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. jean glover chesapeake virginia


    January 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CC

    Sitting in sunny but chilly Florida, looking at all the snow everywhere else. Every state has their issues. Should FL go under water at least I have a boat to sail or motor away on.............Stay warm now.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rob

    Its Climate Change stupid. As the Earth's climate gets warmer, paradoxically, snow and precipitation and freak storms will also increase. There is a scientific explanation for this that is too complex for me to elaborate here. Freak tsunamis the other day. Extreme flash flood in Australia, and 69% of the USA under snow. Spring days in New England in Jan and Feb, hotter summers, would have to be dumb deaf and blind to not notice that weather patterns are changing.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. P M Fisher

    To make global warming to be a more correct term why not make it also global hotter-colder. Pick your preference. It is your choice.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ray L

    According to many posters here, global warming is a lie. Will someone please tell the glaciers to stop receding and the oceans to stop rising?

    January 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nick

    Now everbody can see what we go through in Michigan 5 months out of the year. that's why the suicide rate is so high here. So suck it up and buy a coat. At least yours will melt in a week. I'm stuck with this crap for another 3 months.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robdeep

    we didnt get any snow so yall lied. im here in waco texas and we havent gotten nothin but some cold air.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tim

    Snow was reported on all the major news networks, etc LAST YEAR in all 50 States. No one is keeping track? Maybe the news people should just check their own reporting files?

    January 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. love snow

    you are in the wrong blog nobody here cares

    January 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bamcubz

    Up in the Florida Panhandle and let me tell you, we may not have snow but it sure is cold enough. Expecting temps to drop to the high teens, which is probably pretty warm for those up in the New England states, but that's darn cold for us Floridians who are not at all used to it.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lynne

    Global warming refers not only to the weather on the Earth's surface, but also to upper atmospheric temperatures. As upper atmospheric temperatures rise, they can cause bizarre and more extreme weather phenomenon down at the Earth's surface, including cold and snowy weather. Look into it. I know it seems paradoxical, that warmer temperatures up high can cause colder temperatures down below, but hopefully it's not too far beyond science naysayers who seem to somehow lack all imagination while proudly displaying their inability to accept that things might be more sophisticated and complex than at first glance. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's website at might be a good place to expand your horizons a bit and realize that you lack the expertise to so vehemently and certainly deny the existence of Global Warming.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rock

    So much for the tree huggers.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. OoohYea

    Oooh but your wrong, everyone cares about a winner, and Auburn is a winner. But if You want me to tie it into this blog, It was snowing during the celebration in Toomers corner.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. truthmonger

    A single major volcanic eruption produces more CO2 than mankind has produced – IN TOTAL. Yet when a typical volcano blows, the world doesn't end. Kinda makes the man-made global warming people seem a little silly, don't it? Even NASA has admitted its a bogus argument. Is there global warming? Doubtful, but if there is, human activity will neither exacerbate nor prevent it. What we CAN do, however, is to get the trash out of our waterways, and thereby out of the oceans. We can stop dumping toxins into our rivers. We can curtail the use of birth control pills, which puts estrogen into the water supply that is NEVER filtered out. Those three acts would do more to right the state of the environment than anything else we could do.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwain

      Yours is the first post I have read on here that makes sense!The earth has gone thru warming and cooling cycles since time began.Who are we to think we are so all powerful to change the climate when as one other poster said one volcanic eruption can produce more pollution then man ever can.You are right about the trash chemicals,etc.They are far more harmful.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tyler

    for those of you saying that this contradicts global warming. you are fools. this is in perfect alignment with the green house theory. alow me to explain using small words as to not lose your limited focus. global warming is not caused for the most part by humans. it is a reacurring event throught the entire history of the earth. so to say that people are jumping to conclusions from the data we recieve from the past 150 years or so is nothing but hot air and holds no truth. learn the history of your planet better before you open your mouth. it is caused by the sun reaching the peak of its climatic cycle. sure the gasses arent helping this time around but do not have the streangth to cause such drastic change as this in such a short period. sure if it was to continue without correction for a hundred years or so, then yeah we're in trouble. but its caused by the sun getting tempermental at the end of its rotational cycle. do your research instead of blabbing on about what your friends tell you while getting stoned in your highschool parking lot. i do this for a living, its my job.

    secondly, this proves the theory perfectly. here is a short string of events as so i do not need to right an essay about the hows and whys this happens to get the facts accross. sun heats planet. sun gets hotter. o-zone gets hotter. gasses dont help the situation. polar caps start to melt. thus colling down the ocean. ocean brings super cooled weather currents over all our happy faces. we all put on scaves. not to difficult stuff guys.

    if you think i am wrong about anything stated above. well go google search it. feel free to find a video that will explain it to you in nice pretty pictures. because it is apperent that forming mental images and comprehension of simple logic being laid on the table in sentence form. must be to much to focus on while sparking a bong. i understand. feel free to search for and SOLID SCIENTIFIC DATA FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE (not just what they blabber on the news about, turning a global event into some sort of politics bull***). if i am wrong find the data. and this time make sure the data isn't just proving the theory correct like "dur its the coldest year on record (insrt goofy laugh here)" jee thanks for saying i'm right as if it proved YOUR point somehow.


    January 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rock

      Wow So defensisve.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slippers the Clown

      Actually "global warming" is about how man is totally capable of controlling weather.
      Course that version is pretty much false, as you've explained a bit on that nature herself does everything herself as she sees fit.

      January 13, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      "secondly, this proves the theory perfectly. "

      This proves nothing. Absolutely nothing.

      From the article:

      "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."

      Yes, it's odd, but for all we know it's not that uncommon. Nobody has figured out when, or if, this has happened last. For all we know, it happens every regularly and has been happening for thousands of years. Unless it's shown that this has only happened recently, it proves absolutely nothing about climate change. Without the context of how regularly it occurs, it's just an odd little fact that somebody happened to notice this year.

      January 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      I just did some basic research. This is a mere coincidence. According to, *every* state, including Florida, has an area that gets at least some trace snowfall in an average year. The chart shows 0.00 for Hawaii, but it doesn't include Manua Loa or Mauna Kea where snow is common.

      So, every state can get snow every year. The timing just happened to line up this year so all but one state had snow simultaneously. It's no more a sign of impending doom than the alignment of the planets that was supposed to destroy the world in 1982.

      In other words, it's just the media making a big deal over a minor coincidence.

      January 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
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