Washington overwhelmed by snow, New York barely touched

(Note: a reader says I was too dismissive toward the snow storm and I plead mea culpa.)

LA to Mark Jaws:

Down there in Beltway land, is it as bad as the media are saying it is, or is it just … snow, you know, the stuff that’s SUPPOSED to fall in the winter time?

Every mention I see of it makes it sound like some horrific thing. And they speak of the “East Coast” being overwhelmed. Well, NYC is part of the East Coast. The first storm didn’t hit NYC at all. This second one dropped a few inches. Just a normal snowfall.

Mark Jaws replies

It is as bad as they say, Don Lorenzo. My back yard looks like Narnia. In the past two weeks the Jawsario Hacienda has received (remember, I have a degree in meteorology) snows of 8”, 2”, 20,” and 8”. That is nearly 40 inches of snow in two weeks!!

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Paul K. writes:

Sen. Jim DeMint said that it’s going to keep snowing until Al Gore cries “uncle.”

(Okay, he didn’t say it, he twittered it.) [LA replies: Do we really have to live in a world in which grown men, not to mention U.S. senators, “twitter”?]

I’m waiting for the great silent shift when the people who think it makes them look smart to believe in AGW will decide to pretend that they never believed in it in the first place.

James P. writes:

It’s unusually bad for this area. Especially painful was the one-two punch of storm one on Friday then storm two on Tuesday. The Feds have been shut down for three days—which is unusual—and Dulles has been more or less out of commission since Saturday—which is also unusual. For myself, I am incredibly sick of digging!

Normal winter snowfall for this area is 17-20 inches, dumped in three or four storms. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Public information statement national weather service Baltimore md/Washington dc 100 am est thu feb 11 2010

… preliminary all-time seasonal snowfall records set at the three major climate sites in the Baltimore-Washington area …

With the 10.8 inch two-day snowfall total measured at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport … the seasonal snowfall total in Washington DC stands at 55.9 inches. This would break the previous all-time seasonal snowfall record for Washington DC of 54.4 inches set in the winter of 1898-99. Official snowfall records for Washington DC date back 126 years to 1884.

With the 19.5 inch two-day snowfall total measured at Baltimore/washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport … the seasonal snowfall total in Baltimore stands at 79.9 inches. This would break the previous all-time seasonal snowfall record for Baltimore of 62.5 inches set in the winter of 1995-96. Official snowfall records for Baltimore date back 118 years to 1893.

Finally … as of tuesday … this years seasonal snowfall total at Dulles International Airport stood at 63.5 inches. This would break the previous seasonal snowfall record of 61.9 inches set in 1995-96. The two-day snowfall total at Dulles is 9.3 inches … which would make this years seasonal snowfall total 75.0 inches. Official snowfall records for Dulles date back 48 years to 1962.

As with any major climate record achievement … these preliminary records will be quality controlled by NOAA`s national climatic data center over the next few months.

LA replies:

Ok, I got the picture. It’s real, it’s not media hysteria.

But, if it won’t be offensive of me to use this terrible weather and the inconvenience and suffering it has caused to so many people to make a political point:

Is not this epic snowfall in the nation’s capital the equivalent of the election of Scott Brown, throwing in the faces of the ruling Democrats the untenability of their beliefs, in this instance their belief in manmade global warming, which necessitates our passing laws and signing treaties that will cripple our economy? Will not this punishing weather have the same practical impact on Cap and Trade that Brown’s election had on Obamacare?

February 11, 10:50 a.m.

Ben W. writes:

Have you noticed that the global warming theory also “explains” this snowy phenomenon. We’re getting this preponderance of snow because of global warming. Now in those areas where there is a dearth of snow (i.e. Vancouver where the Winter Olympics are about to begin), that also is “explained” by the global warming hypothesis.

In effect the global warming theory explains everything, i.e. it has an explanation for every possible combination and permutation of climate behavior under the sun. Presence of snow or rain, we can explain this. Lack of snow or rain, we can also explain that. Somewhat like Darwinism, it explains anything. A snow job …

Ben W. continues:

The fact that global warming “explains” a pronounced winter in parts, New York Times:

“Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.”

Michael Hart, who lives in Maryland in the D.C. area, writes:

This is the third large snowfall of the winter season. Records have been set in both Washington and Baltimore for the most snow in a winter season. (I could say “all-time records,” but they only go back to the last half of the nineteenth century.) It is a big nuisance, but it is just winter, not a catastrophe.

P.S. My town got 34” of snow last weekend, most in the whole DC area. Still, it is just a nuisance, not a catastrophe.

A. Zarkov writes:

Mr. Auster asks,

Is not this epic snowfall in the nation’s capital the equivalent of the election of Scott Brown, throwing in the faces of the ruling Democrats the untenability of their beliefs, in this instance their belief in manmade global warming, which necessitates our passing laws and signing treaties that will cripple our economy? Will not this punishing weather have the same practical impact on Cap and Trade that Brown’s election had on Obamacare?

