News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Historic Blizzard Bust: First time in history entire NY City subway system closed due to snow-but blizzard never happened. Only a few inches in Manhattan. NY Gov. Cuomo said blizzard was proof of global warming. Lack of blizzard also reported to be proof of global warming

1/27/15, "City at Standstill as Blizzard Strikes," NY1 News, Time Warner, 2:08AM EST

Chelsea, NYC, 2:08AM, NY1

"New York City is without public transportation this morning and non-emergency vehicles are banned from the roads in an unprecedented response to what's quickly become known as the Blizzard of 2015. By midnight the storm had dumped almost half a foot of snow on Central Park, with more than six inches accumulating at La Guardia Airport.

NY1 meteorologist John Davitt says he expects the storm to drop 12 to 18 inches or more on the city by morning, with the National Weather Service calling for up to 30 inches of accumulation....

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority shut down all transit operations to the public at 11 p.m., and non-emergency vehicles are currently banned from city roads as a result of the storm.

Included in the shutdown are all subways, buses, Metro-North trains, Long Island Rail Road trains and PATH trains, making this the first time that the entire subway system has been closed to the public due to snow although many trains are continuing to run empty to keep the tracks clear.

Officials say it's unlikely subway service will be restored in time for the morning commute.

"Let's see when the storm stops, and we'll start cleaning up the system," said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. "And we'll work as fast as we can to be able to restore the service, but right now, we're telling people don't count on us for that time period."

The system was previously shut down during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

On the streets, the vehicular traffic ban has left roads deserted except for plows and official vehicles. Authorities say non-emergency vehicles caught out on the roads will be issued a summons and given a fine of up to $300.

The bulk of the snow is expected to arrive before 10 a.m. Tuesday, although the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning through Tuesday at midnight.

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia says crews will face 2 to 4 inches of snow per hour at times.

Public schools will be closed Tuesday, all canceled regents exams have been rescheduled for Thursday. Those regents include Global History and Geography, Integrated Algebra, Comprehensive Testing in Writing and Mathematics for special education students.

The Archdiocese of New York says its schools in the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island will also be closed on Tuesday.

All CUNY schools will be closed Tuesday, though essential employees are expected to go to work.

The city has deployed 15 homeless outreach teams and is encouraging homeless New Yorkers to go to shelters during the storm. The shelters will be open to anyone who might be left stranded in the snow. 

New Yorkers are urged to call 311 for help, and 911 only in the case of life threatening emergencies.

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is checking in on the homebound to make sure they have enough medication, water, blankets, batteries, and non-perishable food for a few days. 

They say that seniors are at epecially high-risk for dehydration when the heat is turned on high. 

Those in need of assistance can contact the Visiting Nurse Service at 1-800-675-0391 or at

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for all New York City counties ahead of the storm, National Guardsman were stationed throughout the city and Long Island.  

The governor urged New Yorkers to put their safety first and avoid traveling on city roads and highways, adding that it is "not an evening or night to be out."

All Port Authority bridges closed at 11 p.m. Monday and will remain so until further notice.

Both the governor and mayor warned everyone not to underestimate the power of the storm.

The city Office of Emergency Management says all agencies have increased their staffing for the blizzard conditions, including 311 and 911 operators.  OEM says they are not expecting any flooding immediately after the storm since the temperatures will be in the 20s when it stops. 

They also advise construction companies to stop their work until the storm passes for safety precautions. 

He says the storm is unpredictable but he urges people to stay off the roads because of conditions he says will be "treacherous."

The city closed all city parks as of 6 p.m.
Courts will be closed Tuesday in New York City and on Long Island, as well as in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties. 
Alternate side parking is suspended through Wednesday.  Garbage and recycling collections will also be suspended.

Anyone with a heat or hot water problem should call 311.

At area airports, more than 4,000 flights were canceled on Monday.  All flights at LaGuardia are canceled Tuesday, and there will be only limited service at JFK.

Nearly every major airline in the U.S. and Canada is waiving change fees for customers flying to the Northeast.  The details vary by airline, with most allowing passengers flying to or through the Northeast to make one itinerary change without paying the standard change fee.

Air travelers should check with their individual carrier before heading to the airport.

Amtrak is warning riders about possible service disruptions.  To check on your reservation and any service changes, call 800-872-7245 or go online to

The snow postponed both the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and the Nets game at Barclays Center on Monday.  The Knicks game has been rescheduled for March 3, while the Nets game is rescheduled for April 6.

The biggest snowfall ever recorded in New York City was 26.9 inches on February 11, 2006."...

