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. rightso

    even though there may not be snow here in florida, I will say that it is frigid. I live in Tallahassee and from what I can see I don't think there is any way that anyone would want to go on a vacation to florida right now. South florida might be warm but don't get it twisted. Not all of the sunshine state is soakin' up the rays right now.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannah

      I live in Tallahassee as well, and from what I hear there were snow flurries on Christmas Eve. The current temperature is actually 30 degrees, so North Florida is getting the cold winter weather. My family who lives in Tampa, however, is enjoying weather in the 50s and 60s this week. I'm slightly jealous.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Bren

      I was speaking with a friend from Marianna, FL the other day who told me about a few times already this year that he has seen snow and flurries in and around the Jackson County, Florida area. It seems that not even Florida escaped the snow and this storm is batting a thousand if it was trying to hit every state, haha

      January 12, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Floridian

      Yes, but Tallahassee is really not Florida. It is South Georiga, just like everything north of Orlando. Nothing wrong with it, but Florida really should be split into two considering the differences between North FL and SW/SE FL

      January 12, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Total

    I think you need to go back to school and stop screwing your sister

    January 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JustTheFacts

    No matter what you call it, global warming, climate change, a hoax, natural events, etc. not many look at it this way: There are about 7 billion people on the planet right now. That sounds like a lot. Most of us have never seen 7 billion of anything in any one spot. What if we bring the world population together in one place? How much land would we need? A country, a continent? We shall do a mental exercise.

    We have lots 'o land, so we'll be generous! Let us give every man, woman and child 100 square feet to stretch out in, that's a box 10 foot on a side. That's 700 billion square feet to bring the entire world population together! Sounds like a lot, eh? Do the math and it's ONLY 25,109 square miles for those 7 billion people. How big is 25,109 sq mi? That's an area about 158 miles on a side. That doesn't sound so bad. Actually it isn't. That's a little bit bigger than the state of West Virginia (24,230 sq mi.) Dust off your trusty globe or world atlas (you do have one don't you?) Compare the size of WV to all the land mass on our pale blue dot. Now compare WV to the ENTIRE GLOBE! It's a drop in the bucket, isn't it?

    Now consider our little slice of heaven is about 4.5 billion years old. Without our "help", it has gone through cycles of intense heat and tropical climates to severely frozen climates. Five of these cycles based on the best evidence we have so far. All by its self. Now realize, the population explosion has really only happened over the past 100-150 years or so (from ~1 billion to ~7 billion).

    While I don't discount that human activity has influenced our environment, put everything in perspective and explain how our activity is *solely* responsible for climate change. Humankind hasn't been the best environmental steward over the last 150 years, and I could certainly do better myself. The fact is, humankind and our activities are fairly insignificant in this unbelievably complicated and dynamic natural environment that we live in. The environment we are in today wasn't here millions or tens of millions years ago, and won't be here millions and tens of millions of years into the future. Why is humankind so arrogant as to think we can greatly influence a 4.5 billion year old system in a little over 100 years? We live on a rapidly (with respect to our short life spans) and constantly evolving planet.

    Think about it. Let's quit arguing about the weather and let's all learn to be and work towards becoming better stewards of the only home we have right now.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • southern style

      wow this is the bigest libral crock of s*** ive hear in a long time ... find GOD son HE will help you find a path, put the pot pipe down

      January 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • durba

      southern style, either you are dumb as sht, literally, or you are trolling. either way, justthefacts was in fact agreeing with, sort of. haha, but you would know that if you could read......

      January 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • balls

      dude, you are just spinning a fact. the point is not that we only take up a relatively small area, the real point is, even though we should only take up a small area, we CONSUME an average of 8 planet earths the way we live. just because we physically take up 100 square feet in your ridiculous project, you are forgetting we need more land and resources to eat, live and sh!t.

