A new record!
Forget red and blue—color America white. There was snow on the ground in 49 states Friday. Hawaii was the holdout.
It was the United States of Snow, thanks to an unusual combination of weather patterns that dusted the U.S., including the skyscrapers of Dallas, the peach trees of Atlanta and the Florida Panhandle, where hurricanes are more common than snowflakes.
More than two-thirds of the nation’s land mass had snow on the ground when the day dawned, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.
……Snow paralyzed and fascinated the Deep South on Friday. Snowball fights broke out at Southern Mississippi University, snow delayed flights at the busy Atlanta airport, and Louisiana hardware stores ran out of snow supplies. Andalusia, Ala., shut down its streets because of snow. And yet, Portland, Maine, where snow is usually a given, had to cancel its winter festival for lack of the stuff.
Weather geeks turned their eyes to Hawaii. In that tropical paradise, where a ski club strangely exists, observers were looking closely at the islands’ mountain peaks to see if they could find a trace of white to make it a rare 50-for-50 states with snow.
The idea of 50 states with snow is so strange that the federal office that collects weather statistics doesn’t keep track of that number and can’t say whether it has ever happened. The office can’t even say whether 49 out of 50 has ever taken place before.
Snow experts at the Global Snow Lab were combing their records but said it may be days before they find out if there has ever been a 50-for-50 snow day. Their best suspect—Jan. 19, 1977—had snow in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, but then Robinson looked for snow in South Carolina and couldn’t find any.
Oh my, this will really fluster the “man-made climate change” weenies:
The strange snowfall pattern is produced by the El Nino weather phenomenon and its Arctic counterpart, Robinson and Petersen said.
During moderate to strong El Ninos like the current one, more moisture is pumped into the subtropical jet stream across the South, increasing precipitation, Robinson said. Then there’s the Arctic Oscillation, the Northern cousin to El Nino, which shifts cold polar air south. That cold air can turn a rainstorm into a snowstorm.
A snowy winter doesn’t disprove—or prove—global warming, Petersen and Robinson said. This is weather, which is variable, not long-term climate, and there is a huge difference.
Between Climategate, Mother Nature, and common sense, 2010 is the year “global warming” officially died.