Social media has been abuzz with notes that the U.S. reached record snowcover over the holidays, but is this true? Short answer: Yes (see our story), but records have only been kept since 2003. Here's what the numbers look like for Dec. 27 and Jan. 1 (thanks to reader Ralph for the latter numbers). Ironically, it was just last year (2011) when we had set record low points.
This is what the map of snow depth looked like on Dec. 27, when snow was observed in 46 of 48 states, according to NOHRSC, which runs a computer model on satellite and observation data. MODIS satellite confirms that no snow was on the ground in South Carolina and Florida, but there was snow in Delaware and the Deep South. Snow depth is arguably more important, statistically, than snowcover, but NOHRSC does not calculate total depth percentage stats.
And before you even ask... Henry and I confirmed through our local NWS office (who spoke to NOHRSC) that the percentages are calculated only for the portion of the map including the white-bordered areas, as illustrated below, meaning that only an insignificant part of Canada (which is typically snowy anyway) is included in the stats.
Today, I remember the earliest fall snowfall in central Pennsylvania history, which occurred 5 years ago, mid-month.
I don't believe this has ever happened in Hurricane history: Major Hurricane Gonzalo is striking Bermuda tonight, just as soon-to-be-hurricane Ana approaches the Hawaiian islands.
Recapping some of the things I've seen on weather radar over the years... birds, bats, butterflies, locusts, and mayflies.
Just after sunrise in the west Pacific Ocean last night, we were able to look down into the eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong.
An amazing display of asperatus clouds showed up in New York City this morning, but what causes them?
Vortexes of air constantly surround us; for the first time in my life, I've videotaped dust devils near AccuWeather HQ during unusually dry and calm weather.