      So try this analogy, i want you to go 1 year living in 100 square feet of land. that means you must recycle your waste, bury your sh!t and grow your own food. good luck! hope you plant a tree to off set your breathing.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • masterman

      I like the way you think it makes more sense than anything I have heard the world is constantly renewing itself .and that is a fact.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sevan

      Oh please my little Kochetta, I mean just the fax, the only reason there is a spin against global warming is big business doesn't want to pay a tax when they over pollute our air, water and land with co2. I don't care if your pollution is causing the snow in USA or the tornadoes in Brazil, I don't want your big business pollution in my ecosystem!!

      January 12, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      balls: "we CONSUME an average of 8 planet earths the way we live"
      What were you trying to say here??? Because what you wrote doesn't make sense. Everything we consume comes from this earth. If we consume 8 planet earths, then how do we still have the one that we're standing on?

      January 12, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • blue

      well said.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • nobody3368

      @ steve and what exactly is the measure of a planet earth that just sounds fuc**** retarded

      January 12, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Wesley

      @Sevan Then why don't we frame it in more practical terms. I agree we have a negative impact on the environment. But lets put it in tangible terms instead of nebulous "global warming" terms. We know for a fact that air pollution causes high asthma rates for example. Let's focus locally to come up with solutions for cleaning the environment that directly impacts the average citizen. It is much easier to understand a local problem like worker productivity and child health than it is to "save the planet from global warming". Resolving immediate issues will percolate up to resolve the larger less understood ones. It's all about how you frame the argument.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • GeeTee

      Good to see a logical approach to the issue. People are just ignorant to think that humankind has this level of effect on the planet. Nature could wipe us out in an "environmental minute" and keep on going.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • saresudog

      Great rebuttal balls. All one has to do is look at a picture of earth's surface from space at night and notice all the unnatural light emitted from human existence. It is then that you'll realize the parasitic effect of humans. JustTheFacts nimrod takes the most simplistic formula to make his point. All the while leaving out all the infrastructure required to support 7 billion humans. That haze you see out your window most every day in every part of the world is not made by mother nature.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Our actions are solely responsible for the rise in temperature over the past 100 years. Global climate doesn't change because it's bored, it changes because an external force acts upon it. The difference is that, apart from extinction events, those forces took thousands to tens of thousands of years to build up those changes. There is no known cyclical event capable of raising or lowering a planetary climate's temperature within 100 years.

      Take solar activity. There have been claims that maybe increased solar activity might be a cause of the upward temperature trend. Sure, that's plausible if you consider that we've just ended the warmest decade (globally) on record during a record 11-year solar minimum (in energy output). If we can warm the planet during a solar minimum imagine the impact a solar maximum will have, which we're entering this year.

      The point is that the source absolutely matters because we are the source. Examples usually cited such as the Medieval Warming or Little Ice Age just after that are striking but they're also regional. Globally, based on ice core samples, tree ring analysis, and other measurements demonstrate that the earth's temperature remained steady during those events. Others point to volcanic activity or events like El Nino or La Nina, but none of these explain the rise in global temperature over the past 100 years. The only remaining cause is man-made CO2 emissions. This is further borne out by the rise of a particular isotope inherent to fossil fuels versus natural CO2 seeps.

      If we don't identify and act on the source then the forcing on global climate will continue, it's as simple as that. We are responsible. The fact is that the level of CO2 in the air right now has already passed the tipping point of what human development and society were based on, so we can't turn back the clock to a pre-industrial level, but if we continue to do nothing it won't take long (maybe 100 years) where the planet's climate is unsuitable for sustaining human life. Not extinction but a slow decline.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • RGCheek

      While using WV makes a good point, the obvious rebutal is in regards to livability in that 100 sqare foot postage stamp.

      On the other hand Monoco, a very beautiful nation, has a population denisty of 39k/sq mile, which means that if all the people on the planet lived in a similar environment, we would only need 179k/sq miles for the whole planets population to live in quite comfortably, an are about the size of New Zealand. Wow, and they dont even have an army to defend themselves....

      Hear that Kiwi's? WE'RE COMIN FOR YA!

