected, will bring more snowstorms than in 1901-2000. Agee (1991) found that long-term warming trends in the United States were associated with increasing cyclonic activity in North America, further indicating that a warmer future climate will generate more winter storms.
As Joe Bastardi noted, the last two storms with better than 20 to 1 ratios in areas near Boston occur in colder weather not warm years.
Lets look at North American snowcover versus temperatures. And see also that for the Northern Hemisphere winters, 4 of the top 5 winters for snowcover extent have occurred since 2007/08.
Boston seasonal snow versus winter temperature anomalies:
In other words, colder than normal winters have a 70% chance of above normal snows, warmer than normal winters a 71% chance of below normal snows in Boston.
And by the way, the winters have cooled for 20 years in the U.S.
JB and I have agreed that the warm water off the east coast ls warmer after a few quiet tropical seasons and with the AMO in transition does helps provide enhanced moisture for the snows but again the ratios in the very cold snow events pumps up totals too. In warm winters like 1997/98, 2001/02 or 2011/12, rains are more likely.
Today’s snowstorm have more following.