"Andrew Cuomo says frequency of extreme weather, such as hurricane Sandy and current blizzard sweeping across north-east, ‘is a pattern never seen before’"

"Massive snowstorms such as the one sweeping into the US north-east on Monday are “part of the changing climate”,
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, declared at a press conference announcing a state of emergency. 

Cuomo said on Monday that “there is a pattern of extreme weather that we’ve never seen before” – reiterating his comments in the wake of hurricane Sandy, when he said that “anyone who says there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns is probably denying reality.”

“We have to find ways to build this city back stronger and better than every before,” the governor said in 2012.

Despite the protestations of climate change deniers that extreme cold weather must mean global warming is not real, a single storm cannot be taken as evidence of anything with regard to climate: weather is not the climate


But Cuomo was referring to how increasingly intense storms fit “a pattern of extreme weather” – and that pattern evinces the reality of climate change. As the globe continues to heat up over the long term – 2014 was the hottest year on earth since human beings started keeping records – more and more energy enters the atmosphere, charging it for extreme events.

The atmosphere’s qualities vary hugely around the world – depending on geography, weather events like El NiƱo and the interaction of other factors. So the outcome of what all that charged energy actually does can vary from year to year, too. But one of the most likely consequences of this buildup of energy is a pattern of extreme weather events: not necessarily more storms, hurricanes, droughts and blizzards, but a pattern of increasingly dangerous and intense weather events.

Climate change could actually lead to more blizzards and less snow, since a warm atmosphere – full of energy and moisture soaked up by all that charged air – dumps more snow in brief, severe bursts. 

So while overall accumulation of snow may decrease, the frequency of intense storms may increase. This looks especially likely to happen as areas where snow should fall, in places like the Arctic, Andes glaciers and mountains around the world, rapidly lose snow due to global warming; and then that same snow deluges another part of the world as a brutal rain or snowstorm.

Like a broken pendulum swinging from one extreme to another, faster each year and increasingly threatening to break off on the hot side of the continuum, climate change could produce increasingly severe weather events every year: not just hurricanes and droughts but unstable polar wind systems let loose on the east coast by heat, cold “bomb cyclones” striking Texas, and torrential rain in the south-east while California dries out completely.

Extreme precipitation – a weather event – is hard to link directly to climate change, but Cuomo has a viable point: cold weather records decrease every year, even as evidence quickly mounts that the heat in the atmosphere is making storms more intense and making both the climate and the weather more chaotic." via Climate Dep


Blizzard or no blizzard, both prove global warming:

1/26/15, "Repeating News Story: Global Warming To Make Blizzards Worse,", Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels

"Over the next couple of days, as the Nor’easter honing in on the New England coast matures and eventually unleashes its winter storm fury, you are going to be subject to a lot of global warming hype.

After all, the climate change alarmist credo is: let no extreme weather event pass without pointing out that it is “consistent with” climate change caused by human industrial society.

The push has already begun.

But this time around, the pushback is also well-prepared.

While the “curator” of the Washington Post’s newly-minted online “Energy and Environment” section Chris Mooney tells us in his article that global warming may make blizzards worse by increasing the temperature of the western Atlantic ocean and thereby increasing the moisture feed into the developing storm, meteorologist Ryan Maue is quick to point out that just the opposite is likely the result—that the elevated sea surface temperatures actually act to make such storms tamer.

Maue goes on to add that it is easy to make case that global warming weakened this blizzard significantly due to warmer [sea surface temperatures].”

While Ryan is probably being a bit optimistic here, the reality is that this blizzard (in fact pretty much all storm events) are the result of a very complex system of physical interactions—the precise behavior of each one of which is not completely understood, much less perfectly predictable. This makes ascertaining the influence of human-caused climate change virtually (if not entirely) impossible.

Blizzards affecting New York City are perfect examples of this.

A couple years back, during another New York City blizzard, we looked at some of the confounding factors at play in determining how much it snows in Central Park. Our conclusion after reviewing the cases for both more and less snowfall there?

 Which leaves natural variability as the primary driver of just how white New York City’s winters are.
Figure 1 will give you some idea of what we were talking about. It shows the winter snowfall history from New York’s Central Park since the late 1800s.

Figure 1. Winter snowfall totals from New York City’s Central Park.

Kudos to you if you can pick out the patterns formed by global warming. And if you can, please write them up for scientific publication somewhere. The world awaits the definitive answer.

In the meantime, don’t believe the hype." Chart via Cato from NCDC AccuWeather data.
via Climate Depot


Comment: I have a clear view up First Avenue in the 80's in Manhattan. As of 5:21AM there are only 3-4 inches of snow. 


Added: Google removed text from this post that I'd copied and pasted from articles. As I was re-doing the post, my internet connection went dead. The post is still barely legible but links may still work for those interested. Google isn't happy about this post. Susan.



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