Last October Through March Was The (Fourth) Snowiest On Record In The Northern Hemisphere

Correction – there was an error in my spreadsheet. This past October through March was fourth snowiest after 1973, 2003 and 1978. The corrected graph is below.  Thanks to reader Charlie Williams for pointing it out.

The other graph is unchanged. Winters (Dec-Feb) over the past decade were the snowiest on record.

—————————————————————————–

According to some top experts, the turn of the last century marked the end of snow.

(March, 2000) 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,” he said.

David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.

But according to Rutgers University, this past October-March was the (fourth) snowiest in their database going back to 1957, and the past decade had the snowiest winters (December-February) on record.

We are told by climate geniuses that extensive snow cover used to be caused by cold, but now is caused by heat. I suspect that Dr. James Hansimian would disagree.

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54 Responses to Last October Through March Was The (Fourth) Snowiest On Record In The Northern Hemisphere

  1. baffled24 says:

    Most snow falls at temperatures close to freezing point. As air gets colder it becomes drier and snow, if any will be powdery. There is only an indirect link, a warmer ocean and atmosphere holds more moisture and given the right temperature, more snow.
    Snow is of necessity not indicative of cold weather because air temperatures are likely to be near freezing point. Clear skies and a light snow cover combined with albedo effect will create much lower temperatures, in the absence of wind, or if any from a cold source.
    Climate change is likely to bring colder and more snowy winters in some places, but also more heat waves with record temperatures. Snow on thin ice impedes ice growth because the snow acts as a thermal blanket. Over the much longer term the winter events will become less and less severe, losing the warming battle.

    • Snow in Florida was due to heat?

    • Paul H says:

      Over here in England, we had snow on the ground for 3 months, and I can assure Baffled that it was very cold during that time.

      • baffled24 says:

        Was that a continuous snow cover? The temperature stayed below freezing for 3 months? No way, even in winter snow comes and goes. Global warming is not a gradual evenly spread rise in temperature by .2 degrees C every decade. Stay realistic. Holland needs just two days of snow cover at X-mas to be called a white X-mas. Since 1941 they had 7 white X-masses the last ones in 1986 and 2009. Paris had their last white X-mas in 1970, 3 whole cm.
        There will always be weather variability, which is bound to become more extreme as the earth warms.

      • Average monthly snow cover from October through March

    • Amino says:

      Global warming theorizes that the snow line will move ever northward, year after year, during winter. But that is not happening. The snowline is heading south, that is, the latitude where snow is falling is heading south. The global warming hypothesis says snow will fall in an ever shrinking circle heading toward northern latitudes, toward the North Pole. But the circle is expanding toward southern latitudes, toward the equator. This movement is part of a natural cycle. The snow line oscillates, just like everything else in climate.

      The global warming hypothesis is wrong again.

      • baffled24 says:

        “Global warming theorizes that the snow line will move ever northward, year after year, during winter.”
        —-
        Global warming theorises no such “year after year” thing, short term variability will continue. Do investigate the mountain snow line moving up, it is more indicative of what is happening.
        —-
        “The global warming hypothesis says snow will fall in an ever shrinking circle heading toward northern latitudes, toward the North Pole.”
        —-
        There is no such claim, this process will go in leaps and bounds as dictated by short term variability, linked to El Nino and La Nina cycles.

    • Scott says:

      I think baffled24 missed the point…

      Whether GW causes more or less snow is irrelevant in some ways for this discussion. Nine years ago, a senior research scientist at the CRU said that snowfall should basically disappear soon. To the point that children wouldn’t even know what they are!

      Thus, the point is that the expert(s) was wrong on this pretty important facet of GW. One example of the importance is feedbacks – if snowfall decreases, albedo changes will cause more UV/visible light absorption and increased temps. If snowfall increases, the albedo change will result in a negative feedback.

      A few comments below this baffled24 also says:

      Was that a continuous snow cover? The temperature stayed below freezing for 3 months? No way, even in winter snow comes and goes.

      I don’t know about other locations, but where I live in Colorado (not in the mountains), 3 months of continuous snowcover certainly is not impossible. At the end of 2006/start of 2007, we had continuous snowcover on the ground from around Thanksgiving until March. That’s, *gasp*, 3 months plus several additional weeks. No, the temperature was not below freezing that entire time, but it was never above freezing for long enough to melt the snow, and the negative feedback from the snowcover helped prolong the cold spell.

      -Scott

      • baffled24 says:

        Paul H says:
        September 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        “Over here in England, we had snow on the ground for 3 months, and I can assure Baffled that it was very cold during that time.”
        —-
        If you don’t know about other locations, then the above is one, be it on a less than scientific basis.
        —-
        “Nine years ago, a senior research scientist at the CRU said that snowfall should basically disappear soon.”
        —-
        Can you reference that? Even so, what is the proportional influence of one person’s opinion/speculation/claim in the context of the greater debate.
        As for albedo, when the arctic loses all ice in summer, any snowfall at the start of the following winter will fall into exposed water and disappear. It will take the formation of solid ice to profit from any snowfall. Yet, paradoxically any such snow will inhibit ice growth in thickness, because snow acts as a thermal blanket. Following an ice free arctic summer when the ocean’s albedo cap is not there, allowing the SST to increase, the actual formation of ice will come later and later.
        Talking about snow cover on land is a moot point; you’re discussing weather not climate change. Snow on the ground with reference to albedo, are short term events below certain latitudes. Snow today, rain tomorrow; albedo yes, albedo no.
        Colorado is for all purposes a local event, not global.

