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. Louis

    Dead fish

    January 12, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. anonymous's that global warmin' workin' out for y'all???

    January 12, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Cold War Veteran

      I admit, they should've chosen a different name instead of "Global Warming." Perhaps "Global Climate Change" would've been a better choice. Maybe then fewer trolls would be confused.

      You are about to become one of the most educated of trolls about this subject. Global Warming refers to consistent average global temperature increase over time. Even 1 degree Celsius increase can have significant consequences to global weather patterns. These global patterns become unstable, and shift, causing unusually cold weather in normally warm places, unusually warm weather in cold places. I would explain to you how large amounts of snow can be associated with warm fronts, but I don't want your troll head to explode.

      Just kidding. You're not really a troll. But your comment was extremely ignorant, and arrogant. Do some research before you make a comment. Have a nice day. 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      How's that education working out for you?

      January 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stephen Manion

    I don't understand why people keep harping on this "Solely from Human ... " like we are trying to attribute fault. Does it matter if a problem is 25, 50, 75 or 100% from human activity. We can only control human activity, the fact that some (probably large) percent is beyond our control is no reason not to control what we can. Justhefacts' dissertation is well put together and well written as an exercise in the abstract, but the assumptions upon which it rests are neither universally accepted nor relevant. There are many people eminently more able to measure and determine these things and, despite the occasional nut scientist the naysayers produce, ever major independent scientific organization in the world is firmly on the side that we have a real problem that we must address. I think it rather more logical to bow to their collective scientific expertise than indulge in little ad hominem logic exercises to show that they are all wrong. What I don't understand is why so many people choose to believe the politicians instead of the scientists on matters scientific. Besides the fact that politicians don't know jack about science, they all have another agenda and almost all of them or pathological liars.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Ya don't say. Maybe it really doesn't belong to man to direct his own steps. Like the blind guide leading the blind man, they both fall into the hole.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. canuck

    dear americans: ha ha!!
    with love from: your canadian neighbour....

    January 12, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sunbirdwoman

    Hey, Southern Style is having a lot of fun with all of us, but don't buy into it. It's phony. Language and spelling errors are predictable, linguistically, and this person's style is totally random. Probably watched "Beverly Hillbillies" one too many times.
    But it's true, friends, that we have a problem. Rich agricultural regions all over the planet are drying up and blowing away. The underground water that has made irrigation possible is disappearing, Warmer summers mean that cool-weather crops are more difficult to grow.
    Snow in Atlanta is just the least of it. I recall as a third-grader in Atlanta, a wonderful day when school was cancelled for a quarter-inch of snow. As an adult in Boston, I laughed myself silly about that!
    Whether or not these changes are due to human activity is... well, interesting. But the most important question is: How do we respond to them? You and I, and our beloved children, and grandchildren, et al., are going to have to live in a globally changed environment. (Even if you think Jesus might save all of us, you might recall the parable about the ten maidens – those who fell asleep vs. those who were alert.)
    Do we respond in the most primitive ways – by protecting our genetic relatives (our "people" or our "tribe" or our "in-group") – as wealthy societies are so inclined to do, blaming the losing groups for their perceived biological or sociological or political deficiencies – or are we going to courageously look towards the survival of our remarkable (though flawed) species as a whole and the survival of the amazing (though severely stressed) ecosystem that supports us?

    January 12, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Oldfortman

      Bend over and kiss it good bye.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ben

    Since when does global warming affect the jet stream? You guys are so Fin gullible.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mr Reality

    Its been going into global cooling since the 1970's. The sun is going hot again -solor maximus- an 11 year cycle approx., this one is a little late... The fast heat up will be blamed on manmade global warming, a money scam.

    Nawapa is a huge water project. 6 million people employed almost overnight! It goes from Alaska to Mexico. Rescues most farmland that is sitting idle in the US.

    A law called GLASS STEAGALL restarts/reboots the US economy. It must be restored fast. Or no work and no farmland.

    Thank you

    January 12, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Papa Gore

    I'm sooper serial!!! =)

    January 12, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. peddiebill

    About the only thing we can be certain about with these weather extremes is that the simplified version that it is all to do with manmade carbon dioxide is a gross oversimplification. We have past ice ages and warm periods to explain. We have a misbehaving Sun which is not at a fixed distant from Earth. We have stuff in the atmosphere that causes clouds to form including cosmic particles. We have a Galaxy with spiral arms we wander across, we have meteor showers, human pollution, ocean currents, carbon cycles, volcanoes (and I have just started) Check out my essay on the science of global warming at and see why I think the oversimplification is totally unjustified. Happy reading. Bill Peddie

    January 12, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. thrushjz

    Some of you might be old enough to remember scientists in the 1970's prophesying the doom of "The New Ice Age".
    It was on the cover of Time magazine several times...I just wish these "Scientific Experts" would make up their friggin' minds. Which is it? New Ice Age or Global Warming...I don't even listen to them anymore, I just look out the window.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. m.s.mohamed ansari


    Mr.M.S.Mohamed Ansari,
    154, Angappa Naicken Street,
    Chennai – 600 001.
    Tamil Nadu, India.