      January 12, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Garren

    Totally funny!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    I find all this armchair-scientist stuff pretty funny. We formulate our opinions from what we see, read and experience. The viewpoints of which reflect what we believe out of that input and / or what the individual finds credible. This debate is like a couple of fleas arguing over who owns the dog. Point is, even if it could be established it doesn’t matter.

    Could the human race cause a change in the earth’s climate? Sure it’s possible. Is the current amount of snow an indication of global warming / climate change? In my OPINION I don’t believe we can say with any certainty ether way. There are so many things (natural or other) that are involved; it will take another 50 to 75 years before we know what’s natural and what’s not. I for one don’t think the sky is falling Chicken Little.

    Now please feel free to call me names, tell me I’m stupid or enlighten me on what books I need to read.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      I am amazed at how people don't bother replying to smart, calm and polite comment like yours. I agree with what you are saying. I think we are just too little anyways to really understand what's going on. We've been doing research on the subject from data collected over the past 50 years which they still barely understand. I have a hard time believing they know what's going to happen in 50 more years. Life is a miracle... enjoy the time you have. When we all die, the planet will regenerate... and if it doesn't... so what.

      January 12, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Except that the "debate", as you describe it, is over. Denialists might crow at the gaps in scientific understanding of the mechanisms behind this or that effect and cling desperately to a few lines pulled out of context from one or two emails, but the scientific consensus, after over 50 years of research and debate, has been reached. The earth is heating and man-made emissions are responsible.

      We just ended the warmest decade on record during a period of solar minimum. The troposphere (where we live) continues to warm as the stratosphere (the upper levels of the atmosphere) continues to cool, indicating that more solar rays are being trapped on the surface. Volcanoes and natural CO2 seeps do not account for the overall increase in total CO2 levels around the globe. No known natural force, process, or cycle can account for the massive surplus of unprocessed CO2 in the atmosphere and since global climate only ever changes because of an external force acting upon it the only remaining source is us.

      So we're not like fleas jumping around on a dog. People who accept that GW is a reality and that we must act to stabilize the climate of the planet on which we all live and depend are the dog and denialists are the fleas.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • RGCheek

      you can keep on repeating that ManMade Global Warming Mantra all you want, but the FACTs are that:
      1) Science is NOT done by consensus, so however many scientists say this or that is irrelevant. At one time the consensus of most scientists was that Continental Drift was not true, the Big Bang nonsense and Quantum Mechanics was ridiculous.
      2) Yes, the Earth has been heating up, but that is because we are *still* coming out of a 'Little Ice Age' from the early 19th century.
      3) The advocates of AGW are hiding their data, refusing to leave _all_ their processes and methods open to the public for independent verification, so what they are doing is more like a con game than actual science in many respects.

      lol, and dont forget the shrinking Himalaya glaciers that werent actually doing anything of the sort.

      Get real. No one is buying that load of crap any more and that is why the CCX closed a few months ago.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. "Northern Style"

    This is exactly why the North won the civil war... Put your shotgun down, stop drinking Natty Lites and get a damn education. Either that or go bother other people on the Fox News website where you belong.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      Please don't encourage the troll! I doubt if "Southern Style" is even a Southerner. If IT is one, I'm embarassed!!

      January 12, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • underwhere

      Unfortunately, it's also pretty much why the north had to fight the Civil War, as well.

      February 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CaliSun

    Cold in Coastal Ca....glad no snow, we wouldn't know what to do! I don't wish 6-12 inches of snow in the weather for anyone!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy James

    It is cold here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I think it might be the Jet Stream dipping down. I saw the weather map that showed the Jet Stream dipping down as far as Florida, bringing the cold weather with it.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. james

    We had snow on the ground in all 50 states last year. I guess that means global warming really is about to kill us all.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*fl girl

      Actually no we didnt have snow on the ground in all 50 states. I live in florida and we had snow flurries but nothing more then that, but we have had record lows the past two years. I live in the keys and we had 30 degree weather this year!

