John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Only stubborn Florida is ruining that nation from being united in snow.
Damn it, Florida: We almost had a magical thing going on here, then you had to ruin it by remaining so warm, sunny and, well, mulishly Floridalike.
As of yesterday's Atlantic powder-blasting, 49 out of 50 states in the Union now have snow on the ground, reports USA Today. What's sitting there may not have come from this latest winter storm, and may in fact have been there for weeks, but it's undeniably snow: ivory, glistening, and all over, as shown in this depth map from NOAA:
A wider-view image from the U.S. National Ice Center and the Naval Ice Center reveals just how far Canada's snow has encroached on U.S. soil. Doesn't this justify some sort of military action?
In case you're wondering where Hawaii's snow is, that's simple – way up on a dormant volcano. Now if someone from Georgia would only load a bunch of snow in a truck and dump it in Florida, people in every state could all be throwing snowballs at each other. That hasn't been possible since February 2010, when a swollen system dumped a foot of snow across Texas and into the Florida Panhandle.
The weather January has done a fine job of setting the stage for this major blanketing. Although parts of the West remained warmer than usual, many states in the South and Midwest logged temperatures that were deeply below normal. Here's the January ranking from the National Climatic Data Center; the scale runs from 1 to 120, with lower numbers indicating colder temperatures throughout the month. Not shown is Hawaii and Alaska, the latter of which was just slammed with a massive heat wave:
Top image: Joggers run in front of the snowy Lincoln Memorial on Thursday in Washington, D.C. (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)