Shock News : It Snows When It Is Cold

Paducah, KY has had two of its four largest snowfalls on record in the past few weeks. It has also been record cold.

ScreenHunter_1191 Mar. 06 17.05

h/t Andy DC

Experts say that record snow is caused by warmth, because they are paid idiots.

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17 Responses to Shock News : It Snows When It Is Cold

  1. omanuel says:

    And you, Steven, are too kind to ‘scientists’ who joined the world’s oldest profession.

  2. omanuel says:

    Correction for excess bold in last part of my last post:

    2. Textbooks replaced Nobel Laureate Francis W. Aston’s rigorously valid “nuclear packing fraction with von Weizsacker’s convincing but deceptive “nuclear binding energy after the Second World War?

    Click to access WHY.pdf

    PS – The hyperlink to “CHAOS and FEAR” is:

    Click to access CHAOS_and_FEAR.pdf

  3. Andrew M. says:

    Hi SG/Tony,

    From the “encyclopedia anyone can edit”:

    Large water bodies such as lakes efficiently store heat that results in significant temperature differences (larger than 13 °C [23 °F]) between the water surface and the air above.[7] Because of this temperature difference, warmth and moisture are transported upward, condensing into vertically oriented clouds (see satellite picture) that produce snow showers. The temperature decrease with height and cloud depth are directly affected by both the water temperature and the large-scale environment. The stronger the temperature decrease with height, the deeper the clouds get, and the greater the precipitation rate becomes.

    The ocean is also a large water body. If the ocean temperature increases, that should lead to greater snowfalls according to the above logic (ie water has to evaporate before it can fall, and as much falls as evaporates).

    At the same time, that there darn global warmin’ thang is supposed to increase the mid-tropospheric temperatures, which would… decrease the lapse rate, right?

    These are two opposing forces, so to say which one prevails requires quantifying both of them.

    Also, the snow can be made by a moving wedge of cooler surface air rapidly uplifting moist air, so even if both “cooler” and “moister” air masses are getting warmer in absolute terms over the years, the snow would be created if the temperature ratio stays the same.

    Surely it’s a bit simplistic to say warming (from any cause) does not increase snowfalls?
    Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, how can any of this be quantified?

    • Are you thinking that Kentucky is near an ocean?

      • rah says:

        A warm humid flow from the Gulf colliding with a cold front is exactly what brought on the recent record snow in KY. But THAT is NORMAL! It is nothing new. It’s the same thing that has happened time and again and, when it gets warmer, is more often than not, the same pattern that brings us Hoosiers and Kentuckians the super cells that bring our April showers and spawns our our most violent weather here.

        When I was a kid I remember the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak. I was nearly 10 y/o and I saw my first tornadoes while visiting relative in Kokomo Indiana that day. Three of them passed by just to the south of where I was. It was the same pattern that brought on the snows in KY, just warmer but with a greater contrast in temps. A cold low colliding with warm and moist air.

        • David A says:

          Yes, but the cold is the primary here. The gradient between high latitude and low is reducing if anything.

      • Andrew M. says:

        Of course not. You used the specific example of Kentucky to reach what I interpreted as a general conclusion about the world: that “record snow is caused by warmth” is idiotic.
        (If I were being equally churlish I might ask if you are suggesting there are no lakes in Kentucky, or that there is no moisture in the soil.)

        Humidity won’t be significantly removed from the air until it precipitates, so the evaporation can travel potentially a long distance. The point in KY furthest from the ocean is at its junction with Indiana and Illinois, where it is 800km from the gulf of mexico, or further to the Atlantic. The south east corner of Libya, part of the eastern Sahara Desert, is 1300km from the nearest ocean in the Red Sea, yet even this region receives a long term average of 5mm/year rainfall. [ http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/155822/ ] Distance is an impediment to rainfall but not a total barrier to rainfall. It occasionally rains in the Sahara desert and most of that is further from the nearest ocean than anywhere in Kentucky.

        Even if you meant “this one record snowfall event in Kentucky cannot be caused by global warming”, you didn’t say that, and since then reader “rah” has pointed out how the proximity of Kentucky to ocean didn’t matter for that specific event anyhow. As long as moist air from the ocean has travelled close enough to the drop zone it can then be uplifted and precipitated by a cold front.

        If you don’t know the answer to my original question, that’s okay, just say “I don’t know”. Part of the reason we are in this quagmire is that far too many people have attempted to prop up a visage of omniscience rather than admit they didn’t understand the climate.

        The question basically was: How can we quantify the two opposing effects of lapse rate reduction and increased evaporation to determine whether world warming will lead to a net increase or decrease in snowfall quantity?

        One could add a 3rd variable, the pole-equator temperature difference, and the answer for snowfall change just gets more complicated.

        • David A says:

          By this metric clouds cool, so warmth causes cooling. (It does, and negative feedback is real)

      • rah says:

        If the gradient is decreasing then Florida must be getting cooler based on the temps we have been experiencing up here!

