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As temperatures continue to dip and snow accumulates, support for claims human caused global warming is causing winters to disappear are melting like ice under a heat lamp.
All fifty states are expecting to see snowfall in the next seven days with most of them already having experienced modest to record amounts of snow as this particularly wicked winter just refuses to let up.
Cold temperature records were tied or broken at more than 2000 locations in the past week. According to the weather website, sunshine hours, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded 2,634 record low-high temperatures were broken or tied between February 19, 2015 and February 25, 2015. In other words, 2,634 locations experienced daily highs lower than ever recorded on that date since record keeping began. Over the same time period, 272 locations registered record low temperatures at least one day during the week. All these records are falling without the influence of the polar vortex that set thousands of record lows throughout the nation, even into the summer, of 2014.
On Friday the 27th every area east of the Rocky Mountains, excepting Florida, experienced below average temperatures. According to the Weather Channel, cities breaking daily low or daily low high temperatures in New England and the Northeastern U.S. included: Burlington, Vermont (minus 19 degrees), Bridgeport, Connecticut (0 degrees — the latest in a 0 degree temperature was ever recorded), Concord, New Hampshire (minus 20 degrees), Pittsburgh (minus 9 degrees) and Rochester, New York (minus 9 degrees).
Both Bangor, Maine and Syracuse, New York saw more below zero temperatures in February 2015, than they had experienced in any previous February. In Syracuse, the temperature dipped below zero for a record 20 times topping the previous calendar-year record of 19 below zero days in 1948, while Bangor, Maine saw 17 subzero days.
With an average temperature of 24 degrees for the month, 11 degrees below the normal February average, New York City set a record for the coldest February ever. The cold brought winter related health problems in tow. The New York Times reported, “Dr. John Marshall, the head of emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, said his hospital was averaging 336 patients a day this winter, 20 more than last winter. On Jan. 19, he saw something unlike anything he had seen before. In a single hour, 30 people showed up after having slipped on ice, most of them with wrist and arm fractures, with some ankles thrown in.”
Nor were the Midwest and the Great Lakes states spared the record chill with low records being set or tied in among other locations, Cincinnati, Ohio (minus 7 degrees), Columbus, Ohio (minus 11 degrees), Chicago (minus 10 degrees, Dubuque, Iowa (minus 17 degrees), Detroit (minus 2 degrees), Erie, Pennsylvania (minus 7 degrees), Flint, Michigan (minus 17 degrees), Grand Rapids, Michigan (minus 10 degrees) and Indianapolis, Indiana (minus 5 degrees) all broke low temperature records.
Some cities, including Cleveland and Toledo in Ohio set broke low temperature records on multiple days.
For South Bend, Indiana, Feb. 12 to Feb. 27, was the coldest recorded for this period in history with an average temperature of 11.4 degrees.
The Weather Channel reports, “subzero readings stretched across 22 states from the interior Northeast to the Plains, Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Temperatures dropped below minus 20 degrees in 7 states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and New York). Wind chills bottoming out at more than 40 below zero in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota Sunday morning. Bottineau, North Dakota saw the lowest actual air temperature in the Lower 48, dipping to minus 32 degrees.
Farther South, Joplin, Missouri (8 degrees), Paducah, Kentucky (11 degrees) set record low temperatures between the 19th and the 25th. On Friday the 27th, Oklahoma (23 degrees) and Dallas, Texas (30 degrees) each set records for the lowest maximum temperature recorded on the date.
As is often the case, in winter, cold temperatures were accompanied with snowfall, in many areas, record snowfall. Boston’s snow woes have been well-documented this winter, but Boston is not the only city, nor the Northeast the only region slammed in February. Accumulating snow and ice brought the roof down on a skating rink in Canton, Massachusetts narrowly avoiding crushing a children’s hockey team and assembled parents and employees.
Also in New England, snowfall measured at Warwick New Hampshire’s Green Airport topped 31.8-inches breaking the old record of 30.9 in set in 1962.
Indianapolis set a new snowfall record for March 1st with 5.9 inches of snowfall, the most ever on March 1st.
According to the National Weather Service, much of Alabama experienced record or near record snowfalls last week. Prior to February 25, Huntsville, AL had received just 6 tenths of an inch of a snowfall all winter, but on the 25th, Huntsville got hammered with 8.1 inches of snow it the second-snowiest day in the city’s history, surpassed only by the 15.7 inches of snow that fell on December 31, 1963.
Record snows fell across much of Alabama with three locations in Marshall County reported 11 or more inches of snow. Other areas receiving high snowfall included Athens (8.5 inches), Eva (9 inches), Moulton (9 inches), Phil Campbell (10 inches) and Rainsville (8.5 inches).
Farther west in Texans and New Mexican’s have also experienced record late-season snowfalls with attendant weather related disasters. Area’s north and west of Ft. Worth experienced record amounts of snow, with some regions getting more than seven inches of snow. Mixed with the snow was freezing rain and ice. As a result of the unusual late February weather, more than 1,000 flights were cancelled out of D/FW International Airport. North Texas experienced more than 1,000 reported accidents, with 617 traffic related calls between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on Friday in Ft. Worth alone. Interstates 35, 30 and 75 as well and numerous side-streets were closed at times Thursday through Saturday and there were two weather related traffic deaths.
Across New Mexico, residents woke up to more snowfall than some areas had in nearly a decade. The Albuquerque metro area received 1-2 inches per hour for several hours, resulting in a total 8.6 inches, the 9th heaviest snowfall since 1931. The last time more than 8 inches fell in a two day period was in 2006.
H. Sterling Burnett
Environment & Climate News