Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Snowy Days On The Decline During Christmas Season

Date:
November 28, 2003
Source:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
It's looking and feeling a lot less like Christmas in many parts of the country as higher temperatures and fewer snowfalls are becoming the norm from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 26, 2003 -- It's looking and feeling a lot less like Christmas in many parts of the country as higher temperatures and fewer snowfalls are becoming the norm from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.

Related Articles


Looking at states that typically get snow, 197 of 260 weather stations have reported fewer days with snowfall since 1948, according to statistics provided by Dale Kaiser, a meteorologist in the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The survey looked at the 30-day period from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24 from 1948 to 2001.

The decrease in the number of snow days has been especially pronounced east of the Mississippi River, where 117 of 125 stations reported an average of five fewer days with snowfall.

"Five fewer days of snowfall over a 30-day period may not seem all that significant until you consider that, in many regions, snow days occur relatively infrequently," Kaiser said.

One region that is more wintry between the holidays, however, extends from the Central Rocky Mountain states (Utah, Colorado and Wyoming) eastward into the Central Plains (mainly Nebraska), where the number of days with snow has increased significantly.

"The area across the Central Rockies and Central Plains is the one part of the country that is bucking the trend, with a few stations in Utah and Colorado seeing nearly 10 more days with snowfall," Kaiser said.

Nationwide, taking into account only what scientists define as "statistically significant" data, 197 stations experienced declines in the number of days with snowfall while 63 stations had increasing trends. The statistically significant designation means there is a 95 percent probability that this trend did not occur by chance.

In the East, leading the pack with a trend of nine-plus fewer days with snowfall were Batavia, N.Y., with 12.5, Medford, Wisc., with 11.7, Dansville, N.Y., with 10.6, Towanda, Pa., with 10.3 and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., with 9.3. Skipping down the list, other cities experiencing fewer days with snowfall include:

Columbus, Ohio -- 7.8

Indianapolis -- 6.5

Minneapolis -- 6.0

Philadelphia -- 5.2

Chicago -- 4.8

Washington, D.C. -- 4.3

Nashville -- 4.1

For many cities, the weather described by the data is actually what was recorded at nearby stations. For example, the weather for Sault Ste. Marie was recorded at Newberry while the weather for Washington, D.C., was recorded at Glendale, Md.

In the West, stations reporting trends of more snowfall days during the 30-day period were led by Provo, Utah, with 9.8 more snow days during the 30-day period, followed closely by Morgan, Utah, with 9.5 and, to skiers' delight, Dillon, Colo., with 8.3. Other cities experiencing more snow days include:

Cle Elum, Wash. -- 6.1

Hastings, Neb. -- 5.9

Salt Lake City -- 5.0

Boulder, Colo. -- 3.5

Stations in the East that showed significant decreases in snow days had an overall warming trend of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

"We examined trends in temperatures at 613 weather stations," Kaiser said. "East of the Mississippi, many stations extending from Indiana to southern New England showed significant warming from 1948 to 2001.

"This is consistent with fewer snowfall days over this region and may be at least part of the reason for fewer snowfall days. West of the Mississippi, only a few scattered stations showed significant warming; however, many stations over the central Rocky Mountain states have cooled significantly for this 30-day period."

Kaiser cautioned against reading too much into the survey, saying, "Although this work shows real changes over parts of the U.S. in snowfall days and temperature for this 30-day period, this cannot be used to draw conclusions about changes in weather over the entire winter, nor do these findings necessarily relate to the broader issue of global warming."

###The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/), which includes the World Data Center for Atmospheric Trace Gases, is the primary global change data and information analysis center of DOE. The center responds to requests for data and information from users all over the world.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Snowy Days On The Decline During Christmas Season." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031128082424.htm>.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2003, November 28). Snowy Days On The Decline During Christmas Season. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031128082424.htm
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Snowy Days On The Decline During Christmas Season." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031128082424.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) — Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins