Saturday, January 23, 2016

Epic Snowstorm - Blizzard in Mid-Atlantic 2016

Subtitle: Just Another Storm - Or Indicator of Cooling?

Update 1 - (Winter storm frequency on East Coast, with graph from NWS - end update 1)

A few years ago, I wrote an article based on a speech I made to Southern California chemical engineers (see link), on the topic of global warming versus global cooling.  In that speech, I described what serious winter storms can do, and how difficult it is in the US to cope with them.  (note, that article is one of the top two most-read articles on SLB).   

Today, we see a massive blizzard with heavy snowfall that impacts almost 88 million Americans (the figure varies, depending on which report one reads).  Snowfall totals from the National Weather Service are shown below - and note, this is from about half-way through the snow event.  (these are in inches, so metric-based or SI based readers can convert as appropriate.)   (see link to a recent article from CNN)

The most snow, thus far, is 28 inches in West Virginia.  


TERRA ALTA 1 N                       28.0                    
PHILIPPI                             24.0                    
MIDDLEWAY 1 NNE                      22.0                    
ROWLESBURG                           22.0                    
OMPS                                 21.5                    
ROCK CAVE 3 ENE                      20.1                    
MCGEE 3 WNW                          20.0                    
ROMNEY                               20.0                    
THOMAS                               17.0                    
WESTON                               16.5                    
PETERSBURG                           16.0                    
PRINCETON                            15.0                    
ALBRIGHT                             14.0                    
BLUEWELL                             14.0                    
GLENVILLE                            14.0                    
ROWLESBURG 9 ESE                     14.0                    
COLFAX                               13.5                    
CHEAT LAKE 4 ESE                     13.0                    
DEER RUN 2 WSW                       13.0                    
MASONTOWN                            13.0                    
RENICK                               13.0 
OAKLAND                              24.0                    
RIDGELEY 1 NW                        23.0                    
GAITHERSBURG 1 ENE                   21.5                    
WESTERNPORT                          21.5                    
MONTGOMERY VILLAGE 1 SE              20.5                    
GERMANTOWN                           20.0                    
MCHENRY 2 NNE                        20.0                    
NEW MARKET                           18.0                    
NORBECK 1 ESE                        17.6                    
FREDERICK                            17.5                    
OLNEY                                16.0                    
COLLEGE PARK 1 SW                    14.0                    
BWI AIRPORT                          12.4                    
BALTIMORE 2 SSE                       9.9                    
POTOMAC 1 ENE                         9.5                    
CHAMPION 4 SE                        23.0                    
MARKLESBURG                          23.0                    
DOVER                                22.0                    
BEDFORD                              20.5                    
DUNCANNON                            20.0                    
FARMINGTON                           19.5                    
FLATWOODS                            19.0                    
CHAMPION                             18.0                    
FISHERTOWN                           18.0                    
ROXBURY                              18.0                    
YORK                                 18.0                    
BLUEMONT                             20.0                    
CENTREVILLE 1 SE                     20.0                    
CHANTILLY  2 NNE                     19.0                    
MASSANUTTEN 1 SE                     19.0                    
PHILOMONT 2 W                        18.8                    
BROKEN HILL 2 WSW                    18.0                    
INDEPENDENCE                         18.0                    
OAKTON                               17.5                    
STEPHENS CITY 2 E                    17.3                    
LEESBURG 1 ESE                       17.0                    
VIENNA                               17.0                    
DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT         15.2                    
ALEXANDRIA 1 E                       14.8                    
REAGAN NATIONAL 1 WSW                14.0                    
ROANOKE                              11.5                    
LAWSON                               19.4                    
ARGYLE                               19.0                    
LIBERTY                              19.0                    
BEATTYVILLE 3 W                      18.2                    
ULYSSES                              18.0                    
GRADYVILLE 2 NW                      17.0                    
SALYERSVILLE 6W                      16.5                    
JACKSON 4 NE                         16.2                    
NEW MARKET 3 SSE                     16.0                    
LANCER                               15.5                    
BOWLING GREEN                        11.0 

