Blizzard in Japan (and China and Russia and Canada and…)

November 29th, 2012 at 11:40 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    Check out the video of a blizzard on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan.  Up to 26″ of snow was reported, along with severe drifting.  Wind gusts on the higher mountains were as fast as 94 mph.  Fifty-six thousand customers lost electric power.   Trees, power lines and a ten-meter tower were toppled by the fierce winds.  Roads and train tracks were blocked by fallen trees.  Seventy-three schools were closed.  Thundersnow was reported with the storm and there were several minor injuries.  More video here.

And…Moscow has had its heaviest November snowfall in 50 years.   Look at this, China’s biggest snowstorm in 52 years…and temperatures as cold as -14!  See the 8 pictures at the link.  Thousands of trees were toppled and many livestock perished.  90% of Canada now has a snow coverRegina, Saskatchewan has had their snowiest month ever…in November!  They’ve already had more snow than they had all last winter!  Closer to home, a foot of snow on the ground at Twin Lakes in the U.P.  and they’ve had a little snow at Mt. Baker in Washington State.    The Antarctic icecap remains much bigger than average (and still bigger than one year ago).  Note that the ocean surface water temperatures are colder than average pretty much all around Antarctica (and in the SE U.S. and around Alaska).   The Arctic icecap had it’s biggest monthly areal growth ever in October after reaching a historic minimum in September.  The icecap is now significantly bigger than it was on this date five years ago.    The European model long-range output predicts a return to near normal temperatures and snowfall during the week before Christmas.   One last note:  They pulled the south Lake Michigan buoy out yesterday.  If you know someone responsible for that…thank them for leaving it in this late into the season.  It’s nice to have the water temperatures and wave heights in October and November.

104 Responses to “Blizzard in Japan (and China and Russia and Canada and…)”

  1. Jeff (S.E. Ionia County) says:

    Someone is going to have a white Christmas. ;)

  2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    That just adds more salt to the wound, Bill! Us snow lovers want to see snow here, not Japan! :P

    1. Ryan (Algoma) says:

      They can keep it..

  3. Brenda says:

    It took me a few seconds to realize that it was the front passenger, not the driver, doing the video recording. Kinda forgot everyone else’s vehicles are opposite of ours as well as traffic flow : )

  4. kevin. w says:

    Most of the time what happens in Japan usually (90%) occurs in the central/eastern parts of the U.S. in about 10-14 day time period.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Really? So if they get a Typhoon in Japan we will get a Hurricane in two weeks? That should mean that two weeks ago it was nice and warm in north Japan! Any way either way it may turn colder here in two weeks, but then that is still subject to change.
      SlimJim

      1. Cort S. says:

        No, not hurricanes. He’s talking about weather systems moving through the mid-latitudes with the jet stream, and probably the effect they would have on the wave pattern of the jet stream too. Tropical cyclones are spawned outside of the mid-latitude jet stream’s influence. I do think that the 90% claim is rather dubious and difficult to measure (send us a link to a study please, kev?). But as a general rule, strong weather systems near Japan (including a poleward-moving typhoon being introduced into the jet stream pattern) can have downstream effects on the jet stream which eventually affect the United States in some way.

  5. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Is this not how last winter started – big winter storms on the other side of the Big Blue Marble?

  6. Yup (Grandville) says:

    So THAT’S where all the snow is!

  7. Yup (Grandville) says:

    I thought this was interesting, I heard it on NPR the other day. Since 1992 about 5 trillion tons of sea ice have melted, this in all actuality has risen sea levels by about an inch. Much less than had been previously thought. The rate is increasing, but with Antarctic sea ice increasing steadily, it has helped keep the levels more stable. There are a lot of other interesting factors in the piece below. Either way, if sea ice continues to melt at a large rate, storms with flooding like Sandy will be more common.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_22090311

    1. Mike M. says:

      Melting sea ice does not raise sea levels. Only melting ice on land can do that. Think of a glass of water with ice cubes in it.

      1. Yup (Grandville) says:

        My bad Mike, that’s what I was trying to talk about :) . Need more coooffffeeeee.

        1. Mike M. says:

          I’m on my fourth cup!! I wouldn’t put too much stock in this story. It’s timed to support the thieves, er, negotiators at the UN climate talks in Doha. Antarctica holds 90% of the world’s ice and most of the continent is gaining mass. Only the peninsula is losing any. Your great-grand children will be flying around in Jetsons cars before they notice any substantial sea level rise, if any.