  4. rah says:

    But far be it for the climate alarmist to admit any weather is “normal” and not caused by man. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/joseph-rossell/2015/03/06/msnbc-post-other-media-still-link-snowfall-global-warming

  5. Gail Combs says:

    Everyone seems to be missing the point. The jet stream changed from zonal to meridonal.

    What is a ‘Nor’Easter’?
    ….The Polar Vortex, Alberta Clipper, and El Nino are now fairly well-known even among non-meteorologists. Depending on one’s location, knowledge of these specific terms changes. Folks in the Plains know about Panhandle Hooks, while Midwesterners are all too familiar with Clipper systems. Along the Atlantic coast, residents often fear the nor’easter.

    In simple terms, a nor’easter is a large cyclone (low pressure system) that moves up the east coast. They typically occur between fall and spring, but can develop at any time of year. Part of what makes nor’easters so dangerous (and well known) is the fact that they strike along the densely populated northeast corridor from Washington D.C. to Boston. But what really separates a nor’easter from any garden variety low pressure system? Quite a few things, in fact….

    Like any storm complex, a nor’easter requires moisture and a contrast of warm and cold air. As it turns out, the typical pattern of a nor’easter is uniquely geared to maximize these variables. Usually originating in the southeast U.S., these lows already have two abundant sources of moisture: the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. These moisture sources are both relatively warm. An ideal nor’easter setup will also have colder/drier air to the north, typically over the Great Lakes. Sometimes, these storms will not fully intensify until they reach the New England states, where colder/drier air masses are more likely to be found. This is largely due to the winter location of the polar jet stream, often located along the U.S./Canadian border.

    Hold your nose and look at the data and not the conclusion of this paper. We already know that the following is a false statement: “… as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations…” In the summer for the last two years the temperature has been below normal. Warming is due to Gavins bright red crayon. (SEE DMI)
    Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming

    Abstract
    New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients, weaker zonal upper-level winds, and a more meridional flow direction. These results suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase.

    This paper builds on the proposed linkage between Arctic amplification (AA)—defined here as the
    enhanced sensitivity of Arctic temperature change relative to mid-latitude regions—and changes in the large-scale, upper-level flow in mid-latitudes ….

    Starting in the 1990s, coincident with an accelerated decline in Arctic sea-ice extent [3], AA values and trends became positive in all four seasons for the first time since the beginning of the modern data record in the late 1940s….

    …we also investigate the effects of choosing different commencement years on detecting changes in the frequency of high-amplitude jet-stream configurations….

    Increasing AA weakens the poleward temperature gradient—a fundamental driver of zonal winds in upper levels of the atmosphere—which causes zonal winds to decrease, following the thermal wind relationship [18]. A weaker poleward temperature gradient is also a signature of the negative phase of the so-called Arctic oscillation/Northern annular mode(AO/NAM), in which weaker zonal winds are associated with a tendency for a more meridional flow, blocking, and a variety of extreme weather events in much of the extratropicsDisproportionate
    Arctic warming and sea-ice loss favor a negative AO/NAM aloft [1, 2, 20, 21] and a Northward migration of ridges in the upper-level flow [1], further contributing to an increased meridional pattern. As the wave amplitude and/or frequency ofamplified flow regimes increases, the incidence of blocking becomes more likely [2], which reduces the Eastward propagation speed of the pattern.Consequently, the associated weather systems persist longer in a particular area. Extreme weather events caused by prolonged weather conditions (such as cold spells, stormy periods, heat waves, and droughts), therefore, should also become more likely, as illustrated by recent studies linking these events to high-amplitude planetary waves

    Whatever the cause, an increase in |MCI| indicates a wind vector aligned more North–South and reflects a changed flow direction. The speed of the meridional (v) wind may not change, as it is associated with East–West temperature gradients, but if the total wind vector becomes more meridional, then the flow is by definition ‘wavier’. For example, a Northwesterly wind could shift to a North–Northwesterly wind solely through a reduction of the Westerly wind component. For this analysis, MCI is calculated from daily 500 hPa wind components between 20°N and 80°N at each gridpoint in NCEP Reanalysis fields….

    Discussion and conclusions

    Here we provide evidence demonstrating that in areas and seasons in which poleward gradients have weakened in response to AA, the upper-level flow has become more meridional, or wavier. Moreover, the frequency of days with high-amplitude jet-stream configurations has increased during recent years. These high-amplitude patterns are known to produce persistent weather patterns that can lead to extreme weather events [22, 23]. Notable examples of these types of events include cold, snowy winters in Eastern North America during winters of 2009/10, 2010/11, and 2013/14; record-breaking snowfalls in Japan and SE Alaska during winter 2011/12; and Middle-East floods in winter 2012/2013, to name only a few.…..

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