OLD FORT 5 S                         16.0                    
FAIRVIEW                             12.0                    
LINVILLE                             12.0                    
SUGAR GROVE                          12.0                    
CELO                                 11.0                    
CRUMPLER                             11.0                    
CRUSO 5 ENE                          11.0                    
MARSHALL                             10.0                    
SCALY                                10.0                    
BLOWING ROCK 4 W                      9.0                    
WAYNESVILLE 3 NNW                     9.0                    
BOONE                                 8.3                    
ASHEVILLE 2 W                         8.0                    
ETOWAH 1.9 NW                         8.0                    
VALLE CRUCIS 1 SSE                    8.0  

HARVEST 5 SSE                         3.5                    
CROSSVILLE 1 NNE                      2.5                    
HUNTSVILLE 1 NNE                      2.0                    
MADISON                               1.4                    

THE WHITE HOUSE                      13.0                    
WASHINGTON 1 ENE                      7.0                    
CHEVY CHASE VILLAGE 1 S               4.8                    
NATIONAL ZOO 1 WSW                    4.1                    
THE MALL                              3.5                    

NEWARK 3.9 SSW                       12.0                    
PORT PENN                            11.1                    
NEW CASTLE COUNTY AIRPORT             9.7                    
FELTON 3.6 NE                         9.5                    
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE                  9.0                    
NEW CASTLE                            8.3                    
WOODSIDE                              7.5                    
LAUREL                                7.4                    
GLASGOW                               7.1                    
HARRINGTON 2.1 ENE                    7.0                    

DILLARD 3.5 NE                        7.5                    
MACEDONIA                             6.0                    
CLAYTON 8.5 W                         4.9                    
RABUN GAP 1.1 WNW                     3.0                    
CLEVELAND                             2.0                    
HELEN 3.7 ENE                         2.0                    
WALESKA 5 ENE                         1.0                    

HOWELL TWP                           14.0                    
WILDWOOD CREST                       12.0                    
BRICK TWP                            11.0                    
MOUNT HOLLY WFO                      11.0                    
NEPTUNE TWP                          10.0                    
TRENTON                              10.0                    
MORRISTOWN                            9.5                    
DENNISVILLE                           9.2                    
LINDENWOLD                            9.2                    
ATLANTIC CITY INTL AIRP               9.0                    

...NEW YORK...
OSCEOLA 1 E                          15.0                    
IRONDEQUOIT 1 ESE                     9.5                    
HOLLIS HILLS                          9.0                    
NORTH GREECE                          9.0                    
IRONDEQUOIT                           8.5                    
FORESTVILLE 2 SW                      7.5                    
NYC/LA GUARDIA                        7.2                    
NYC/JFK AIRPORT                       7.1                    
ISLIP                                 7.0                    
CENTRAL PARK                          6.0                    

IRONTON                               9.5                    
WOODSFIELD 1 NE                       9.0                    
CLARINGTON                            7.5                    
ATHENS                                7.0                    
STOCKPORT                             7.0                    
CALDWELL 1 SSE                        6.5                    
SCIOTOVILLE                           6.0                    
WINTERSVILLE 1 NE                     2.5                    
CADIZ 2 WSW                           2.0                    
NEW PHILADELPHIA 2 W                  1.5                                     

CHESNEE                               7.0                    
LANDRUM                               6.0                    
TRAVELERS REST 8.9 N                  5.5                    
CHESNEE 3.9 SW                        3.5                    
GREER 5 NW                            3.0                    
TAYLORS 6.1 NNW                       2.8                    
LYMAN 5.3 WNW                         2.5                    

LAFAYETTE W                          13.5                    
CROSS PLAINS                         11.0                    
JAMESTOWN                            11.0                    
WHITE HOUSE 7 ESE                    10.0                    
GREENBRIER 1.4 N                      9.5                    
SAMBURG                               9.0                    
DICKSON 6 NW                          8.5                    
DRESDEN                               8.5                    
MOUNTAIN CITY                         8.0                    
NASHVILLE 4 SW                        7.1                    
CLARKSVILLE 3 NNW                     7.0                    
LIVINGSTON 10 SE                      6.5                    
GOODLETTSVILLE                        6.0                    

It should be noted that several states have shut down all but essential services, power is out in many areas, many deaths have occurred, and residents are urged to stay home, "hunker down," and be prepare for several days of being self-sufficient.   Snow of two feet in the level areas will make drifts via wind into several feet high.   So, what does a guy in Southern California know about snow?  Only what I observed from living in lake-effect snow in Ohio for a few years during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  We routinely had snow of 24 inches or more.   Drifts were six to ten feet.   

