Blog: Wild Winter Weather

February 18, 2010

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Winter of 2010 sure brought some wild weather! Did you experience any unusual weather this winter? If so, we'd love to hear from you.

One reader from the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, area reported 12.5 inches of snow on February 11!  In Washington, D.C., the city buckled under an early February blizzard dubbed Snowmageddon; according to one report, the area received five times more snow than balmy southern Ontario. As of this writing, Washington's National airport has received record snowfalls of 56 inches so far, and the inland Dulles airport has received 73 inches.

My brother and his fiance, who live in D.C., shared the photos below.

The "Before" and "After" Snowmageddon in Washington, D.C. (Feb 6, 2010)

"Before" Snowmageddon

They reported, "The entire city turned into playground of people building igloos, kids sledding with their parents, and young adults daring their buddies to sled into the river. As you can see, it brought out the kid in everyone."

 

In New Hampshire, the weather's actually been relatively warm after a brutal start. Great snow and cross-country skiing weather! Overall, I'm just thankful that we did not experience another ice storm. (See my blog of a first-person account.)

Wondering why the weather was so wild? Look to a couple major climate trends:

  • First, the current El Niño warming the ocean waters finally grew big enough to add moisture to the air above. This fueled blizzards and storms in many areas. Certainly, the Vancouver Olympics were experiencing what it was like for the Pacific to be in the middle of a warm, tropical, El Niño. For them, the entire month of January 2010 may prove to be the warmest January on record.
  • Second, some of the winter snow in the mid-Altantic can also be attributed to what is called a "negative" Arctic Oscillation (AO). In a nutshell, this means that weak polar winds allowed cold air to escape far south.

Unusual weather sometimes creates unusual experiences in our daily lives. Sometimes it can even change history. (See our story about seven historic weather events that may have altered the course of American history!)

If you had any "first time" weather moments or have a good weather story to share, please comment below!

 


Catherine, our New Media Editor, joined The Old Farmer's Almanac in 2008. She edits content on both this Web site, Almanac.com, and the companion site to The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids publication, Almanac4kids.com. She also pens the Almanac Companion enewsletters and keeps up with readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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Comments

Got so cold here in N.Vermont

By Tamcho

Got so cold here in N.Vermont I put a bucket of hot water outside the door to cool and it froze so fast the ice was still warm when I brought it back in. Wink....

For the first time in my life

By maine kairn

For the first time in my life (50 yrs.) (eek!) on the coast of Maine, we didn't have a single snowstorm in February. Usually February is our heaviest snow month, guaranteed to bring blizzards. This year the groundhog was wrong! Not only did we not have 6 more weeks of winter, but spring came in Feb. - I'm envious of the mid-Atlantic states!

Pullman Washington was

By Peter Van Wie

Pullman Washington was unusually warm. throughout January and february no snow. so weird!

it was realy bad were i lived

By nelie9018

it was realy bad were i lived we got a lot of snow

the winter in bangor, maine

By bwjohnsonfl

the winter in bangor, maine was more acturete to say where was winter. the month of feb has been snowless and warm. temp are way above normal. no snow for over 26 days. feels like spring.

While winter 2008-09 had us

By Pattye Snyder

While winter 2008-09 had us snowed in for 2 weeks in Seattle (killing many perennials in our gardens), this winter of 2009-10 has been one of the mildest on record....not a single day of snow! It's just weird (but I'm not complaining)! Last year I pruned my roses the first week of April, this year I'm doing it in February.

I guess this past winter puts

By Ann Hicks

I guess this past winter puts global warming to rest for awhile!

I'm afraid 'global warming'

By maine kairn

I'm afraid 'global warming' is thriving. :( Just look at northeastern New England and eastern Canada this year - very warm, very strange!

We had snow accumulation of

By Lynetta Billiot

We had snow accumulation of about 4" about 2 weeks ago, first time in 10 years. When I was a child and a young person growing up it was not at all uncommon for LA to get 4 to 6" of snow about every 4 to 5 years but it doesn't happen that way anymore. We all enjoyed the snow this time, it only lasted one day, temp was only 33 deg. so by the next morning it was mostly gone. It was a beautiful sight for us though for a while. Of course I am retired so I did not have to worry about getting to work so it was fun for me and my grands.

This will be the 3rd snow of

By Micheal Adams

This will be the 3rd snow of this year in Louisiana. Never in history have we had more than 2 in S. La., I think this is Mother Nature’s way of telling Al Gore and all the other global warming elitist (now climate change, because they don’t know if it will warm or cool but it’s going to do something) alarmist that “SHE” is in charge and man does not control the weather, “SHE” does!

LATE SEASON SNOW LIKELY OVER MOST OF SE TX.CNTL AND S. LOUISIANA.

A MID TO UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM PROGRESSING ACROSS THE TX AND OK PANHANDLES WILL FORM AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO.WHICH WILL LEAD TO LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN SPREADING ACROSS THE AREA TUES AFTERNOON. AS COLDER AIR CONTINUES TO FILTER ACROSS THE REGION AT THE SURFACE & ALOFT.RAIN WILL MIX WITH SNOW & SLEET ACROSS INLAND SE TX AND CNTL LOUISIANA BY LATE TUES AFTERNOON.CHANGING OVER TO ALL SNOW BY EVENING NO. OF US-190. AFTER MIDNIGHT.THE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE OVER TO ALL SNOW NO. OF I-10.WITH SOME ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED ON ELEVATED SURFACES NO. OF US 190. DUE TO THE WARM GROUND TEMPS OF LATE.THE SNOW WILL LIKELY MELT FAIRLY SOON ON GRASSY SURFACES.& MELT UPON IMPACT ON AREA ROADWAYS. THE SNOW WILL BE ENDING FROM WEST TO EAST JUST AFTER SUNRISE WED

Thank you for your

By Kimberly A Smith

Thank you for your explanation of the weather--especially the reference to the El Nino. My fiance makes fun of me when I mention that El Ninos play a role in crazy weather. I will be sending him this link...

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