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. @BamBam

    Clearly they've ruined your education from the way that you speak. How exactly does drinking starbucks ruin the country? As for marijuana, it has a lower addiction rate than drinking and nicotine and is almost impossible to overdose on so it is nearly impossible to die through marijuana. Learn some facts, i'm not even from your country and i seem to have a more level head than you.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. K C

    It hasn't been that pleasant in Florida, either....sure, it hasn't snowed here, but it's still been cold (freezing in mornings).

    January 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Go Auburn


    January 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |

    That had to be one of the worst played championship games on record. I think Nevada, Boise State, or even UCF would have run both of them off the field. Go BULLS!!

    January 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. corymottice

    Learn to do your research before you write an article, Angela! It is NOT hard to put a date on when this last happened. Last year snow was reported in ALL 50 is the proof, photos of the snow IN ALL 50 STATES!

    January 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Don't insult the reporter for errors that she didn't make. The article is talking about snow being on the ground in 49 states *at the same time*. It may have snowed in 50 states last year, but you'd have to prove that there was snow on the ground in 50 states at the same time.

      January 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stephanie

    "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."

    By all means, come here...boost our economy. It's a little chilly here though! I think today it's 40, with 25 mph winds, and the water temp is in the low 60's. I think CNN needs to fact check before posting things like this. If you want to go somewhere warm Florida is not the right choice. We may not have snow, but we are experiencing some very cold weather. Seriously, it was 16 outside about 2 weeks ago. It could have snowed had the conditions been adequate.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hockeyguy

    nothing makes me sadder than uneducated morons proclaiming that the poles are switching right before our eyes and global climate change is a hoax and the laws of chemistry and physics don't apply. they are the laughing stock of the scientific community, but unfortunately people with money who appeal to a faction of the population can get anyone to believe anything no matter how few credentials they have.....i.e. sarah palin.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wally zebco

    I'm hoping the editors are smart enough to phrase the headline just so the uneducated chime in with their factless pander. It worked. Everyone who writes "so much for global warming" are a reflection of our education system.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Oooh Yea

    James you are a delusional little man. When UCF becomes a big boy program, THEN you can speak. Until then, I’m done with you. Thanks Jim, I needed the laugh, bulls, good one Jim good one

    January 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Terry

    Why do some simpletons see how cold it is locally (or even nationally) and seem to think that negates "global" warming? The name should say it all. It's a "global" phenomenon, and the consequence is erratic and extreme weather events, like extensive flooding, freak snow storms, increased hurricane intensity and the like. This type of winter would be exactly what we would expect of global warming, along with record flooding in China, Australia and the US. It amazes me when people put ideology over logic and science...

    January 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic

      I'd say snow covering 69% of the land in the lower 48 states is a tad bigger than 'local'. It is the height of hubris to think man's activities are more than a popcorn fart in the desert of climate change. Is the climate changing? Perhaps, but to assume man is doing it and to use any weather event to support the notion is nonsense (and non-science).

      January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dash

    Actually, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa do not have snow all winter, but it is a rare winter in which they do not have at least one snowfall. Even if it melts later that day. We've certainly got more snow this year than last. It's still fairly nice over here under the 8000 foot mark – I was at the beach last week! Come visit – one of the few places in the world where you can snowboard in the morning and surf in the afternoon.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alienative

    It is nice and sunny here in Florida. No flooding just yet. I rather be on a boat here than freezing my a_s_s there. Suckers!

    January 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jon

    Al Gore is not available for comment

    January 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. KMan

    It might just be me, but it looks like most of the state of Illinois is not covered with snow, an interesting snowless patch in the middle of all that snow. Additionally, Washington D.C. area is also without snow according to this map. Isn't the president from Illinois and now residing in Washington D.C.? Could it be that the HAARP stories are true and that the U.S. has the ability to affect the weather and perhaps Obama has decreed to keep his regular haunts free and clear? 🙂
    Conspiracy theorists might think that... 🙂

    January 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • rube

      i know your joking, but that was stupid, plus theres about six inches in chicago so ur conspiracys off

      January 13, 2011 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    Global warming! Lol – the temp will always change on this planet. We are but a flea on the rat in the town of Global Temperatures! Lovekly metaphore, no??

    January 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Measuring the average global temperatures year after year and comparing them to actually know if they're changing or not and how fast. LOL! Only a scientist would do that. We are but sloped foreheads on the neanderthals of humanity. Lovekly metaphore, no??

      January 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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