Not at all. To most of the warmists, the recent extreme winter weather in Washington D.C. furnishes yet more evidence of anthropogenic climate change. Writing in Time Magazine, Bryan Wash bloviates,

“There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter—in December and during the first weekend of February—are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.”

Walsh reveals his ignorance of basic statistics because the heavy snowfalls in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are all part of a common winter storm pattern, and are not independent events. There’s nothing “incredibly unlikely” about all three cities experiencing record snowfalls in the same winter. He also tells us that,

“While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, the intensity of those storms has increased. That’s in part because of global warming—hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow.”

Even if true, how does this support the idea that human activities are responsible?

The warmists will never give up. Only a really long period, like 50 years, of extremely calm weather would convince them. One climate scientist (I forget the name) says that we might have stable temperature for the next 30 years, and then more warming. Thus as a practical matter global warming can’t ever be proved wrong. Weather is anything but stable, and something anomalous in some sense will always occur somewhere. Not only that, their time horizon is so long few people today will even be around in the far future they worry about. They will keep up the pressure indefinitely until we take their money away.

LA replies:

The point is not that the snow would make Warmists give up their belief in Warming, any more than Brown’s victory meant that liberals stopped believing in nationalized health care. The point is that the snow makes public opinion turn against warming.

Evan H. writes:

Regarding DC’s record snowfall, I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere about a Republican being elected to Ted Kennedy’s seat, and hell freezing over, but I’m not quite witty enough to put it together in a pithy way.

LA replies:

But you just did.

Ben W. writes:

You wrote:

Do we really have to live in a world in which grown men, not to mention U.S. senators, “twitter”?


Please become a twit. Sarah Palin is a twit. My minister is a twit. Jim DeMint is a twit. Elizabeth Taylor is a twit. The President is a twit. They all tweeter on Twitter. If you twit, we will follow. I follow my minister’s tweets daily (even when he takes his daughter for her ballet lesson).

In the past, you did take a step into new technology when you took over Jim Kalb’s blog. Why not the move into Twitter?

If they build it, he will come. If you tweet, we will follow …

Ben W. continues:

Would it not have been great, if during their time, great men like William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton would have been on Twitter, tweeting hourly?

Galileo, Newton, Shakespeare, Milton, Marx, Freud, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Dylan, Joyce, Hemingway, all the popes, all the kings and queens, the great chefs, Churchill, Eisenhower, and so on, all tweeting hourly, daily, weekly. The world would have been full of twits since time immemorial….

A. Zarkov replies to LA:
The public had already turned against warming. The recent severe snowstorms hitting three eastern cities are icing on the cake. In my opinion the continuing IPCC scandals are far more devastating. John Lott writing for Breitbart’s Big Government blog provides a good summary. Every time a warmist claims something like a cold snap, a hurricane, or some other geophysical event provides more evidence for global warming, the more damage he does to the cause. The warmists have now become their own worst enemies. This goes double for the scientists. The public likes dispassionate scientists, not activist scientists like James Hansen. The more Hansen acts like a clown, the worse he makes it for himself and his cause. Hansen testified before Congress that energy company executives should be jailed for crimes against humanity. He’s not afraid to engage in direct action civil disobedience. How can we trust such a person to be objective? Just sit back and watch them self-destruct.

Jeremy G. writes:

The leftists have crafted a very convenient argument for global warming.

If the temperature goes up, that proves global warming. If the temperatures go down … that proves global warming too. It must be good to be a leftist, no matter what reality brings you, you win.

February 14

OI writes:

Yes, when I saw your first comment last week about media hysteria and “it’s just, you know, winter,” I dashed off a rather angry reply. That I didn’t send. It’s one of the more annoying things I’ve ever seen you write, expressing such a dismissive view of something you really didn’t know about—particularly when you’re sitting in the middle of one of the most industrialized and technological heat islands on the planet.

I spent most of the week playing online games (just gave up on doing any digging until Thursday, the roads were impassable until then anyway, and everything was closed). Caught bits and pieces of in-game conversations by other players involving phrases like “yeah, al gore, major fail.” The idea of the warmists being blowhard adults who are wrong about this the way adults are wrong about everything does seem to be getting established among the younger set.

LA replies:

My excuse, or at least reason, is that I don’t watch TV most days and had mainly picked up on headlines stating alarming things in generalities. So I didn’t know abut the actual amount of snow fall in points south, while, at the same time, I kept hearing about a horrendous “historical” storm paralyzing the entire East Coast of the United States. Since live on the the East Coast, and since there was no such storm, and since, also, I’ve been affected by the innumerable previous “boy cries wolf” experiences of media screaming about a horrendous storm that never came, my incorrect impression was that this was a repetition of the same.

LA writes:

Also, Laura Wood writes to me that at her house outside Philadelphia there were over 44 inches of snow in six days. It’s a very odd thing. New York City is two hours north of Philadelphia, and had one standard snowfall of a few inches during that same period of time. It’s as though there was a wall stopping the snow from getting to New York.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 11, 2010 02:00 AM | Send

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