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          The Antarctic is not gaining ice, Dill Weed. Satellite gravity measurements of Antarctica find that the continent as a whole is losing mass. Not only that but losing mass at an acclerating rate. It’s gained some mass on the interior because of warmer more humid air due to global warming, but is losing it much faster at its shorelines, especially its western ice sheets.

          It’s true that the Antarctic is gaining some sea ice and Accuweather explains why that is here:

          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.
          2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
          The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”
          http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          Satellite gravity measurements of Antarctica find that the continent as a whole is losing mass. Not only that but losing mass at an acclerating rate. It’s gained some mass on the interior because of warmer more humid air due to global warming, but is losing it much faster at its shorelines, especially its western ice sheets.

          It’s true that the Antarctic is gaining some sea ice and Accuweather explains why that is here:

          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.
          2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
          The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”
          http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

          Confront the fact, rather than repeating what you said previously.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          After bashing Accu-weather and Bastardi…now you’re linking to Accu-weather? LOL Your cut-and-paste is just recycled nonsense from Skeptical Science, a far-fringe alarmist website.

          The Antarctic icecap is much bigger than average and reached a historic maximum extent in September: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

          For nearly 30 years, the Antarctic icecap has been growing and growing and growing: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

          It’s a real stretch to look at the 30-year growth in the Antarctic icecap and at the same time tell me the Antarctic ice volume is shrinking. It’s too cold on the continent to melt much ice in the short summer. The sea ice has been expanding. The sea-surface water temperatures around Antarctica are colder than average.

          Carbon dioxide emissions are FALLING: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          So Bastardi’s in cahoots with Skeptical Science now? Please, man. Your conspiracy theories are getting out of control. Accuweather, NOAA, NASA, and the rest of the intelligent world agrees that the Antarctic is losing ice mass at a record rate just like the Arctic. The only ones who disagree get paid to do so (you).

        6. Jim says:

          bigdaddy- if this is true:
          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.”

          Wouldn’t this mechanism hold true in the Arctic as well? Why does this seem not to be happening there?

          Why, when you say Antarctica is losing ICE MASS at an accelerating rate, but with some increase in the interior and loss at the shoreline would you give the Accuweather explanation for increasing SEA ICE? Isn’t SEA ICE different than the ICE SHEET MASS on the continent? Please explain.

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          Jim, The ice at the shoreline I’m speaking of is mostly on the western half and IS land ice. The sea ice melts back to shore every summer. That’s why Bill’s claim that Antarctica is growing is so ludicrous. As far as why sea ice is growing faster in the south while we’re losing it in the north, goes. We’re talking about two different seasons. In the south we totally lose it EVERY summer. We don’t see an increase due to global warming because it has alway melted away. In the winter, however, the more powerful vortex from a colder stratosphere is aiding sea ice growth. In the north, the vortex is much weaker. Even if there’s more fresh water at the surface from the increase in humidity, and some growth from that during winter, the brutal summers are melting it away at a record pace.

        8. Jim says:

          bigdad- So increasing sea ice is an area where you are in agreement with Bill, though the Accuweather explanation seems rather tangled. Basically they are saying it is warm enough to cause not only a loss of ice mass to the Antarctic Ice Sheet, but an accelerated loss even after adding in interior mass gains. Yet not warm enough to melt sea ice to show a net loss. One reason for the increasing sea ice is due to increased precip due to warming, the other increase area of open water created by winds caused by stratospheric cooling. This open water leads to more ice creation. I have read elsewhere that open water soaks up more of the sun’s energy causing less ice to form. This seems to be jumbled.

          Also, you mention this:
          “The sea ice melts back to shore every summer. That’s why Bill’s claim that Antarctica is growing is so ludicrous.”

          -the NSIDC states that the average Antarctic sea ice minimum is 3,000,000 sq kilometers. That is not melting back to shore. That is a substantial measure. That is 1/3 the are of the US. Who is making the ludicrous statements here?

          and: “We’re talking about two different seasons. In the south we totally lose it EVERY summer.”

          - do you mean reasons? Totally lose? NO, that is not true.

          and:”…however, the more powerful vortex from a colder stratosphere is aiding sea ice growth. In the north, the vortex is much weaker.”

          -So, the reason the vortex supposedly makes more ice is that it increased open waters ripe for ice making. Doesn’t the Arctic have the same open areas of water after summer?

