December 28, 2022

Shovel Off in Buffalo

Timothy Birdnow

For those in a panic over global warming and the big Buffalo New York snow, I submit this for your consideration:

Buffalo has had such snowfalls before. In December of 2001 it got 82.7 inches, well above the 558 inches this month. So it's gone down since 2001; what does that tell us about global warming? Does that mean it's getting colder? Hotter?

It means nothing of course. Normal variations.

And while the lakes have all seen slight SURFACE temperature increases(please note that surface warming could just as easily be caused by a number of other things, like heat pollution from growing cities on the shores of the lakes (Roger Pielke Sr., professor emeritus at UC Boulder,  always argued that land use changes explained all planetary warming; a blacktop parking lot is hotter than a green field), or from increased solar insolation  - which we know to be happening. Yes, the Sun has been getting hotter. or rather the TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) has increased.

So there are plenty of explanations for the big snow in Buffalo. And of course anyone blaming Global Warming for this is a pure partisan; we got a lot of snow all around the country, and bitter cold too. It wasn't just Buffalo or western New York.

Yes, this was a huge snowfall for a single day.

Here is a list of Bufallo snowfall highs. Note that in 1995 it received 86.1 inches.

Now Buffalo has had 97.2 inches of snow this season, according to the National Weather Service. That is admittedly a lot of snow. But it has happened before. In 1976-77 it had a snowfall of 199.4 inches. So yes, it's on track to beat that year, but by how much? 

And Buffalo is not exactly an ancient city, so records only go back to the last century. Likely it's been hit this hard in bygone days - especially during the Little Ice Age. Buffalo was founded in 1803 and it is doubtful any meaningful snow records were kept until late in the century.

Attempts to tie this to global warming is just that - an attempt. A nice try perhaps. But is it really grounds for panic?

The National Weather Services says this about lake effect snow:

Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes . As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere.

Get that?  COLD air moving across the warmer water. So it has little to do with warming water in the Great Lakes and everything to do with cold, humid air moving across those lakes. In other words, it's snowing because it's cold, not warm.

But Climate Change is the Goldilocks Theory; if it's too warm, too cold, or just right it's all evidence of Global Warming.

Sheesh!  What a racket.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:11 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 500 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Well, there was the famous Blizzard of '77, which yours truly lived through. Some reporters in Buffalo are saying the current storm may, or may not be, worse than that one. The '77 storm resulted in power unrestored for weeks in parts of town.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson] at December 29, 2022 04:46 PM (FSK6u)

2 I forgot you lived there Dana. Yeah; you probably remember some nasty snowfalls!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at December 30, 2022 09:18 AM (fDRfC)

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