There is a great disagreement between what the US, and many perhaps most countries, state officially about global warming, and my views expressed here on SLB about the coming global cooling.   (see link to "Warmists Are Wrong - Cooling Is Coming," from  May, 2012)

Here is an excerpt from the Warmists Are Wrong speech:

"Clothing:  we will need a lot more warm clothing.  This means synthetic fibers. 

Shelter:  almost all of what has been built in the last 70 years or so was during the warm climate. Much of it is not insulated to handle the type of cold that is coming.  I foresee a booming insulation business.  The flat roofs on buildings, not necessarily in California but in the rest of the world and in the northern part of the United States, may not be adequate.  We may need to have some different type of roofs installed.  The roofs must shed snow.

Medical supplies and health services: I believe we will be overwhelmed. Look at the relative death rates from hunger and cold, comparing heat to cold periods.  More people get sick and more people die in the cold winters.

Transportation and industrial output:  this will be huge.  We do not move barges over frozen rivers.  We know this.  When a river is frozen for many months out of the year, how can you get your materials moved?  What about trains or heavy ground transportation; will they work? Probably not. The train is going to cross the Rockies’ grades in the snow and ice?   Likely not.

Industrial output: how does one move materials around?  How do we get raw materials into the factories and the products out?  If we have seen big trucks trying to go up even a small incline during an ice storm, well, they don't.  We can not get trucks to go up or down the Grapevine incline here just north of Los Angeles when snow falls.  Multiply this 1000 times across the northern tier of the United States.

Communications and infrastructure: we know what happens when ice storms or big snowstorms occur.   The system fails.  Why does it fail?  It is due to ice on the lines or tree limbs falling on the lines.  Can you imagine this on the scale something like the Little Ice Age?  We’re going to need serious reconsideration of infrastructure.

Water supply: what does one do for water when everything around you is frozen? Well, you melt the ice.  But, what do you do for heat?  What if you need that heat just to keep the house warm?

Here's another one, population migration: it is entirely possible that some of the northern cities, talking about New York, Chicago, those type of places, where people give up and become what we call permanent snowbirds. They are moving south.  The implications there are huge. It is okay if one hundred thousand people migrate every winter, but what if we have multiple millions on a permanent basis?  We are not equipped to handle this.

Waste disposal: what will we be doing in the wintertime month after month after month when trucks cannot collect the garbage?  Where do we take it?   I don't really know. As engineers, I hope we can help solve these problems.  It probably will require many disciplines and cooperation between disciplines. " 

It appears that almost all of the issues mentioned in that speech are true during this blizzard, perhaps the populations migrating are not happening, yet.  

And one of the photos from that article, showing a cheerful man shoveling snow at a house.

These blizzards and severe snow storms are events to carefully note, and record their frequency, intensity, and location.   It should be noted that NOAA, knowing that this is an El NiƱo year, predicted a wetter and colder winter for the southern tier of the US, but a warmer and drier winter for the East Coast and northern states.   

This blizzard is impacting the northeast, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, as well as the other states shown above.   It remains to be seen how far, and how extensive, the snow and severe weather will be from this January 2016 blizzard.    It is about halfway done, as of this writing (noon central time 1/23/2016).

When blizzards such as this occur more often, and are longer-lasting, perhaps the False-Alarmists will finally admit that cooling is occurring.  

UPDATE 1 - 1-23-2016:  A list of major winter storms - East Coast - turned up quite an 
interesting result.   This is from NWS, for the Albany, NY location.  
Frequency by Year, and Month (January =13, February =14, March =15, etc)
The graph above of winter storm frequency shows more storms occurring after 1960, and 
the spread of the storms is greater.  Some severe storms are occurring as early as October 
(10 on the vertical axis), and as late as April (16 on the vertical axis).    A cooling world 
would  have more frequent winter storms, and they would occur during more months and 
not merely during December, January and February.   However, it seems a bit odd that zero winter storms happened from 1915 through 1950.   This will bear more investigation.  -- end update 1.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California
copyright (c) 2016 by Roger Sowell - all rights reserved.   

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