  2. bravo22c says:

    Lets see.

    ‘Most snow falls at temperatures close to freezing point.- Wow, Really? Whoda thunkit.

    As air gets colder it becomes drier … Now, why is that, I wonder…

    Snow is of necessity not indicative of cold weather because air temperatures are likely to be near freezing point. Huh?

    A somewhat tortuous chain of reasoning, innit?

    • From my experience, the biggest snows happen between 10-20 degrees F, well below the freezing mark. That is certainly true up at high elevations in the mountains.

    • Amino says:

      The snow line moving south is an indication of a cooling earth. It is not an indication of a warming earth. It would be impossible for it to be otherwise.

      • baffled24 says:

        Snow line moving south? Global or local?

      • Amino says:

        baffled24,

        Snow line moving south? Global or local?

        Don’t you already know? You’re the one talking like the expert on everything.

      • baffled24 says:

        Amino says:
        September 19, 2010 at 5:45 am
        baffled24,
        Snow line moving south? Global or local?
        —-
        “Don’t you already know? You’re the one talking like the expert on everything.”
        —-
        No, I am a non expert talking to non experts, but I do have common sense and have been reading about both weather and climate change for about 25 years. Too many comments here are confusing the two. You can’t have your cake and eat it, there are only two cakes, one called weather and one called climate change. A choice needs to be made, eating one and having the other doesn’t qualify.

    • baffled24 says:

      More like a tortuous chain of reading.
      “‘Most snow falls at temperatures close to freezing point.- Wow, Really? Whoda thunkit.”
      —-
      Do some research, the heaviest snow fals (related to time) occur at temperatures just 1 or 2 C below freezing, not counting windchill factor.
      —-
      “As air gets colder it becomes drier … Now, why is that, I wonder…”
      —-
      Look no further than Antarctica.
      —-
      Snow is of necessity not indicative of cold weather because air temperatures are likely to be near freezing point. Huh?
      —-
      That’s what happens in many west European nations. Extreme cold -5C or more during the day, only happens when the air flow comes from polar regions, over land, i.e. between east and north which is essentially dry. High windchill fartor and snow, if any, powdery and light. A large high pressure system over Scandinavia will do. Go to the west-north quarter and it becomes maritime air with a lot of moisture and potential for snow. This will not and cannot produce situations of -15 to -20F as mentioned by Steve. Most of the time the air will be unstable and bring snow showers rather than continuous snowfall. Again, this is a discussion about weather rather than climate change, with less than scientific reasoning.

  3. Amino says:

    I remember the winters of 76 and 77. There was snow on the ground on Thanksgiving day both years. Those were the only years that happened. Last year was the first year since 76-77 where there was snow on the ground for Thanksgiving, though it was not as much as those years.

    There was also deep snow at Christmas in 76-77. In the last 20 years, or so, there have been mostly Christmases with no snow on the ground.

  4. Sean says:

    I’m from Baltimore where our 80+” of snow in the 2009-2010 winter beat the old winter record by more than 2 feet. I find interesting the argument that this is either an indication that warming is putting more moisture in the atmosphere vs. the cold temperatures are making more the the precipitation frozen. Perhaps there is an element of truth in both arguments. I am one of those who believes there are a lot of long term cycles in the global climate. We may have reach a peak in the last decade for the ocean heat content while the atmosphere has started to cool, perhaps driven by changes in the artic pressue oscillations. So you have a stronger than normal heat engine driven by the differential in the heat coming from the oceans and cold coming from the arctic, hence more snow and more snow cover.

    P.S. to Steve Goddard, with the sort of counter clockwise coastal systems that really smack the mid-Atlantic hard, we seem to get the most snow accumilations around 25F. Higher than that the snow is heavy, compacts and may melt and lower than that, somewhere else closer to the coast seems to get the moisture.

  5. MikeA says:

    Really funny, nice trick with the y-axis. Still got the bug in the FORTRAN?

  6. Pingback: The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 254

  7. glacierman says:

    Baffled 24 said: Can you reference that? Even so, what is the proportional influence of one person’s opinion/speculation/claim in the context of the greater debate.

    Can you point me to the official AGW theory claims list so I can cross check statements made by people from CRU or the Hadley Center who are supposed experts on AGW?