        9. big Daddy BC says:

          Jim, Yes, Bill and I agree that Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and that Arctic sea ice is shrinking.

          Here’s what NASA says about why:

          “…the depleted ozone layer over Antarctica is a possible culprit. Ozone absorbs solar energy, so a lower concentration of this molecule can lead to a cooling of the stratosphere (the layer between six and 30 miles above the Earth’s surface) over Antarctica. At the same time, the temperate latitudes have been warming, and the differential in temperatures has strengthened the circumpolar winds flowing over the Ross Ice Shelf.

          “Winds off the Ross Ice Shelf are getting stronger and stronger, and that causes the sea ice to be pushed off the coast, which generates areas of open water, polynyas,” said Josefino Comiso, a senior scientist at NASA Goddard. “The larger the coastal polynya, the more ice it produces, because in polynyas the water is in direct contact with the very cold winter atmosphere and rapidly freezes.” As the wind keeps blowing, the ice expands further to the north.”

          In your post, Jim, you mentioned open water absorbing more light. That’s true, but we’re talking about winter and almost complete darkness, so that’s out. You also mention that we don’t totally lose ice in the summer. For all intents and purposes, we do. Keep in mind, science is measuring energy loss and gain. There’s no net gain or loss if the ice forms in winter and is then totally melted away in summer. I was speaking about ice that formed in the winter. Very little perennial sea ice exists at the south pole.

          Your last comment is an interesting one. Why would the vortex in the south produce more ice while the one in the north does not? The north experiences a much weaker vortex, first of all. But second, the north pole is open water surrounded by land, while the south is land surrounded by open water. The possibility for increases in sea ice around Antarctica is not limited by the surrounding continental land masses.

          Don’t get hung up on sea ice in the south. What’s important is that land ice in the south (the old ice) IS melting away. The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002! That’s the concern in Antarctica.

        10. Bill Steffen says:

          First, Joe Bastardi is not with Accu-Weather anymore. He’s joined Joe D’Aleo at WeatherBell. Second look again at this graph: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png The increase is NOT seasonal ice(unless you count over 100 seasons/25 annual cycles.

          From Climategate: “..use Mike’s TRICK to HIDE THE DECLINE”. Now we’re trying to hide the increase!

    2. John (Holland) says:

      I’m happy to live on a coast that’s 600 feet above sea level.

      The loss of my ancestral motherland to the North Sea is sad but this Holland will survive.

  8. Cody (Gun Lake) says:

    It’s good to hear we might back to normal. I love snow and snow sports so last winter was a bummer for me.. I would love to have snow now! And I hope for the best for those effected by the blizzards, send it our way!

  9. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    you know if its nice and warm here then it almost has to be cold and stormy somewhere else that’s just the way it works.
    SlimJim

  10. Mike M. says:

    Mt.Shasta about to have a historic snowfall…

    http://www.theweatherspace.com/news/TWS-112912-mount-shasta-snowfall-record-break.html

    218″ of snow. Wish I was there.

  11. arcturus says:

    How about some global reaching news instead of cherry picking some isolated cold weather events?

    Ok, I’ll start.

    NASA – ice sheet loss at both poles increasing.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html

    1. Mike M. says:

      Gee, Bill, it’s one of your Forecast the Facts trolls with the official state sponsored propaganda.

      Do you like how all of the left-wing media promptly step forward as a group with the same story? Time, NBC, AP, Washington Post, BBC all dutifully acting as the choir for the hard toiling kleptocrats gathered in Doha. Google “polar ice melt news” if you want to see them at work.

      1. arcturus says:

        Yeah right, NASA is another one of those left wing propaganda machines.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          The Antarctic icecap is significantly BIGGER than average and reached a satellite era maximum in September: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

          The Arctic icecap today is significantly bigger than it was on this date 5 years ago: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

          Here’s where you can compare Northern Hemisphere snow and ice to last year: http://www.climate4you.com/SnowCover.htm

        2. Brad says:

          Bill, what do you think I will find if I search your blog for references to the Arctic ice cap? Any references during the summer months?

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Here’s a very good page for Polar ice – lots of links at the end: http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          You numb nuts fail to recognize that the media is actually covering an event. Everything is political to you. The Arctic did melt back to record levels this year. Al Gore didn’t cause that, we did. Duh. As far as the Antarctic goes, I’m really tired of watching Bill continually post about something he knows almost nothing about. The Antarctic sea ice is increasing because of warming, while the land ice is shrinking for the same reason. I’ve been correcting you on this issue every time I see it, but you still continually post the same misleading crap.

