Northern Hemisphere having a tough time shaking off winter

By Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Vencore, Inc. –

Snow is running at well above normal levels across the Northern Hemisphere; courtesy Environment Canada

Snow is running at well above normal levels across the Northern Hemisphere; courtesy Environment Canada

Europe had an extended period of colder-than-normal weather in April accompanied by lots of snow and now much of the US is experiencing an extended period of colder-than-normal weather as we transition from early-to-mid May.  Snowfall has been running at above normal levels this winter across the Northern Hemisphere and continues at those higher-than-normal levels as we heads towards the middle of May.  In addition, temperatures in the Arctic region – which have been generally running at above-normal levels in recent weeks – have actually dropped to below-normal in recent days. One of the main factors contributing to this late season cold across much of the Northern Hemisphere is a blocking pattern in the upper part of the atmosphere centered over Greenland and Iceland and this tends to contribute to cold air outbreaks into the land mass areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Temperatures in the Arctic region (>80 degrees N) have fallen to below-normal levels (circled area) in recent days following several weeks at generally above-normal levels; map courtesy Weather Bell Analytics/Dr. Ryan Maue

Temperatures in the Arctic region (>80 degrees N) have fallen to below-normal levels (circled area) in recent days following several weeks at generally above-normal levels; map courtesy Weather Bell Analytics/Dr. Ryan Maue

During the month of April, Europe experienced a persistent colder-than-normal pattern and significant snow piled up in the Alps across the central part of the continent.  The air was so cold, in fact, that many vineyards from England-to-Italy suffered serious losses as the battle with freezing conditions was relentless in many areas.  In the US, a colder-than-normal pattern has kicked in for much of the nation and should continue into the middle of the month and there has been some accumulating snow in the western US and across portions of the Northern Plains and interior Northeast.  In fact, the next ten days or so will see more in the way of accumulating snow in the western US and many ski resorts in that part of the country will have good conditions right into the month of June.  The Sierra Nevada Mountains of eastern California, for example, will get more substantial snowfall over the next ten days or so to add to the massive totals that they received this winter.

500 millibar height anomaly pattern with strong blocking (in red) over Greenland and Iceland and deep upper-level lows over the Northeast and Southwest US; map courtesy AER/Dr. Judah Cohen

500 millibar height anomaly pattern with strong blocking (in red) over Greenland and Iceland and deep upper-level lows over the Northeast and Southwest US; map courtesy AER/Dr. Judah

WaPo: Weather Service made poor decision in overplaying Nor’easter snow predictions

By Jason Samenow

The Weather Service, which has a mission to protect life and property, may have felt it was best serving the public by stressing the worst-case scenario for the big cities. But it’s a risky strategy that can cost credibility.

Trust is so important in weather prediction because, when it is eroded, the public may take forecasts less seriously in life-or-death situations.

The Weather Service doesn’t have to limit itself to communicating the worst-case scenario for the public to pay attention to a high-stakes forecast. The public is smarter than it is given credit for; it can understand uncertainty if it is explained well; and it appreciates knowing about changes to the forecast.

When Atlanta broadcast meteorologist Glenn Burns asked his viewers about the Associated Press report that the Weather Service decided not to revise its forecast even when presented with new information, many were insulted.

“We are not children,” said Jill Nelmark. “Give the most accurate forecast and accurate update.”

“It makes the NWS look less reliable for future events,” said Josh Walls.

“Give me the facts and trust me to make an intelligent decision,” said Kris Chandler.

“I think they should have been honest and said that it might not be as bad. But to still prepare in case it was,” said Suzanne Blanton.

The New York news blog Gothamist reacted to the AP report with this snarky headline: National Weather Service: Sorry, You’re Too Stupid To Trust With The REAL Forecast

The influential media aggregator Matt Drudge tweeted, “What is going on with National Weather Service? Lots of misses piling up.” He added: “Overreaction by govts, bad forecasting … very troubling trend.”



WASHINGTON (AP) — Before the first snow fell, U.S. meteorologists realized there was a good chance the late-winter storm wasn’t going to produce giant snow totals in big Northeast cities as predicted.

But they didn’t change their forecasts because they said they didn’t want to confuse the public.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington held a conference call Monday afternoon about computer models that dramatically cut predicted snow amounts. They decided to keep the super snowy warnings.

“Out of extreme caution we decided to stick with higher amounts,” Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center in suburban Maryland, told The Associated Press. “I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions (by states and cities) taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”

On Monday, the weather service predicted 18 to 24 inches of snow in New York City. By late Tuesday afternoon, Central Park was covered with a little more than 7 inches of snow with rain and sleet still falling. Other areas, including upstate New York and Connecticut, received more than a foot and a half of snow. Swaths of Pennsylvania were walloped by 20 to 30 inches of snow.

Carbin said a last-minute change downgrading snowfall totals might have given people the wrong message that the storm was no longer a threat. It still was, but real danger was from ice and sleet in places like New York City and Washington, he said.

