Snow present in 49 of the 50 U.S. states
January 11th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Snow present in 49 of the 50 U.S. states

After big snow and ice events in the Southeast, Plains, and Midwest this week, 49 out of the 50 states currently have snow on the ground –  yes, even Hawaii, where snow falls in Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea all winter. 

The only state that has avoided this icy blast is Florida.  Does that make you want to go on a nice, warm vacation to the Sunshine State?  You're not alone.

Put another way, that means snow is present in 69.4 percent of the lower 48, which is more than double than December.  This is extremely unusual, though it's hard to put a date on when this last happened because records aren't kept on this kind of event.

The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center combines ground reports and images from satellites in space to determine how much of the country is covered in snow.  That's what you see in the image above.  The images tell how deep and widespread the snow is, and that's important not only for images like this one, but also for computer weather models, which use the data to generate accurate forecasts. Such forecasts were very useful in predicting this week's winter storms.

Earlier this week, two storms began to churn: one in the northern Plains and Midwest, and one in Texas.  The southern winter storm took a track across the Gulf Coast, pulling warm, moist air over an extreme arctic blast that set up over the eastern half of the United States late last week.  This provided fuel for the storm to carve a path of snow, sleet, and freezing rain from Texas to the Carolinas. 

Here in Atlanta, we're still coated in snow and ice and probably will be for the next couple of days.  No one in the Southeast escaped the wrath except, of course, Florida.

But it's not over.  Now that the southern-track storm has moved into the Atlantic and is moving north, the other Midwest storm is going to merge with it, creating a Nor'easter event that could dump up to two feet of snow in the Northeast.  Winter storm warnings and advisories have been posted for the event - 32 states have winter storm advisories issued, by the way.

Here's how the snow forecast breaks down for some major cities:

Washington DC: 2-4 inches
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 4-6 inches
New York, N.Y.: 6-12 inches
Hartford, Connecticut: 15-20 inches
Boston, Massachusetts: 12-16 inches

The snow and cold started early this winter and has been extreme for most of the country.  Usually the Southeast avoids the blast, but not in 2011.  We're all feeling a little "snowed in" this winter.

soundoff (695 Responses)
  1. cliff cabbage

    49 of 50 states covered with snow.WOW. Where's global warning when you need it?

    January 12, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Thomas Emery

    I can't believe I read half of these comments. Is it God....is It Global Warming....is it Aliens.....Maya..2012...ice age...captain hook. Not one said, hey lets have a snowball fight. Enjoy it. Snow in texas are you kidding me that is great....grab your kids and have some fun.

    Side note: Bible bangers, you values are moral but your story is bits and pieces of thousands of years of beliefs mashed up by a bunch of romans that wanted control over the population. (that is a fact)

    Science geeks guess what, you are no better. Your beliefs and theories are meant to be tested and tried...their is no science fact because the universe is limitless in its wonder. You have made it into a religion and forgot the basic fundamentals of what makes science cool. There is no 100% concrete answer to anything...its theories based on a hypotenuse with limitless variables.

    Jesus people settle down.
    Newton people grow up.

    You both are more worried about the other side than the fact that you can have a snowball fight in Nevada and that is cool. So go out and enjoy this crazy world with your families and friends and stop bickering.

    Personally I will be waiting for my friend Tim to get to work so I can give him a gunky slush ball right in the ear.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. EM

    Now you know what it feels like to be Canadian !

    January 12, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. D.K.Milgrim-Heath

    The Snow Bomb In 49 Out Of 50 States Of The USA
    By D.K.Milgrim-Heath©2010
    The snow bomb in 49 out of 50 states of the USA-
    You must admit Mother Nature definitely had something to say!
    There was snow even in Mauna Loa and Mauna that’s in Hawaii –
    Unless you’re from Hawaii who knows that really to be!
    Images from satellites determine snow deepness and how widespread-
    FL people don’t up daily but people were wearing shorts yesterday instead!
    We can study scientifically fallen snow in inches by state-
    So how one must feel being snowless in FL –they appreciate!!!!!
    Out comes delicious hot soups for nourishment this we can’t hide-
    That warms up one’s body being most superb and deliciously inside.
    Don’t forget hot chocolate as we smack our lips-
    As we devour it in glorious small sips.
    Are marshmallows ready to be made upon an open fire?
    Such indoor pleasures of winter one will desire.
    What a year for all snow lovers for 2011-
    A skiers/ice-skating paradise a ‘taste of wintery heaven’!

    January 12, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Eric

    I think CNN meant to say that there was snow in "49 of the 57 states". Heil the Dear Leader!!!

    January 12, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Da Minz

    There is Snow "ON" Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa not "IN" The two are Volcano mountains on the Big island of Hawaii, Not cities It is 78 In Waikiki! and Honolulu. (Mauna means Mountain)

    Please use the correct Context

    January 12, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. randy

    I live in Orlando and it's supposed to be 32 in the morning. Just because there's no snow don't mean it's not cold!

    January 12, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. abc123dev

    Thank Got i Live in South Flrorida, Im Not sure To Wear a rain coat, sweater, or Wind Breaker Today..

    January 12, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. steve

    global warming, global warming...wow 49 states w/snow...where are all the bigots enviromentalist going to go?...

    January 12, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. randy

    Birds falling from the sky, floods, earthquakes famine and disease. Go ahead and brush us "bible bangers" off if you want but the proof is in the pudding. "For those that believe, no proof is necessary. For those that don't, no proof is enough." Praise God.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charles Yu

      Unfortunately for you "bible bangers," the burden of proof is on you.

      If you could actually give some valid proof of the existence of god, I'd believe you. You've hardly given any evidence, let alone proof, and yet you accuse others of having blind faith.

      Praise Science.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Justin

    Global warming is a money making hoax. I've read some of the comments on here and have to reply to some.
    1. The ozone layer replenishes during lighting strikes.
    2. The average temperature has been dropping hence Climate gate. There was something about scientists left out data to come to the conclusion that global warming will occur.
    3. Since different weather cycles exist it is hard to pinpoint what is causing the weather. Is it just the cycle or is it caused by humans. Obviously there is no way to tell as you can't nail it down 100%. Since China and other countries aren't signing onto the mandates that the US is trying to push then what good would the carbon taxes do? Nothing. China had to shut down factories just so they could get rid of the smog. Wake up people in America. We aren't perfect as individuals nor are we in a perfect earth and the only thing a tax is going to do is make people rich. It's as simple as that.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. George of Puerto Rico

    I think you better change the comment 49 out of 50 states under snow. If not please let me know when it snowed in Hawaii? Your map shows 47 of 48 states under snow.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dondondon

      how can you be commenting on an article you haven't read.. or is your attention span so short you forgot the first sentence by the time you got to the last ?

      January 12, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sandi

    I think it's global warming...

    January 12, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juan

      Global warming doesn't just represent the planet getting warm. It also represents the earth getting cold. You would know this if you went to college. Which is why I understand why you don't.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Billy Bob

    OH no the sky is falling.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. blahh

    still pretty cold in florida.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Qwerty

      Yep, in the 50s down here. Was in the 80s two days ago.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
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