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. TriB

    Satire is your friend people. Stop being so uptight.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael Hippenhammer

    You global warming nay-sayers' ignorance on climate is astonishing! It would normally take tens of thousands of years to to do what we have done in 160 years. Yes carbon level rise is a known fact of nature but, the part that you knuckleheads out there are purposely ignoring is that in the last 160 years, starting with the industrial revolution, the discovery of oil and growing populations, we have raised the atmospheric carbon level equal to about 30,000 years worth of carbon dioxide growth. Nature raises those levels very slowly but, we stepped on the gas and accelerated the process. You also ignorantly state that man has very little to do with the rise in carbon levels. When we are digging up mountains (literally) of coal and pumping lakes of oil, burn it and put that stored carbon back into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, we are the problem!! Volcanoes and forest fires are part of the natural cycle but, you add the human factor and now the carbon cycle is out of wack. Seriously, take climatology at your nearest University and/or read how a green house works and you will realized how truly stupid and ignorant your statements about global warming are. Our biggest worry about global warming is how the earth is going to correct itself. This includes the possibility of global cooling which is just as bad as global warming. We are having a hard time getting the message across about step 1 ( global warming) that we haven't even had a chance to talk about step 2 ( earths corrections). Never in the history of this planet have we seen a natural cycle that raises earths temperature levels as fast as our present time except for maybe a large meteor impact.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Research this, smarty pants! "Multi-scale analysis of global temperature changes and trend of a drop in temperature in the next 20 years" by Lin Zhen-Shan and Sun Xian

      January 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MR. NO

    Hey I'm MR. NO. Gettin' Gay is harder then you think MR. GRITS n' Conebread. YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO MR. NO and others. MR. NO thinks you need to be watching and listening to Fox News and talk radio. MR. NO thinks you have NO business being on this website for adults, and making OTHER SOUTHERNERS LOOK BAD.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stupidity Killing Me

    Seriously; I find it amusing that we have a society that makes it very easy to recieve an education yet we have so many uneducated people within our society that feel it neccessary to make comments on subjects they know nothing about. Southern Style, I would recommend that you read the comments of "Just The Facts" and "Dave". Oh I am sorry, you obvioulsy did not take advantage of the education provided you, so you might want to find someone who can read their comments to you. When you try to process the information, please have some ICE PACKS close by, or try to process in the kitchen, so you can reach to the freezer in case of a brain overload.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jenwow

    Ummm did anyone do the math on this?? 50 states minus one (florida) equals 49, what about Hawaii?

    January 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      Did you READ the article? As in the first sentence of the article, which mentions snow is Hawaii.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      is = in

      January 12, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. UWFGRAD10

    I resent the statement about Florida being nice and sunny right now. It's freezing–literally, the roads are freezing over. Sunny my ass.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sucks to be you.

      Speak for yourself. While it is no joy, it is in the 50s right now in SWFL. No freezing here. Remember it is a big state.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Steve D

    This is only moderately unusual. During a string of hard winters in the late '70's there was snow on the ground in all fifty states. You've got a good shot at getting all fifty if you get snow on the ground in Florida, which isn't that uncommon along the northern boundary.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. C'j R

    WHOOOOOpppppppppyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Bring it on. Let's go Skiing.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    Thank to the states for sharing Quebec usual winter weather !

    January 12, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. bigmac

    I read a story in a news paper it said not to trust what you read on the internet ?mabye time to make our own determination unstead of leting someone else make all your decisions I live in hawaii and its cold WE as earthilngs want to feel so signifigant that we think we can change the entire cilimate no matter how bad we f up the earth will be fine we are ants if you want to save the earth then you should kill your self

    January 12, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Justin

    While this article may be somewhat true but its not 100%. I live in Florida and a town over DID get some snow flurries but i guess not enough.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Global warming occurs with or without human intervention. The earth heats up over thousands of years, weather patterns change, ice caps melt, oceans rise, and then it cools off over thousands of years, weather patterns change, ice caps freeze, oceans lower. What is hard to identify is how much human intervention/interference/pollution contributes to that fact. It is possible that human beings could make it warmer, faster, causing more violent weather patterns, causing more ice to melt, causing oceans to rise, MORE than the Earth would do by itself. That's what is hard to measure. Are we having an effect? Of course we are, but is it measurable and detrimental? That's the argument.

    It's not a matter of global warming being a hoax or if it exists or not, it exists, but its cyclical, as far as we know. If you did some scientific research, you will see that the earth heats and cools by itself with variations from the heat from our sun and our orbit around it. I just hope we aren't making it worse where it takes much longer for that normal cycle to occur, impacting life on this planet much more than it should be naturally...

    It exists, the argument is how much we affect it.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I forgot to include: look up "paleoclimatology" and you will see from various scientific sources, that the earth has heated up, cooled, rinse and repeat, over thousands/millions of years, the question is are we making it heat up too much too fast where it will hurt us. I'm repeating myself because I'm tired. Good night! 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Louis

    Birds are falling out of the sky, fresh water and salt water are dead(millions)and there's nothing going on with our climate. The scientist can't give us a sensible explanation, and we don't question anything because some of us are to busy worrying about left and right issues. Global Warming is a natural effect that the Earth goes through, we have helped the process speed up.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Louis

    Dead fish typo

    January 12, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. joe

    49 of 50 U.S. states have snow... hide the phucking.. decline....

    January 12, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
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