Snow-cover on October 28, available at Rutgers site at: http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_daily.php?ui_year=2014&ui_day=301&ui_set=0
Snow-cover on Oct 28, available from NOAA site at: http://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/ARCHIVE/NHem/2014/ims2014301.gif
Over on his excellent blog at Weatherbell, Joe Bastardi today noted that we are now up among the top three on terms of world-wide snow-cover, at this date, early in the season. Not only is most of Russia covered, but a lot of Canada and Alaska as well.
Then he did something I lack the time to do, which was to check the history. (It is important to see what the “precedent” is, before you fool about with the word “unprecedented.”) It is also helpful to know what the past shows us, in terms of what happened on other occasions. It hints at what to expect.
What Joe found surprised me, for he found some winters that started out like gang-busters, in terms of world-wide snowfall, and then backed off and became unimpressive winters. He also found winters that began with little snowfall that were late-starters, and became severe later.
This throws a monkey wrench into the works of my idea that snowfall is a feedback, and that a lot of snow in Siberia creates an Asian high pressure of sinking, cold air that creates more ice and snow, and therefore more cold, in a sort of vicious cycle.
Unfortunately I don’t have the maps of the winters that disprove my theory, and therefore can’t study what the heck went on during those years. When I’m rich I’ll hire some eager, young go-for to look all that stuff up for me.
However Joe also mentioned that one of the top three years, in terms of snowfall on October world-wide on October 29, was 1976. There’s that year again. The winter of 1976-1977 was the worst, in terms of cold, and in terms of sea-ice along the east coast of the USA, that I can remember. So…we definitely shouldn’t lower our guard.