          Here’s Accuweather:

          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.
          2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
          The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”
          http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          “We” did NOT cause the Arctic icecap to melt back this year. CO2 emissions are dropping! http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.ULl6kWfe_0o Read that! A Twenty-year LOW, and still falling.

          You can’t have it both ways…Antarctic ice goes up…GLOBAL WARMING – TAX THE MIDDLE CLASS!…Antarctic ice goes down…GLOBAL WARMING – TAX THE MIDDLE CLASS!! You make up a different physics to fit every scenario. Your link is a rehash from skepticalscience.com, which is a global warming alarmist group. They work backwards from a conclusion. We’re back to “use Mike’s TRICK to HIDE THE DECLINE”.

          Southern Ocean (south of 60 degrees) temperatures have been cooling: http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/figure-82.png With colder than average temperatures over much of Antarctica this year: http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_ytd.png It would make sense that the ocean around Antarctica would be cold. We have only tried to measure southern ice volume for a relatively few years. How can they come up with the rate of melting from below is accelerating since they have just been measuring it for the first time? They’ve been looking at volume and currents for how long? How can anyone realistically say they have changed in that short time? And it would seem to me that the water down below could be “old” water and could not have been influenced by a small increase over a handful of decades of CO2 in the atmosphere.

          After 2 years of bashing Accu-weather and Bastardi – now you’re quoting Accu-Weather! You do know that Accu-weather gives weather forecasts to oil companies, don’t you!! LOL!!

          CO2 levels are dropping in the U.S. Global temperatures have held steady for a decade: http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image_thumb5.png?w=580&h=325 Polar bears are doing OK: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article4099460/ The global temperature anomaly for 2012 is a whopping 0.049 degree warmer than average: http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_ytd.png NO, you can’t force “European level ($9 a gallon) gasoline and “skyrocketing” energy and utility rates on the lower and middle class!!!!!

        6. Brad says:

          Bill, atmospheric CO2 concentration is not dropping, and “CO2 levels” is typically used to refer to atmospheric PPM, not emissions.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          You’re right, brad – I changed the comment to “emissions”.

        8. Brad says:

          OK- I see you had it right below…I was gonna say…

  12. kevin. w says:

    If you want snow go to the Sierra mountains out in California there expecting 8-14 feet of snow within the next week. I read that and had to take another look at the amount and thats right as some areas out west are expecting over a foot of rain out that way as well.

  13. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    If anyone wants to see snow on the ground all you have to do is get in you car and drive to our north. There is snow on the ground in norther lower Michigan and most of the UP. It should be noted that much if not all of that Michigan snow may melt over the weekend. But if you are desperate and don’t have the time or money to drive up there there are always pictures to help ease your pain.

    http://www.michigansnowcams.com/webcam_map.htm

    A mild 36 and cloudy here now. GR should end the month of November 2012 with a total snow fall of 0.3″ and almost an average temp for the month right now running at -0.2 with today’s temp still to be added.
    SlimJim

    1. Yup (Grandville) says:

      Good site, thanks Slim!

  14. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    On this day in 2010, the US had 33.6% snow cover.

    Today, it’s at 19.8″

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      But the Northern Hemisphere has more snow cover than average!

      Here’s North America: http://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow_usa.gif

      And Eurasia: http://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/prvsnow_asiaeurope.gif

      And look what’s coming for Europe: https://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/274479993088770048/photo/1

      And the Japanese model (which was about the only model to come close to getting it right last winter) says it’s cold here from Dec. 16-29: https://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/274474580918280192/photo/1

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        I’m afraid to see US snow cover after all this warmth goes through… Even in Canada, a lot of the snow depths look light compared to the past at this time.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Canada’s snow cover is significantly greater than last year. I don’t have an average figure, but I would think 90% snow cover across Canada in late November would be at least near, if not above average. You can compare this year’s snow and ice cover to last year here: http://www.climate4you.com/SnowCover.htm Lake Winnipeg is frozen over now, it wasn’t last year at this time.

  15. Storm waning says:

    The European model shows snow around Christ,as…. Blah blah blah, a week ago a model hinted at a storm! Last years models indicated cold and snowy. Remember, they are just all models. Like model cars and planes. Like little imitations of things that show you an example but don’t actually work.

