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. nick

    what about hawaii?

    January 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Did you NOT read the article??

      January 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greg

    Last year in February, there was snow in 50 out of 50 states. I

    January 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GeoMan

    What about Hawaii?? There's SNOW in Hawaii???

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

      There is only snow on the tops of the peaks & correction it doesn't fall all winter get the facts straight CNN! We have been lucky to get it this year there have been years it doesn't fall at all.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kea

      Yes, there is snow in Hawaii on the Big Island. I should know, I used to live there. It's pretty crusty and usually not much snow.. but it snows up there during the winter. It's also the largest mountain in the world if you measure it from it's base which starts at the bottom of the ocean. (No, Everest is on top of a tectonic plate.)

      January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nicole

    Ruffnutt, it only melts quicker if we actually get above freezing temperatures and sunshine. Otherwise, we Southerners keep the snow around just as long as anyone else.

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

    People would be much better off if they started using "global climate shift" instead of global warming since global warming still seems to confuse to morons... climate shift is much more accurate when describing what is actually happening in the atmosphere...

    January 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      ... and oceans... Well, the environment in general =)

      January 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      And climate shift allows everything to fit into the category, flood, drought, heat, cold......sorry, just felt an earthquake. Climate shift, right?

      January 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. automagic

    I have this weird belief, that if it's going to be so freakin' cold, it might as well snow. And if it's going to snow, it might as well snow enough to play in.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. E

    One cold weather pattern does not undermine global warming. Fact is that the average global temperatures are at alarming highs, and the Arctic/Greenland/glaciers are melting at devastating rates. Also, there are unprecedented forest fires, draughts, sea level increase, and soil erosion worldwide. Global warming is one of the biggest threats to humanity. We must save the rainforests and move to clean energy NOW!! We have the technology and know-how to do this. And it will save our economy too!

    January 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. EDIE

    It looks like theres a BIG fish jumping over the central part of the U.S. and a baby DINOSAUR running down the SouthEastern

    January 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeThingsDifferently

      Edie: That's a good one. I want some of whatever you're having! Although it looks more like an astonished squirrel looking at a mini-Texas teetering on the tip of a bat's wing to me. Not to get too detailed, just saying.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeThingsDifferently

      Of course I'm looking at the non-snowy, darker shade parts and not the light blue snowy parts like you were.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. E


    January 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • CrouchingWeasel

      What scientists E? The Climategate fraudsters? Sorry but I'll take the expertise of an experienced scientist like Piers Corbyn any day.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. doug

    there is snow on the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii...

    January 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. N

    Actually, this happened last winter, except it was all 50 states...

    January 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brad

    I wonder if the global warming deniers start believing in global warming when we go from Winter into Spring.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      you're right! I do believe in global warming in February every year, I pray for Global cooling in August and it comes about the end of September. Seriously is it possible that the earths climate has never been constant? 4000 years ago the Sahara was not a desert, 60,000,000 Y.A. Colorado / Wyoming was a tropical forest. 20,000 years ago the Northern Hemisphere was in an Ice age?

      Think semi-long in human terms here...the world will run out of oil in what 90 years? (At some point long before that it will be cost prohibitive to drive a car as we know it anyway, simple laws of supply and demand), Coal reserves will exhaust in 300 years. Eventually the problem will take care of itself regardless of what Al Gore says.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      I have been spraying aerosol products into the air for days trying to get a glimpse of spring...or of my yard for that matter.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rumrunner

    need more evidence of 'climate change' ?

    January 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sean

    Am I the only one who see's something wrong here it says Florida didn't get snow but 49 of the 50 states have snow. Does this mean Hawaii has snow????

    January 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      "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 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sure-why-not

    It amazes me how many global warmers post comments to defend their crazy beliefs. In fact, they are quick to put others down that do not believe in them. Why is that? Why so many that have to consistently fight for this? There are thousands of Scientist that do not drink the Kool-Aid of Al Gore, but I am sure you will want to call all them stupid too. I remember reading articles in 2004 and scientist predicting there would be no more snow because of global warming. What happened there?

    January 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Key Words: Reliable Sources

      What on Earth are you reading, my friend?? 🙂

      January 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
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