December 2009: Second Snowiest on Record in the Northern Hemisphere

Watts Up With That?
Monday , January 11th, 2010

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England Buried In Snow – image from The Times

According to the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, last month had the second greatest December Northern Hemisphere snow cover since records were started in 1966.  Snow extent was measured at 45.86 million sq. km, topped only by 1985 at 45.99 million sq. km.  North America set a record December extent at 15.98 million sq. km, and the US also set a December record at 4.16 million sq. km.

Source: December Snow Cover from Rutgers University

Source: December Snow Anomalies from Rutgers University

This is not an isolated event for 2009, as can be seen in the graph below.  Seventeen of the last twenty-one Decembers have had above normal snow cover.

Source: December Snow Cover Anomalies from Rutgers University

Nor is it an isolated trend for the month of December.  January, 2008 was the second snowiest January on record, and six out of the last eight Januaries have had above normal snow.

Source: January Snow Cover Anomalies from Rutgers University

October, 2009 was the snowiest October on record in the US, and sixth snowiest in the Northern Hemisphere.  Twelve of the last fifteen Octobers have had above normal snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, similar to the pattern of the 1970s.

Source: October Snow Cover Anomalies from Rutgers University

A favorite mantra of the global warming community is that reduced snow cover will reduce the albedo of the earth and provide positive feedback to global warming – causing additional warming.  Clearly that is not happening, at least not during the October through January time period.

2010 is also getting off to a fast start.  Most of Europe and North America is covered with snow, as is much of Asia.

Daily Snow Cover from Rutgers University

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