  16. Storm waning says:

    Christmas I meant

  17. Storm waning says:

    Remember. Too “near normal” is awfully vague and hedging ones bets. Also 33 degrees could be viewed as near normal, And that ain’t snow. Or one day it’s 20 and the next it’s 40 so hey the average is “near normal”. All of this is weather man Jedi near normal mind tricks. These forecasts and predictions are like making sausage. You can’t see what’s beneath the skin. It’s all ground up with spices and made to look “tempting”. Ooooooh. Wait till Christmas time. Really. Four weeks? Whatever…….

  18. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    I posted something similar on the other thread, but it seems to have not gone through? Anyway, check out the latest numbers on this national drought.

    Precipitation deficit since Jan 1:

    LA: -7.19″
    Atlanta: -14.41″
    Detroit: -6.36″
    Kansas City: -16.25″
    Tulsa: -10.42″
    Terre Haute: -16.70″
    New York: -8.51″
    St. Louis: -7.57″

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Precipitation Surplus since Jan. 1:

      Miami +26.40″ (yikes!)
      Jacksonville: +1.59″
      Pensacola: +3.99″
      New Orleans: +6.09″
      Austin, TX: +4.40″
      Beaumont, TX: +2.33″
      Lufkin, TX: +4.72″
      Knoxville, TN: +4.26″
      Cleveland, OH: +4.76″
      Pittsburgh: +0.86″
      Atlantic City: +3.51″
      Marquette, MI: +0.22″
      Duluth, MI: +2.07″
      Seattle, WI: +8.09″
      Portland, OR: +12.07″
      Eureka, CA: +7.71″
      Las Vegas, NV: +1.14″
      Portland, ME: +3.09″
      Anchorage, AK: +4.22″
      Juneau, AK: +2.27″
      Barrow, AK: +1.80″

      Most of Alaska (a big state) has had above average precipitation this year. Also, it’s curious that with the Great Lakes water levels so low, that precipitation hasn’t been as far from average as you might expect (note Duluth, Cleveland, Marquette).

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Yeah, for the most part, it’s definitely wet around the coasts and super dry most other places (CA and NY being some of the biggest dry exceptions). This drought is probably the 2nd or 3rd worst in the last 100 years in the U.S.

        I couldn’t find a deficit map for around the Great Lakes. But I’d bet, as a whole, the region is below average precip. Although you’re right, not as much as you’d think given the extremely low lakes. This leads me to believe there are bigger reasons the lake levels are down than just the weather.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          I agree with your last paragraph. I’ve heard that dredging in the St. Clair and/or Detroit Rivers may be a factor. The combination of precipitation/evaporation over the past couple years wouldn’t suggest that we’d be at a near record low level for Lakes Michigan/Huron.

        2. Rumrunner says:

          DIdn’t the Army Corps Of Engineers put that out? That dredging dropped the lakes?

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          No, there’s just been speculation. I don’t know the answer. It just looked a little odd that the lakes have dropped so much when precipitation/evaporation, seemed not to be so extreme. Since 1/1/11, we’ve actually had above average precipitation in G.R. (+6.82″ in 2011 and -4.77″ in 2012)

      2. DF (SE Mich) says:

        I was going to ask for that =)

  19. Storm waning says:

    And December is one of our “snowiest” months.? Really? Christmas usually appears at the end of December

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      December is the snowiest month for GR

      1. Storm waning says:

        This will not be a snowynDecember

        1. Storm waning says:

          This is and will be 2011-2012 all over again
          . Cold warm up cold warm up cold warm up.

          A winter this does not make.
          An average winter it doth fake

  20. Storm waning says:

    You can make weather metrics say any thing, any thing you want it to say.

  21. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Latest UN report published this week: 2012 will be the warmest year ever for the lower 48, and the 9th warmest year ever recorded globally (since 1850).

    I just get so confused with all this arctic sea ice data though. Half the stuff I read says it’s at all-time lows, and then half the stuff on here says it’s up.

    The latest UN report says arctic sea ice is the lowest ever recorded right now and that the sea levels have been rising at an average rate of 3.2mm per year for the last 5 years… but who knows who to believe anymore!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      It’s interesting that the UN (meteorologists/climatologists? There are members of the IPCC, inc. the Head, who is an economist, who have no climate training) could have figured this out way back in September, when we had a third of the year yet to go. I’d also take that “since 1850″ with a grain of salt. We had no idea what temperatures were like over most of the globe in 1850 (oceans, Antarctica). Temperatures in the past have been “adjusted” to make them look cooler in order to make the present look warmer. Note the effort that was made to make the Medieval Warm Period disappear.

