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. Jose

    and thats why i live in Miami thank god

    January 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • WDrad

      You live in Miami because your name is Jose..

      January 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Iceman

    Is one really to suppose that those here who insult the AGW doubters as getting their information only from FoxNews actually themselves read any real technical literature, or took any classes beyond an introductory environmental science class? I for one suspect that most of them get their information, and beliefs, from CNN and the rest of the technically unqualified media that merely parrot the politically correct theory of the day. As one who has a PhD in geology (Quaternary geology in particular), I will point out that "Blitzkrieg" winters like this one and last year are a very likely mechanism involved in the initiation glacial episodes, and that we're at least as likely to be entering a period of global cooling over the next few decades as we are a period of continued warming.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Christopher Dycha

    I can't think of a better time for a staycation. I would hate to be traveling anywhere right about now. Christopher Dycha

    January 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WDrad

    Scary climate change! I hear outside of Florida there is climate change upwards to four times a year!!

    January 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jj

    "Put another way, that means snow is present in 69.4 percent of the lower 48". ISN'T 47 out of 48 is more like 97.9%

    January 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JWA

      Think land area.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    Where do I even start on you "global climate change" fanatics? Do you seriously think 1 degree of warming in a hundred years is a crisis? "Science" is ever-evolving. When I was a kid they sincerely believed a new ice age was coming. Give it a couple decades, the trends will all change again, and then so will all the theories. It never ends.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JWA

      Have fun dying.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    I would like to know what the latest measurements of the Atlantic "conveyor" are. Think I will check...

    January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tim777

    Perhaps all the 'global warming' is actually 'caused' by this present 'ice age' that is upon us !
    Why not? After reading this blog, if the theory of Global Warming can cause record Cold temps, then
    why can this era of global cooling cause warmer temps as well?

    January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. derp


    January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Benny

    49 out of 50 has snow??
    I live in Hawaii and yes, just to let some readers know that there is snow in Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea..
    But that doesn't mean the whole ENTIRE state is snowing. The sun is out, humid.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JJ Martinez

    They meant to say 48... I think... right? Now I'm confused...

    January 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nick

    Looks like we are victims of global wetting.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. johnny

    Hey, that map was taken from the Movie " The Day After Tomorow"

    January 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. alaska

    I concur, we have snow here also.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Poopy

    Every winter the deniers yap up about how cold it is. And every summer they pipe down.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      Because we are at the lake where our connection isn't so good.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
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