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Large Snowstorms East of the U.S. Rocky Mountains
Changnon, D., Merinsky, C. and Lawson, M. 2008. Climatology of surface cyclone tracks associated with large central and eastern U.S. Snowstorms, 1950-2000. Monthly Weather Review 136: 3193-3202.

What was done
Using a newly developed dataset (Changnon et al., 2006), which "defined the dimensions of extra large damaging snowstorms during 1950-2000 in the eastern two-thirds of the nation," the authors assessed the characteristics of "the surface low pressure systems that caused the 241 largest and most costly snowstorms, those producing heavy snow (>15.2 cm of snowfall) over 258,000 km2 (100,000 mile2) or more area" in "the same 1-2-day period," which systems were responsible for "the top 10% of all snowstorms."

What was learned
In terms of decadal totals, Changnon et al.'s data exhibit the greatest number of extra large snowstorms in the 1950s, an intermediate number in the 1960s, identical minima in the 1970s and 1980s, with a return to an intermediate count in the 1990s.

What it means
Whereas climate alarmists claim that global warming leads to more frequent and more extreme weather phenomena, including windstorms and precipitation (which in winter equate to blizzards and snowfall), Changnon et al.'s findings provide no support whatsoever for this contention. If anything, in fact, they tend to suggest just the opposite.

Changnon, S.A., Changnon, D. and Karl, T.R. 2006. Temporal and spatial characteristics of snowstorms in the contiguous United States. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 45: 1141-1155.

Reviewed 22 October 2008