      Here’s the latest on Arctic sea ice: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png (red line is 2012)

      And Antarctic ice: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png (ice extent well above average – including a record extent in September)

      According to NOAA – sea level has held steady for the last 5 years: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/sealeavel_1993-2012.gif

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Exactly. One group has their numbers and charts, and then another group has their numbers and charts saying the opposite. At least we can agree on the temps!

        1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          NASA are the ones the UN study cited I believe. That was 2010. In 2011, it went up 5mm to resume its long-term trend of +3.2mm per year.

          http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-362

          So I guess NASA says the seas have been rising but Bill said NOAA says flat. Exactly what I was talking about!

        2. DF (SE Mich) says:

          I think NOAA does a good job of averaging water level variations based on wind direction, I have no idea what NASA does… seem’s out of their expertise to me.

        3. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          ha well you cited them ;)

        4. Cort S. says:

          National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They deal with water too. But those water guys are weirdos. They take our atmospheric equations and multiply height by (-1) and multiply density by 1000.
          :)

        5. Cort S. says:

          lol, oops, I read it as, “I have no idea what NOAA does… seem’s out of their expertise to me.” NASA… got it! I still stand by my previous comments regarding oceanographers!!!!
          ;) :P

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          Travis, NASA says the same thing as NOAA and does a nice job of explaining it in the article you posted.

          Or look here:
          http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16294

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          CO2 emissions are going down: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.ULl6kWfe_0o

          NASA JPL admits to “spurious” errors in current satellite based sea level and ice altimetry, calls for new space platform to fix the problem: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/30/finally-jpl-intends-to-get-a-grasp-on-accurate-sea-level-and-ice-measurements/

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          You didn’t get it. Your link is globally, my link is for the U.S. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.ULl6kWfe_0o

          CO2 emissions are going DOWN in the U.S. and going UP in China. So…here’s an idea for ya…go to CHINA and tell them instead of loaning TRILLIONS of dollars to the U.S. that we’ll probably never be able to pay back…money that we’re wasting on boondoggles like this: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-09-18/news/ct-met-kass-0918-20110918_1_solyndra-loan-guarantee-obama-fundraisers-obama-white-house and this: http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/target_8/Volt-no-jolt-LG-Chem-employees-idle maybe they could spend a few yuan on their own emissions. Tell THEM to make utility rates “skyrocket” and tell them to boost gas to $10 a gallon.

  22. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    00Z European and Canadian had a nice cool shot coming down around the 2nd week of Dec. However, the 12Z Canadian and GFS are more mild. Long range European for the week of Christmas now warmer than it was showing a few days ago. It’s a pretty good bet that December will end up warmer and less snowier than average. I wouldn’t jump on saying it will be that way for Jan and Feb. I recall in 2002 I believe when it barely snowed before Xmas and the week after, GR had about 60″ of snow…mostly lake effect. 1998/99 we barely had any snow, but the pattern changed drastically with a blizzard around New Years day. Again, you never know.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      We didn’t have school for quite some time in 98/99… I cross country skied a couple miles down Eastern Ave in Kentwood to my buds house for a couple days. No cars out at all, just one front-end loader moving snow around.

      1. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

        I recorded over 60″ in a two week period. We only had about 70″ the whole winter.

  23. arcturus says:

    >The Arctic icecap today is significantly bigger than it was on this date 5 years >ago: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea->ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

    Nice cherry picking there Bill. Yes, and the stock market is higher than it was 4 years ago too. What you fail to mention is that (1) 5 years ago marked the lowest extent of cover, (2) as recent as mid-September coverage was **considerably less* than any time in the past 5 years (3) current extent is less than last year, 2009, and 2008, and (4) current coverage is WELL BELOW the ’79 – ’06 average, which is the most significant stat of all.