      January 12, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Floridian

      Sorry girl, but you are quite wrong. There was snow in all 50 states last year. I don't know if you have ever looked at a map, but Florida is a pretty big state. Believe it or not, there is more than just the Florida Keys. I live in SWFL and there has not been any snow but that doesn't mean there wasn't snow in Tallahassee last year... which is 315 miles (straight-line) north of here. It is like an entire different place up there.

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

    JustTheFacts – Nicely put my friend. I agree with you whole heartedly!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotQuiteAllTheFacts

      Wow dude. Like Balls said... go try living in a 100 square foot space in perpetuity. Grow your own food, get your own water, use you own material resources, and bury your own sh!t... then tell us how it goes.

      If you still agree wholeheartedly, then I feel real sorry for you

      January 12, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • NQATF = clueless

      Anyone who would quote someone who has chosen "balls" as their user name cannot be taken seriously. Get a clue.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. durba

    you did a remarkable job in representing the collective intelligence within the southern states. love it..... sarcams can prove a point. i hope you were being sarcastic......

    January 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • bamalicious

      You need to learn how to spell yourself because I don't believe that sarcams is a word. Apparently being from the north doesn't make you any smarter or more capable of typing. I'm from the south and proud, very well educated and sick of the people all over the world who generalize characteristics and stereotypes based on nothing more than where a person lives or is from. Get off your high horses and find something constructive to do. I'm sure all the energy you waste hating on others could be put to good use! God bless you! Let go, let God!

      January 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. idiocracy82

    After the south ceded, we were hoping it would more or less eradicate people like the ones that are clearly in your gene pool before you repatriated. Unfortunately, things clearly didn't go to plan. You do realize that when people make redneck jokes, they're talking about you, right?? Please stay south of the Mason-Dixon line forever. We don't like your kind up North, boy.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. eamon

    somebody in southern georgia should shovel snow into a dump truck and make a run for the border.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pathayesd

      I live just south of FL./GA border. I will meed truck @ FL state sign off I-95 to witness snow dump. The cylce will be complete... Mwahahahaa!

      January 12, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Pathayesd

      That's *meet* and *cycle*, of course.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • dash

      Actually, people do that exact thing here in Hawaii. Although it's not a run for the border, its a dash from 13000 feet to sea level. And usually in a 4×4 pickup. Still a blast to see a couple of F-250s roaring down the highway piled with melting snow.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BevoTexas

    Dude, shut up. You're giving good, honest Southern liberals like myself a bad name.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      The words "good", "honest", and "liberal" were never meant to go together.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Cold War Veteran

      By the looks of your comment, I don't think your parents' egg and sperm were either.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • sh9168

      Honest liberal? Thats an oxymoron if I've ever heard one.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      Almost as big of an oxymoron as an ethical conservative.

      February 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Arcturus

    @ Southern Style, maybe if you put down your bible long enough to pick up a science book (and maybe use a spell check as well) you'd know that desalination of ocean water changes its density therefore affecting ocean currents; warm high salinity water from the the tropics travels past Europe and sinks & cools once it reaches the Arctic. Desalination makes the water less dense affecting the ability of the currents to function properly, too much fresh water & it's scientifically possible for these currents to stop working altogether. I don't have any more time to conduct basic science lessons for Neanderthals so put down that KJV & go to And before you call me a "libturd" who voted for Obama, I live in SE Queensland in Australia, you know, OUTSIDE America (yes there is such a place).

    January 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Arcturus – Don’t get sucked in my friend. I don't think Southern Style believes any of his / her own rhetoric. Whoever is doing this is just trying to get people wound up. As an American it’s somewhat embarrassing but I'm sure you have goofy snapper-heads like that in OZ too. I raise a toast to you and all the folks down under. By the way, I didn't vote for Obama either.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arcturus

      Cheers Dave. A lot of bad stuff going on around here.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • southern style

      well gues what mr smart and sofisticated forenor ... keep your ideas and kangoroos in your own county, us here in amereca didnt ask for an illegals opinin, threw another shimp on da barby and go poutch something.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The south will not rise again

      Southern style is just a redneck troll. There isn't much work at the trailer park these days.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
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