« | »

Record Snow, Cold Reminiscent Of 1970s

From the stoically unfazed warmers at LiveScience:

White areas show where snow covers the ground completely as of Jan. 5, 2010.

Record–Breaking Snow and Cold Reminiscent of the Late ’70s

By Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director

06 January 2010

If this winter’s record-breaking snowfalls and bitter cold remind you of your childhood, perhaps you grew up when disco was alive and well.

"People who were around in late ’70s remember several winters similar to this," said Deke Arndt, who was a child of the 70s and now makes his living by monitoring climate data for the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

For those who don’t recall those years, this winter may seem unprecedented. It’s not.

"This is unusual, significant, and certainly a real pain, but it’s not unprecedented," said Arndt, speaking of the snow and cold across the nation so far this winter.

One significant modern record did fall, in December: The average extent of snowfall cover for North America — the footprint of snow — was the largest ever seen, Arndt told LiveScience. However, that measurement dates back just 40 years, to the advent of satellite observations.

Otherwise, while many daily records have been set for specific locations, not much is totally off the charts this year, and what may seem extreme is actually part of Mother Nature’s normal long-term climate variations. Meteorologists also are quick to point out that reliable U.S. weather data goes back only to the late 1800s, so it’s normal for records of various types to be broken every year, somewhere, when dealing with such a relatively brief data set.

Yes, however, it’s cold, and that cold is very persistent.

In Tampa, Fla., this week, daily highs have been below the normal daily low temperatures. Thursday will likely be the fifth day in a row with the low temperature dipping below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). But the record consecutive string of such cold days was eight, set in 1980, according to the National Weather Service.

While Tampa set a daily record low of 27 degrees F this morning, the all-time record low is 18 degrees, set on Dec. 13, 1962. That record is not expected to be broken this week. In during incredible cold snap, Tallahassee, Fla. sank to minus 2 F on Feb. 13, 1899.

Florida’s chill is of course nothing compared to Chicago, where the thermometer has not gotten above freezing since Christmas Day.

And yes, it’s been snowy.

Buffalo, NY has seen snow 11 of the past 12 days, according to Weather.com, and Cleveland has had 10 straight days with at least some snow. Yet while this winter has brought big storms, in New York City nothing has matched the 25.5 inches of snow that fell on Dec. 26, 1947, nor has Boston seen anything like the 23.6-inch event of Feb. 17, 2003.

Isn’t it odd that when we have record cold temperatures the reports are also quick to point out that our weather records only go back to the late 1800s?

We are also reassured that these extremes are well within “Mother Nature’s normal long-term climate variations.”

And yet when we have record high temperatures, it is portrayed as a sure sign that man is destroying the planet with his global warming emissions.

By the way, as we recall the scientists back in the 1970s were singing a very different tune.

From the now notorious April 28, 1975 issue of Newsweek:

(Click to enlarge)

Isn’t it funny how quickly ‘settled science’ changes?

Indeed, Mr. Deke Arndt seems to be spreading his profound insights everywhere.

From the easily convinced Associated Press:

Experts: Cold snap doesn’t disprove global warming

By Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer Wed Jan 6

Beijing had its coldest morning in almost 40 years and its biggest snowfall since 1951. Britain is suffering through its longest cold snap since 1981. And freezing weather is gripping the Deep South, including Florida’s orange groves and beaches.

Whatever happened to global warming?

Such weather doesn’t seem to fit with warnings from scientists that the Earth is warming because of greenhouse gases. But experts say the cold snap doesn’t disprove global warming at all — it’s just a blip in the long-term heating trend.

"It’s part of natural variability," said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. With global warming, he said, "we’ll still have record cold temperatures. We’ll just have fewer of them."

Deke Arndt of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., noted that 2009 will rank among the 10 warmest years for Earth since 1880.

Scientists say man-made climate change does have the potential to cause more frequent and more severe weather extremes, such as heat waves, storms, floods, droughts and even cold spells. But experts interviewed by The Associated Press did not connect the current frigid blast to climate change.

So what is going on?

"We basically have seen just a big outbreak of Arctic air" over populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere, Arndt said. "The Arctic air has really turned itself loose on us."

In the atmosphere, large rivers of air travel roughly west to east around the globe between the Arctic and the tropics. This air flow acts like a fence to keep Arctic air confined.

But recently, this air flow has become bent into a pronounced zigzag pattern, meandering north and south. If you live in a place where it brings air up from the south, you get warm weather. In fact, record highs were reported this week in Washington state and Alaska.

But in the eastern United States, like some other unlucky parts of the globe, Arctic air is swooping down from the north. And that’s how you get a temperature of 3 degrees in Beijing, a reading of minus-42 in mainland Norway, and 18 inches of snow in parts of Britain, where a member of Parliament who said the snow "clearly indicates a cooling trend" was jeered by colleagues.

The zigzag pattern arises naturally from time to time, but it is not clear why it’s so strong right now, said Michelle L’Heureux, a meteorologist at the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The center says the pattern should begin to weaken in a week or two…

So the ‘jet stream’ affects temperatures?

Who knew?

Next they will point out the influence of sun spots on the weather.

(Just kidding.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Record Snow, Cold Reminiscent Of 1970s”

  1. artboyusa says:

    Pretty darn cold and snowy here in the UK too. More snow than I’ve seen in 20 years of living here and more on the way but the climate change fanatics have been all over the place reminding us that just because everything is drenched in snow its no reason to doubt the accuracy of their carefully made up global warming stats, no indeed.

  2. BillK says:

    Just as a reminder if anyone’s interested, a good friend of mine found his grade school assignments in which they were to write up “Ways to warm the Earth” because a new Ice Age was coming.

  3. Wasn’t the work cited for the Newsweek article done by the same guy who started the warming nonsense?

  4. canary says:

    They won’t admit this might be natures way of refurbishing the warm earth, even though I don’t believe the earth has become warmer.

  5. BillK says:

    Amazing how cold snaps are “blips” but some warmer temperatures are proof that warming is occurring.


    I also like how record cold temps are no big deal because “they’ll still happen, just fewer of them.”

  6. proreason says:

    Even though everything that you drop falls to the ground, that doesn’t prove gravity.

    When you aren’t looking, things fall up.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Because of the recession (which was Bush’s fault) people are unable to afford fossil fuels, which in turn, resulted in less CO2 in the atmosphere ( a known pollutant and major contributor to anthropogoracle warming) thus, Los Angeles was forced to shut down for three days a week,(also Bush’s fault) and the movie industry will be pushed out of business (fat chance).

      There, I just explained it as logically and as directly as any climate scientologyst. It’s settled.

  7. canary says:

    Scientists say parts of world are “UNLUCKY” getting the downward cold, and “JEERING” over the cooling?

    I guess they’d rather the cold from the near extinct hot Arctic go straight up to who knows where. These scientists need a new job that serves a purpose.

  8. canary says:

    Live Science: Four-legged Creature’s Footprints Force Evolution Rethink
    Jeanna Bryner Managing Editor Jan 6 2009

    Four-legged creatures were mucking around a muddy basin in what is now Poland about 397 million years ago….

    And some of them were pretty big, reaching up to about 10 feet (3 meters) in length, the researchers said.

    Until now, the earliest complete evidence for a four-limbed animal with digits came from Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, which date back to between 374 million and 359 million years ago.


    How come scientists don’t study beasts of 3000 years ago, because I just do not believe they have tools to assign numbers of 397, 374, & 359,000,000. How much money does it take for them to debate if it’s 374 or 373 million?
    I believe Scientists create a rouge far worse than we can imagine. Might as well have scientists replace Pelosi.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »