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. taverner6

    I'd be ashamed if my team cheated to get to the National Championship game. It's about to come tumbling down.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Socks

    Please, not another news article tempting people to come down to Florida.

    We have snowbirds enough already.
    It is cold (sometimes). It is unpleasant. We just do not have snow days and pretty white scenery to make the cold bearable.
    You know what we do have? Aged tourists driving slow, tipping poorly, pronouncing words obnoxiously, and having very self-important debates about the correct word for a carbonated beverage.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    As much as I love snow, I hate to shovel it. When we get snow, there is that great feeling of "Oh we will have a snow day or a half day or whatever." The only downside to that is, since you're home doing nothing, your parents are going to make you shovel. Especially being the older brother in the household. Since I live in New Jersey, we have had a lot of snow lately, whether it be the huge storm we had Monday after Christmas (where we got 30") or today when we got like 8", there will be no way to stop it. No matter what, snow is a natural occurance that can never stop, and us humans just have to live with it. There's nothing "bad" about the whole country being cold. It's just more snow ten usual. My parents remember being here in 1996 when there was a HUGE storm week after week. It's a cycle as you can see. Weather has always been occuring in a cycle. Some years the US is colder, and sometimes it isn't. It just depends.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The DR

    I love it when the climate change believers say,"climate change means unpredictable, sometimes drastic weather". By rule, weather is unpredictable and drastic. The best trick they have ever pulled is to convince people that changing weather patterns and extreme weather is abnormal. I laugh at you.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bbb929

    umm i live in florida and just because its not snowing doesnt mean its not warm i mean its cold as heck..

    January 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. herward


    January 13, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jackie

    This map is not correct. There is no show in Oklahoma or aleast central Oklahoma were I currently reside.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. tonihamalainen

    The new Ice Age is coming. It will descend on the planet in about three or so years. If you thought that was too fast for an ice age to appear, your information would appear to be pretty old, circa 1970s or thereabouts, lethally old so to speak.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steven Zimmerman

    Sure I love the Snow, as a fond memory a Child would have and hold for in 1984 I was fortunate enought to move to Florida ... Sunshine, Water & No Snow ... Florida's Waterfront Lifestyle ... its All Year !

    January 13, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. kiki

    heyy, i am kiki, i am sittin here in animal sceience. i'm suppose to be looking up things about ocean pollution and polar ice cap. my day so far has been okay, but i guess thats only just the start of the day being that im in third period.! but anyways thanks you for letting me and helping by your website.

    kiki richardson

    January 13, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Christian T

    I'm a resident in Orlando Florida and let me just add, i was at Universal studios two days in a row in shorts enjoying the beautiful weather! 🙂 high's of 70. i love it 😀

    January 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. CarlS

    Excuse me, what was the topic again? Oh, there it is, at the top of the page.

    I read an interesting article a few days ago. It said that because of gradual shifts over time the National Weather Service recalibrates its averages for daily temperatures and seasonal snowfall. Based on empirical observations I think events like this will be closer to the norm.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    what does al gore have to say about this and the fact that at the global warming conference they had the 2 coldest days in history ...

    January 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sherrell

    i'm here in Minnesnowta and I believe that we are getting the most of the snow. It is a suprise to hear about the rest of the states getting snow that doesn't usually get it, but hang in there it could be alot worse. 2012 was a movie that depicted all of this and also The Dat After Tomorrow. What is the world coming to? An END............

    January 13, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Quick, throw our your beer and soda!!

    Climate change is really from the CO2 venting off our beer!!! This has been going on for thousands of years now – when will we learn to stop drinking CO2 infused drinks 😉
    Of course, we could always gets cows to stop farting too – that would cut green house gasses 1/2

    January 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
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