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. volsocal

    Taxing coal, natural gas, oil, and shale oil energy producers out of business is man caused destruction of country.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • peetz!

      They won't be taxed out of business. You think any business will quit due to taxes? That's destroying themselves. No, if they do actually have to pay any tax, don't worry, they'll just pass it on to the consumer.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |

    What about Hawaii. Don't tell me they've got snow too.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • peetz!

      Check Lola's post earlier.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stanman

    Oh well. I'm going for a drive in my electric car that's generated by a windmill. Wait a minute. We don't have windmills. Guess I'll use the usual that needs oil to generate. Hope where I'm going has a windmill.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. just me

    yes, i believe in global warming...of course with all the more people we have, with all that extra hot air, of course it's bound to get hotter on Earth. So I wonder what to do next. We already drive less, use less electricity, conserve water etc. etc. etc. Should we stop having kids? Less people on the Earth would in fact cut down on all of the above should we only be allowed one child per couple? Can we buy someone else's "credit" for a child then? cap and trade and all.....We could solve part of our climate problem and immigration problem swiftly with that law! lol.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • peetz!

      Well, that is interesting. Maybe we should look at this.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stanman

    Southern California had 200% more rain in December than average. Yet the Pacific is cold and NOAA says we'll experience La Nina this winter. So much for predications.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stranger

    Yeah, this happened last year. Feb 12th.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. McDuck

    If we all stop wearing pants and wear our underwear on our heads, it'll fix everything!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AmericanAnnie

    Global warming exists whether you believe it or not.

    People are idiots if they think that years of polluting our air, oceans, deforestation, etc won't affect our environment.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. J

    Kathy, we did in fact put a man on the moon. Grow up and get over it. Thanks.

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

    I find it hilarious that you people continually refer to the stolen & occupied nation of Hawaii as one of your "states".

    January 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • AskMeIfICare

      Oh? you come from a nation that hasn't been occupied and claimed?

      January 12, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Lecter, Ph D.

      According to the latest human DNA migration map, every place but Africa has been stolen and occupied.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sburg

    point is we do have an impact but because were all stupid. co2 is natural. yes the earth puts out much more than we do. if we would quit cutting down the rainforests than co2 would not have risen as dramaticly as ot has. yes cars put out co2 but we make more cars and cut down more trees needs to equal out otherwise the trend won't change. combination of things makes it complicated.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      it's wart remover on a global scale. neato

      January 12, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Ahhh, so it reminds you of those loving moments with your urologist...

      January 12, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Snow cold it is? When wearing coat, why so warmingly?

      January 12, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • ybs

      It's a miracle! We are so blessed! 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Codewize

      So Hawaii has snow? I blame global warming

      January 12, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      We are so blessed to get to witness the end of the world soon.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      Gosh, Diane... Me too. I can't wait for Jesus to arrive.. It's going to great.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Something is certainly wrong with your map. It's curved, bent.. There is your problem right there. You guys and your ice age crap. Next you are going to be telling me the earth is round or something.. Puh..

      January 12, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Hellsno

      That snow wouldn't dare bother Texas! Betta not!

      January 12, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      I know, I'm so happy about the end of the world too. It's great! I got my camera and everything too!

      January 12, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Nova

      Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen

      January 12, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      The amount of CO2 produced by mankind accounts for 0.005% (approximately) of the Greenhouse gases. In scientific terms this amount is negligible. The left is going after CO2 because they can TAX it, they cannot TAX the dominate gas known as H2O (WATER).

      January 12, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      @Nova – which Planet of the Apes movie was that from?

      January 12, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      Hawaii got snow too?

      January 12, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are mountains and snow typically doesn't fall below 9000 feet, so while yes snow in Hawaii, maybe a little side note would clear up that commit.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      @Charlie – where did you pull that number from? The planet produces about 750 gigatons of CO2 every year while human emissions come in around 30 gigatons. Maybe you'll need to check my math but that's about .04%, not .0005% as you claim.