    The Hon’ble Chief Justice,
    The Supreme Court,
    United States of America,
    Washington, D.C.
    Fax no: 213.547.8080


    Sub: Prosecution of previous President Mr. George W.Bush, for violation of International Code of Conduct.
    Mr. George W.Bush, the previous President of United States of America, initiated a war against IRAQ, without obtaining the previous sanction of United Nations Organization (UNO) on the pretext of having nuclear weapons, even though the then IRAQ government openly exhibited to the whole world that it has no nuclear weapons.
    According to the CNN WORLD report, in the war 6, 75,000 civilians killed, 7500 troops of USA and its allied forces killed and $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar spent for the war. This spending of $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar is the main cause of action for the present economic crises prevailing all over the world.
    After winning the war against IRAQ, the United States of America’s President Mr. George W.Bush, also admitted the same fact, and he openly stated that the Intelligence agency misguided him.
    Later on, even the United Nations Organization (UNO) also certified that the IRAQ has no nuclear weapons.
    Then it is the bounded duty of the United States of America and its allied forces to withdraw from IRAQ.
    But instead of withdrawing from IRAQ, the United States of America and its allied forces formed a government in IRAQ, under their control and administered the entire IRAQ, and its peoples.
    This indicates a clear violation of duty by the President of United States of America Mr. George W.Bush and also a clear case of violation of the International Code of Conduct for UNO members.
    Thus Mr. George W.Bush attracts prosecution for the above said offence.
    Thus I hereby pray this Hon’ble Court initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. George W. Bush, and give him maximum punishment for
    a) Initiating the war against the IRAQ
    b) Killing its innocent IRAQI peoples
    c) Killing troops of USA and allied forces and
    d) The present economic crises.

    Dated on this day of 13th day of April, 2009.

    Yours truly,



    The Chief Justice, the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands.
    The Secretary General, United Nations Organization
    The Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, IRAQ.
    His Excellency Mr.Barack Obama, the President of United States of America, White House, Washington D.C.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
    • cliff cabbage

      Guess you missed UN resolution 441.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • truefax

      @cliff cabbage huh what?

      United Nations Security Council Resolution 441, adopted on November 30, 1978, considered a report by the Secretary-General regarding the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The Council noted its efforts to establish a durable and just peace in the Middle East but also expressed its concern over the prevailing state of tension in the area.

      The Resolution decided to call upon the parties concerned to immediately implement Resolution 338 (1973), it renewed the mandate of the Observer Force for another 6 months until May 31, 1979 and requested that the Secretary-General submit a report on the situation at the end of that period.

      The resolution was adopted with 14 votes to none; China did not participate in the voting.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • False

      Most of the arguments you present are based upon false evidence. Also, your appallingly shallow command of the English language serve to debase the rest of your arguments. An educated person does not use verbiage such as "the IRAQ." I hope you take time to either develop your argument and base it in facts, or, just drop the issue.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yo, Mohamed, I guess you didn’t notice the comment thread was about climate change. Unless you’re trying to enlighten us to the fact that climate change is a President G.W. Bush conspiracy! Although your rant (dated 2009) has comic relief value, perhaps if you post it in a more subject matter appropriate location you may get more traction. But being you brought it up the day my president allows the UN to dictate our policies; I for one will be calling for impeachment. Wow, it takes all kinds………… Now that I’ve been so bold please don’t blow up my house.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. mememine69

    Now we arrest the news editors for leading us to a Bush-Like false war against a false enemy of climate change. You the news editors threatened my kids with DEATH BY CO2 for 25 years and now you think you can all just walk away from this mess you created? YOU fear mongers will not get away with this if we all just work together to bring them to justice. System Change, NOT climate change. Let’s be REAL liberals again, not clowns who bow to the FEAR!
    NO! Call your local prosecutor now people and make the media take responsibility for knowingly spreading needless fear and virtually causing a public riot of CO2 panic.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Turtle H

    Has the state of Hawaii reported having snow? If not, has snow been reported in 48 states or do we now have 51 states in the U. S.?

    January 12, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • uhphys

      Is there something wrong with your browser? Your question is answered in the very first sentence:

      "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. "

      January 12, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Oldfortman

      According to Obama we have 57 states.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JR Jake

    Oh Baby, Baby..............gottsta love Florida in the wintertime. I most certainly do.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon in FL

      South Florida, maybe. Here in North Florida, we're freezing our tails off. We've even gotten some flurries this winter. I feel like I've been moved 400 miles north without being told.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • USF Girl

      North Florida? Isn't that really just an extension of South Georgia and South Alabama? I mean, seriously. That area doesn't even look like the typically Florida postcard.

      I'm in SOUTH Florida, where we are tropical and warm. Have a good time freezing in "North Florida" and the other 49 states where snow is.

      January 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
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