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Hmmmmmmm things get curiouser and curiouser…

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      We’ve only had satellite observation of the whole icecaps since 1979. The Antarctic icecap has been growing steadily since the mid 1980s. Can you really look at this graph and tell me that we need “skyrocketing” energy and utility rates and $9 a gallon gasoline? http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png The Antarctic icecap may not get down to average levels even after their summer season! The Arctic icecap was probably at a recent maximum after 3 very cold winters in the Northern Hemisphere from 1976-1979. Look at the ice cover on the Great Lakes in 1979: http://blogs.woodtv.com/files/2011/02/lake-michigan-ice-cover-1979.gif

      1. arcturus says:

        Good job ignoring my comments in reply to yours about the arctic.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          I’m not just talking to you here. If you want a one-on-one back-and-forth we can do that privately. I added some relevant points that I hope the blog readers might want to know. We both put some facts out and everyone else can digest them and have their own opinion. The Antarctic icecap is WELL ABOVE the 1979-2012 average, and seems to go in the opposite direction of the Arctic icecap. CO2 emissions have been FALLING: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.ULl6kWfe_0o and the polar bears seem to be doing OK: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article4099460/ No need to burden the middle class with “skyrocketing” energy and utility bills and $9 a gallon “European level” gasoline prices.

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          Careful arcturus, the old man doesn’t like to be questioned when he’s on a right-wing rant. Fact is, he doesn’t understand the difference between sea and land ice, so continually holds up sea ice as evidence that the Antarctic isn’t shrinking. I’ve explained to him countless times what’s actually occurring there, but as he said, he’s speaking to the greater bloggerhood. This blog is a political machine.

          Here’s Accuweather:

          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.
          2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
          The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”
          http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          There’s more Arctic ice now than there was five years ago: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

          The Antarctic icecap is much bigger than average and reached a historic maximum extent in September: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

          For nearly 30 years, the Antarctic icecap has been growing and growing and growing: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

          Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere as been increasing over the past decade: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/snowcover-nhland/201202.gif

          Global temperatures have held steady for the past decade: http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image_thumb5.png?w=580&h=325

          Carbon dioxide emissions have been falling: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.ULl6kWfe_0o

          Polar bears are doing fine: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article4099460/

          Accumulated tropical cyclone energy has been decreasing since the mid 1990s: http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_major_freq.png

          Finally, check this image out…from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/images/indicator_figures/heat-waves-figure1.gif

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          I counted nine links to right-wing sites that have nothing to do with the topic, shrinking land ice in Antarctica. Are you capable of an intelligent discussion? Apparently you don’t mind looking ignorant. Keep on, Magoo! LOL

          Here’s Accuweather:

          “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.
          2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
          The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”
          http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Look at the title of the thread:
          Blizzard in Japan (and China and Russia and Canada and…) THAT’S the topic. Lots of snow across the Northern Hemisphere right now. You guys said snow was going to disappear! “A thing of the past!” Read this: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html Your Accu-Weather link is just copied drivel from Skeptical Science, a fringe alarmist website. As my links show, the Anatarctic ice extent has been steadily growing for over 25 years. The Cryosat satellite was only launched in 2010 – hardly enough geologic time to record long-term changes in Antarctic ice volume. However, the ice on the continent is not melting off (GPS measurements and air temperatures colder than average – the S. Pole was 8 degrees colder than average in July) and the icecap on the ocean has been expanding.

          The PIOMAS ice measurements had to be “corrected” by over 20%! “Comparisons of PIOMAS estimates with ice thickness observations show reduced errors over the prior version. The long term trend is reduced to about -2.8 103 km3/decade from -3.6 km3/decade in the last version.” It shows how inaccurate the measurements are to begin with. Just look at the expanding Antarctic icesheet:

          The Antarctic icecap is much bigger than average and reached a historic maximum extent in September: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

          For nearly 30 years, the Antarctic icecap has been growing and growing and growing: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

          Life’s not getting any easier for the penguins!

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          What us guys have been saying for several years is not that snow will disappear, although it seems to have around here. What we’ve been saying is that the air is wetter because it’s warmer. More humidity means more movement of water and that means a redistribution of that moisture. The NASA story about sea level change is a great example of this. When it’s hotter, more water evaporates and this affects everything including snow. The problem we’ve had is that the snow doesn’t stay and that’s because we’re seeing higher lows and more frequent anomalous highs. For goodness sake, we had lake effect snow in February last year. What does that tell ya?!

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          The decade of the 2000s was the SNOWIEST DECADE ever in G.R.

          My link clearly shows that you guys thought snowfall would decrease with all this man-made global warming (that hasn’t been going on for the last decade: http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image_thumb5.png?w=580&h=325 and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html

          We’ve had lake-effect snow in April before! It’s simple physics…when cold enough air comes across 33F degree water, you can get lake-effect snow.