      It's more a question of processing power that the planet has. To be crude, as an organism the planet can process about 40% those natural sources with the remainder being processed over a period of hundreds to thousands of years which is what made the global climate so stable for so long. Since none of those other natural sources account for the rapidly increased levels of CO2 and since globally the planet has not experienced a warming like this for hundreds of thousands of years (and we're doing it in a time of solar minimum) it is clear that human beings are responsible.

      Climate changes globally only by external forcing not on it's own. As a system it is a very well-balanced prospect but with an external force acting upon it you get instability, unpredictability, and disruption on a massive scale. That's what we're at the cusp of and unless we do something about it the prospects are grim indeed.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      I <3 being a FLORIDIAN...Hope everyone stays safe in the cold... =)

      January 12, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Gloria

      What shall I ever wear to the end of the world? Decisions... decisions..

      January 12, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Well when you bend a map like that, it only makes it makes the snow look that much bigger when it really isn't.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      It's a wonderful Ice Age, isn't it?

      January 12, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. TheEarthWasWarmerWhen


    January 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy James

      You make a good point about prior meltdowns. Does anyone know what actually caused the meltdown during the ice-age? Was it the Earth's changing rotation on its axis ? I don't remember the science of it all anymore.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • nighttime


      January 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      some people don't think past yesterday, so i hear you with this common sense

      January 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob2tall

      Good thing your not running any government-or have any official position anywhere on this planet-as global warming is real-it may not have anything to do with the current weather-but its real.
      Your capitalized comment shows your lack of intelligence...

      January 12, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • NAW

      Ok, this minor snow storm is in no way showing global warming is not going on. In the same way a heat wave is not showing it either. Global warming is measured by the 'global average' over time. So you can not tell by one minor spot on the Earth is something is going on or not. And caps lock, it is only 7/16th of an inch away from your finger.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You should do some scientific research before you make such generalizations. The Earth heats up and cools over thousands of years by itself, the argument lies wherein we try to determine how much of an effect human beings have. I am not saying global warming is ONLY caused by humans, the argument is how much we negatively affect that cyclical process that occurs over thousands of years. We have been in a warming period for thousands of years, but how much worse are we making it than it would be if we weren't here?

      Please see my other post or if you would like to learn more about how the Earth heats up and cools, google for paleoclimatology and read about it a bit.

      We are having an effect, how much? that is what's hard to measure. Weather patterns sure are getting worse and we ARE heating up, even with bad winters, that's part of the cycle... heh.

      January 12, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Wow I love this.
      "Ha the ice age happened before naturally so that means the odd weather make perfect sense!"

      I don't know about you, but arguing that the Ice Age and global warming occurred naturally doesn't mean it's not going to happen again. It means the opposite! If humans can do something to slow down the process then I'm all for it.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
    • NotShootingBeerCans

      Yes, you guys just go ahead and eat the grass that the super-corp. sponsored mainstream media feeds you. You just go ahead and think all the new laws and restrictions are for your own good... Hah hah... What a bunch of morons...

      January 12, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      The Ice Age occurred and ended gradually, over many thousands of years. The current climate change is occurring over the span of 100 years, coinciding with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Therein lies the entire problem, as millions live along coastlines in 2011, and the other rapidly occurring effects of climate change, like the real threat of the North Atlantic Current slowing or stopping due to heavy glacial melting near Greenland which pours massive amounts of fresh water into the ocean current. It's the rapidity of the changes that you need to wrap your mind around. If you have one.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Global warming means:
      The ozone layer is depleting, therefore:
      – Heat going up in summer gradually
      – Cold going downwards in winter gradually

      i.e. there is nothing to protect the earth in the summer from the heat and in the winter from the cold. i.e. extreme in both the seasons.

      Do you get it now?

      January 12, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Cold War Veteran

      First, please....please don't SHOUT!

      Second, for those who flunked high school science, there were many, many periods of freezing and warming, throughout the Earth's history.