    Here are some references:

    From The Independent on 20 March 2000 we got the headline: “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”.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

  8. I meant 2001 – 2010. Sorry, it was written in a late hour. The calculation was done by Excel where I imported the database from Rutgers.
    1967-1970 45513649.5 km²
    1971-1980 45447410.97 km²
    1981-1990 40442965.4 km²
    1991-2000 44650157.27 km²
    2001-2010 45586094.4 km²

    According to that database
    2001-2010 was 0.16% more average coverage than 1967-1970
    2001-2010 was 0.305% more average coverage than 1971-1980
    2001-2010 was 2.1% more average coverage than 1991-2000
    and overwhelmingly
    2001-2010 was 12.7% more average coverage than 1981-1990

    At least the first two cases would fall under measuring tolerance. And the first three cases are insignificant.
    So there was no record, except four of them.

    But the most important point is that you publish an article with wrong graphs to base your argumentation! (and I’m saying it the last time, because I’m sick of it, that the main point I’m making is just ignored by you)

    And finally, it is not the first time you were caught in tampering data where you claimed ‘software failure’ or ‘a small error’ for it ex post.

    So your article is baseless.
    And when I follow your records in the internet, your whole website is noncredible at the least.

  9. Here the real graph over the decades

  10. And here is the real graph for average snow cover (Oct-Mar)

  11. And here is the graph from Rutgers for average snow coverage in spring:
    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=2

    That shows how the snow coverage in spring increases over the northern hemisphere.

    No more cherry-picking Steven Goddard.

    No more articles based on tampered data.

    AGW is happening. Here and now.

  12. Opinion is opinion. And fact is fact.
    You are tampering the facts to base your opinion.
    That is usually called FRAUD!

  13. You can think whatever you want Steven Goddard.
    You got debunked again.
    That has nothing to do with religion. Religions have been lying about facts to persist power. Don’t know why you are lying about facts?
    Fervour maybe. Fervour for the truth. Fervour for a better future.

  14. Your second graph is also false. Will you correct it too?
    Not very scientific if you produce two false graphs to base your false claim which is subject of your article.
    That’s not “real science”. That’s amateurishness at the best.

  15. Steven Goddard, maybe you scrap the whole article as I previously recommended.
    Makes more sense.

  16. Ditto.
    Was just a well-meaning advice.

  17. I’m not your guinea pig, Steven.

    You are running a one-sided political website, not a scientificial one as the name is pretending.

  18. The first time I came to your website and soon could debunk all two graphs you use to base your article as false. What have other articles on your site , e.g. about Obama, to do with science?
    You’re not a scientist, are you?

  19. You’re trying to pull my leg here.

    1967-1970 45513649.5
    1971-1980 45447410.97
    1981-1990 40442965.4
    1991-2000 44650157.27
    2001-2010 45586094.4

    You are not a scientist, are you?

    • Tom says:

      I verified Stephen’s numbers from the link
      Average Dec-Feb 1981-1990 = 44,801,158

      I think you should apologise as it appears you made a mistake in your calculations.

  20. Maybe you ask Rutgers University to change their data that they fit in your graph.
    Or better, stick to an old trick and don’t give out your source 😉

    Is that you?
    http://www.facebook.com/profile/pic.php?oid=AAAAAwAgACAAAAAK-W6XElvwqioyKGrBlnej35iBGuNUJ9dYv5FQKNo4gI8wA3kH6qoMBmKy_ivx2Kom3J1S9xfMyKEIYnIoX2A1bDFeCQIPQZ-BzT62Kzvwb2p08c7X06cbdqCjo9VEpK5f&size=normal

    Or is Steven Goddard just your nom de plume?

  21. Do you always answer a question with another question?

  22. I do indeed apologise for getting one number wrong in the second graph.
    Here is the right graph => http://fisnua.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Northern-Hemisphere-Winter-Dec-Feb-Snowcover-by-Decade-1.jpg
    which shows the insignificance of the difference in snow coverage over the winter period.
    Very significant therefore is the spring snow coverage over that period dramatically shrinking as Rutgers University explains in their graph here

    That should be taken serious.

    So the whole article is built on thin air.
    And if you follow the used source it shows even exactly the opposite of what the author is trying to tell us.

  23. John Edwards says:

    One thing everyone seems to be forgetting… The warmer the arctic north gets even in tenths of degrees, the more energy it has. The more energy the arctic north has the further south its weather will push, due the higher pressure and energy. What we have always had holding back the arctic north weather is a delicate balance in pressures. As the arctic north gets warmer “ie” more energetic it will push more and more of its weather further south, thereby releasing even more cold from its vault causing ever increasing warming of the north. For some time we will see ever increasing winter snow and ever decreasing winter temps further and further south until it reaches a new equalibrium. We will likely eventually see the jet stream pushed clear down to Mexico and winters, the like we have never seen in the northern states. For the north arctic to warm up it has to get rid of that cold, we view heat as energy, but cold also has the same effect in potential of energy. Where I am more concerned is what effect will a degree or two of surface temp increase have on internal earth temps, a degree or two worldwide is a phenominal amount of energy, much more than all the nuclear bombs that exist. Add that much energy into a seismically active planet and you have very spooky possibilities.

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