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. sandy

    Just enjoy the weather and let nature have a say on what is happening! Global Warming or not we are screwing up our planet.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. truthinrock

    Not having any snow is the ONLY thing Florida has going for it. It's always warm in Gods waiting room.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    when will people realize it's not global warming....the earth's axis has moved after all the jolts from the earth quakes.

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

      Chris, that is absolute B.S. That fantastic earth axis tilt theory does not explain the rise of CO2 levels in our atmosphere from 320 PPM to around 388 PPM in the last 50 years! That was the result of burning fossil fuels–where the earth naturally stores the carbon it absorbs–into the atmosphere. And satiellite date matches up perfectly between rising CO2 and rising temperatures. The earth tilt is boloney. Unsupported science-fiction.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • bb

      I think he's right about the axis thing. All the melting snow in Greenland make the planet more unstable and wobble a little more....or a little less. Doesn't matter, it's still global warming....sorry...climate change.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rich223

    Hey Florida. Get with the program!

    January 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ME

    What's up with Florida? Too cool to get... cold? All the cool states are doing it! Come on, Florida, stop trying to be the weird Emo Kid.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Emigdio

    We won't have that problem with no snow soon, this morning we had very thick fog. Florida will have snow within the week as the cold front moves south.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. P54

    15000 thousand years ago the whole Scandinavia was under ice. Before the time of cars, power plants and jets. Yes, before people knew about CO2 they burned so much wood in Africa to stay warm and heat their food that the climate changed. They cut all the trees and now we have the Sahara desert and Africa is warm enough they can go naked. At the same time ice melted in Scandinavia from too much CO2 release in Africa. Now people can live in Scandinavia. If Al Gore lived back then maybe he could have prevented the ice from melting in Scandinavia by taxing the Africans for burning too much wood making supper. Now they have to pay CO2 tax (breathing tax) in Scandinavia, maybe to prevent the ice to melt from Greenland so people can live there in the future. Or are they afraid Scandinavia will get so warm that more people will live there? In the meantime enjoy the winter snow. Would sure be big news if 49 states were covered with snow in July. Then we for sure would have to crank out more CO2.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian Dattero

    All of us contribute to global warming/climate change by driving cars and living off or using technology that at the end of the day contributes to net addition of greenhouse gases. Unless we go to a way of living that does not make ANY net contribution, global warming/climate change decreases will be merely academic. The non-believers will hardly change their minds overnight, but will the believers have the courage to COMPLETELY change the current lifestyle which basically comprises (1) Using energy, (2) Using energy and (3) Using energy...anything else one does is just lip service.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • GREG

      yeah whatever go hang out with your buddy al gore it's likely freezing cold there too

      January 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. peetz!

    The sun went down. It's 6:20 pm. It's down to 59 degrees. I'm freezing! I'm in Arizona. We need lots of warming. Hurry!

    January 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sandy

    Well said Brian! Ignorance is bliss!

    January 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spinalrod

    The United States has other major cities besides just east coast that are also covered in snow.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GREG

    and to think i spent thousands a couple of years ago moving my family back to north carolina from western new york state (buffalo area) so we did not have to deal with snow and cold anymore – hey Al Gore hows that warm thing going over there in Tennesee

    January 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Winter2011

    Amazed at the number of non-experts always telling experts how wrong they are. So many know-it-alls in this world. Lol

    January 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry Miller

      Personally, I'm amazed anyone is still gullible enough to buy into the "climate change" scam...

      January 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Al Gore


    January 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GREG

    winter 2011 it is not a matter of being a know it all its a matter of i have frozen my butt off for the past 4 winters that makes global warming a bit of a hard sell but you probably don't want to hear any body elses thoughts you apparently dug out your own

    January 11, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
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