Dramatically changing forecasts in what meteorologists call “the windshield wiper effect” only hurts the public, said Bob Henson, a meteorologist for the private Weather Underground.

Carbin stood by the decision.

“The nature of the beast is that there’s always uncertainty in every forecast and we have to get better at describing that,” Carbin said.

The right amount of precipitation fell, but it came down as rain and sleet because the rain-snow line moved inland, according to Carbin and private forecasters.

The rain-snow line is a 50 mile wide north-south swath where cold Arctic air from the north and west clashes with warm, moist air from the Atlantic. West of the snow line saw heavy snow while east had rain and sleet.

The snow line happens to center on New York City so it was a bigger deal than if the line had been over a rural area, said

FLASHBACK: NY Times Predicted The ‘End Of Snow’ In 2014


Peter Fox, the editor of Powder magazine, suggested “The End Of Snow?” in a February 2014 op-ed. Fox lamented the cancelation of two events at the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia that year, and noted predictions that some cities would be too warm to even hold the winter games.
“[W]ith a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games,” Fox wrote for The NYT.Scientists have measured a general decrease in Northern Hemisphere monthly snow extent since 1966, but that takes into account all 12 months of the year. Though even then, snow extent has increased since the late 1980s.

But Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent has increased in that time. Rutgers University’s Global Snow Lab lays it out here:

Northern Hemisphere snow extent

Source: Rutgers University Global Snow Lab

What’s interesting is Fox wrote his article not long after Winter Storm Jonas left 30 people dead and millions more covered in up to two feet of snow in January. That winter season was one of the coldest on record, according to a meteorologist with AccuWeather.…

Winter Storm Stella Is Already Being Blamed On Global Warming

Climatologist and environmental writer Eric Holthaus couldn’t help himself. He had to link the storm to man-made global warming in a Daily Beast article. Holthaus wrote that “[t]wo studies published last year argue that climate change may be making the ingredients for big East Coast snowstorms more likely.”He’s convinced “the evidence is starting to mount: Including this storm, eight of the 10 biggest snowstorms in New York City have occurred since 1996.”

Holthaus didn’t stop with one article on the subject. He wrote a second post for the blog Grist, arguing: “We’re not just getting freak weather anymore. We’re getting freak seasons.”

Holthaus, again, trumpeted the same two studies “that provided evidence that basic weather patterns over the East Coast are getting more extreme, too, as Arctic sea ice melts and modifies the behavior of the jet stream.”

“At times, the weather pattern can get stuck in a manner that provides extra cold air from the north and extra moisture from off the ocean — which is what is happening more often now,” Holthaus wrote.…

Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer: Brace Yourselves: Snowstorm to Breed ‘Global Warming’ Hysteria

By Dr. Roy Spencer:

By mid-week this week, newspaper and website stories will be reporting that climate experts (e.g. Al Gore, Bill Nye) have now blamed the historic snowstorm and unseasonable cold now descending on New England on climate change.

I suspect a few of these experts already have their tweets composed, just waiting for snow totals to exceed one foot.

Indeed, the latest GFS model forecast shows that by midday Wednesday some rather spectacular snow totals will have probably accumulated, from the DC area through Philadelphia, NYC (maybe 20 inches there), and Boston (graphic courtesy of

The Nor’easter and cold temperatures will be blamed on the same climate change that caused the unusual warmth over the eastern U.S. over the past couple months.

Global warming theory is in fact so malleable that it predicts anything. More cold, less cold. More snow, less snow.

What a powerful theory.

And what’s even more amazing is that climate change can be averted by just increasing your taxes.

But what nobody ever reports on — because it would be boring — are the storms and severe weather events that haven’t happened. For example, U.S. tornado counts have been running below average, or even at record lows, in recent years.

Amazingly, the low tornado activity has been blamed on climate change. So, too, have actual tornado occurrences!

What a grand and gloriously useful theory global warming provides us.

Is it any wonder that the public tends to be skeptical of what the experts tell us, when those experts continually change the narrative as their forecasts turn out wrong?

Winters in the U.S. are notoriously variable. Typically, if it’s warm in the East, it’s cold in the West. This is exactly what has happened this winter, except for this brief reversal before winter’s end.

Normal people call it weather. More enlightened people, in contrast, call it climate change. Next winter it could be the opposite. No one knows.

Like death and taxes, though, what is certain is that anything “unusual” that happens will somehow be blamed on your SUV.…

Colorado: So much snow that it buried an avalanche warning sign

So much snow that it buried an avalanche warning sign

“Whatever, the sign says, it doesn’t help very much,” say Jake Gronseth and Rex Berkey, who uploaded the photo of the buried sign. According to, Colorado’s Loveland Pass has received 115 inches of snow this January, as opposed to the average 58 inches for this time of year. See photo: Thanks to Stephen Bird for this link The post So much snow that it buried an avalanche warning sign appeared first on Ice Age Now.

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