  24. Ok, if were not even going to get winter anymore, im moving out of Michigan. Were supposed to be 20degrees with a heavy snowstorm coming in the month of December. Not 60degrees. Better off living in Florida if its gonna be like this. Plus, Florida is better than michigan anyday

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      GR has had it’s 2nd and 4th largest season snowfalls ever in the last 5 years… are you comparing to that?

      1. Yup (Grandville) says:

        I remember 3 feet of snow in the street, I had to get my snowblower out there just to make a path for cars!

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          It has been so snowy lately I think people are confused with what the average winter is around here.

        2. Yup (Grandville) says:

          This is true. I remember many a green Christmas. The snow will come, that is for sure.

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          An interesting question might me how long that snow lasts these days. With warmer lows, the snow may fall but it melts away more quickly.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          It’s more the occasional thaws than “warmer lows”. If the average low temperature in January is 16 and you are 3 degrees warmer…you’re still way below freezing. The difference is the brief shots of warm air that actually melt the snow. Look at Nov. 2012. The average temperature was EXACTLY average..exactly. You might expect average snowfall in a month with average temperature…but we were out of the main storm track and when it did get cold enough for lake-effect snow, other factors were negative, so nothing happened. We had highs of 62 on Thanksgiving Day and 66-71 on the weekend of the 10th-11th – but that was balanced out by the fact that we had more days a little cooler than average than warmer than average. The average temperature for the past four months has been -0.025 below average for G.R.

    2. Yup (Grandville) says:

      Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way out! :P

  25. Wish we could go back 2 years ago tomorrow. When we actually got snow. 6 inches December 1, 2010. I dont remember starting the first week of december with 60degrees. Nothing below 32 in the 8day, and you call that a “true” winter of michigan??

  26. I have a feeling winters have cycles. We must be in the warmer cycle of winter. Hope it changes soon

    1. Irish coffee says:

      My wife seems to have eerily similar cycles, Kyle- hot flashes interspersed w/ cooldowns..cold spells and the like ;)

  27. big Daddy BC says:

    Sea ice in the Antarctic has grown for two reasons:

    “1. Warming air temperatures lead to more snow/rain (warmer air holds more moisture). This increase in freshwater precipitation produces an ocean surface layer that is less dense than the warmer, saltier water from below. This results in less mixing and reduced melting of sea ice since the colder water remains at the surface.

    2. A drop in ozone levels over Antarctica has cooled the stratosphere, which in turn increases the cyclonic winds that circle Antarctica. The increase in wind moves the sea ice around, leading to polynyas, which are areas of open water that can enhance more sea ice production.
    The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002, and that could be a problem, according to NASA.”

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

    In the north, we lost more ice this year than any year in history:

    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3336/clearest_evidence_yet_of_polar_ice_losses

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Not to worry…same principal as your argument for Antarctica…it warms…more snowfall…the Greenland icecap gets bigger! It’s working in Antarctica! http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

        A bit chilly in Greenland this AM: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/04416.html

        Pretty healthy climb since mid-September – including the biggest one month increase in Arctic ice extent in (satellite recorded) history! http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

        http://www.iceagenow.com/Rebellious_Greenland_Glacier_Keeps_Growing.htm

      2. big Daddy BC says:

        The continent of Antarctica as a whole has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of land ice per year since 2002. It’s picking up slightly on sea ice annually, but the sea ice melts back to shore every year, so it really doesn’t matter. I’ve explained what’s causing that above.
        What matters is the extreme losses to LAND ice sheets in western Antarctica and Greenland. Once lost, this ice DOES NOT return. It’s gone forever.

        http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/is-antarctic-ice-melting-1/67365

        http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3336/clearest_evidence_yet_of_polar_ice_losses

      3. Bill Steffen says:

        That is plain and simply NOT TRUE. It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes! A fifth grader can see through your “adjusted” nonsense.

        The Antarctic icecap has grown steadily since the mid 1980s: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png The Antarctic ice extent may not even get down to average at the end of the summer down there! The ice is not melting from underneath over the part of the icecap that is on land (which is the vast majority of it). The icecap over water has been EXPANDING. The water temperature around Antarctica is colder than average: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2012/anomnight.12.3.2012.gif (note the blue all around Antarctica!). If the ice on the ocean were to be melting from underneath…that’s old water and would not have been warmed because of a relatively recent increase in atmospheric CO2.

        Also note that CO2 emissions are FALLING in the U.S. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.UL1vz2fe_0o

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