      Third, and most important, please research what Global Warming actually is. Don't go to the first stupid web site you find; instead, research respected science journals. But for those of you with very short attention spans, I will sum up:
      Global Warming refers to the acceleration of natural climate change. Global Warming probably should have been called "Accelerated Global Climate Change." Anyway, it does not mean that everything everywhere just gets hot. It means that even small increases in global average temperature result in significant climate shifts around the world. This means normally warm places get cold suddenly, normally cold get warm, weather patterns become more intense and severe no matter the season, increases in atmospheric moisture which leads to not only more rain but also more snow. Etc. etc. If you want to know more, go study it. You can start by looking outside your window, and then look at the weather records your area has broken over the past 50 years. Have a nice day. 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Yes, I can't believe the majority of people have never studied the science of the world... or are just choosing to ignore it.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruth

      Those of us who "believe" in global warming understand earth's cycles very well. 99.9% of climatologists agree that anthropogenically driven global warming is a fact. I'm an environmental scientist, with an actual real science degree. What are your credentials?

      January 12, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam the Sham

      Global warming is to real. It is because Al said it is, and he's got the billions in personal profits to prove it. Suckers

      January 12, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Jesus told me to tell you that you guys are being real punk a s s e s lately too

      January 12, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      We are so blessed to be here for the end of the world. What were the odds? We sure are lucky!

      January 12, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      I know Helen.. It's wonderful.. I never expected to see the end of the world in my lifetime.. But thanks to healthy living, and a good diet I was able to live long enough to see what we all hoped for.. The end of the world. I can't wait to talk to Jesus.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Ecoherbalism

      Actually global warming is happening, just not by man. Not debatable :google it

      January 12, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Ok. Let's imagine for a moment that global warming has nothing to do with pollution.
      Anyway, I can't think of any reason not to try to live better. I want clean air, healthy food and healthy environment, because despite of what contamination can do for global warming is causing many diseases and problems for humans and other creatures.

      So, is this a nice discussion about theory? I'm all for a good life quality, which is being healthy, not wealthy.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      I sure hope the end of the world doesn't mess my hair.. :S

      January 12, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • rynenicklin

      People freak out, but Global warming is real. We are causing the temperature change, ect.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • conoclast

      So your sage advice is to simply ignore it? Do us a favor and check back in 5 years when famine is a household word and we look wistfully back on today as "BF": Before Warming. Aren't the bugs a problem for you there with your head in the sand?

      January 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stranger

    You misspelled "American" twice. Does anyone else see the irony in that??

    January 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Bourne Blogger

      Well I'm sure they outsourced the article to someone who doesn't know any better or care...

      January 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cory

    Really? Learn basic grammar and spelling before you even attempt to argue about what's wrong with the government. You look like an idiot.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WarEagle

    This map looks like fiction. It shows most of Alabama covered in snow. Not remotely accurate. Only the northern 40% has snow.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • spo00ner

      I think it's a liberal conspiracy to annoy people in Alabama.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tolan

      I bet 80% or more on here couldn't find Alabama on the map. Why..? Nobody cares where Alabama is. LOL

      January 12, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Canadian

      Actually the map is showing cloud cover associated with cold weather, and fyi clouds do not equal snow. Did you think that the snow was blue in Alabama too?

      And to the comment made about not knowing where Alabama is...I'm not surprised.

      You Americans need to get outside of your box! Enjoy your snow and ice, consider it a little gift from Canada...if you know where that is.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I wouldn't bet my prize hogs on that map. I think somebody must have made it up. Why does it look curved, bent for? Something wrong with your map CNN.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Canada is gross

      Hey Canadian... stop being stupid and boring. Oh wait, you can't.... you are Canadian.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • stuckup1

      To Canadian: Sure, I know where Canada is–it's a 45-minute drive south.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • bwdarr

      Nothing is wrong with the map only your perception of the world. Some time ago people realized the world was round.

      All maps must distort the geography to display our 3D world in 2D. This map is actually more accurate view of what N. America looks like from space than any Mercator projection that you are used to seeing.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
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