Snowiest winter ever-- in 125 yrs.

news-rotunda-snowToday's snowfall of 3.8 inches breaks by 3/10ths of an inch the record previously held by the winter of 1995-96 with 54.7 inches, according to McCormick Observatory, Charlottesville's official weather station since 1894. The latest white stuff puts us at 55 inches for the season, and Punxsutawney Phil says we're getting at least six more weeks of winter. However, UVA climatologist Jerry Stenger says we'll be lucky if it's only six more weeks. Before the observatory, Thomas Jefferson recorded 36 inches during one storm in 1772 during the "Little Ice Age."

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Events seem to be follerin a ominous logic. Al Gore: Fat! It are cold! He is a liar! a fooler! Dang....

The headline doesn't make sense. How can it be the snowiest winter ever, if it's only the snowiest winter in the past 125 years? The headline should just be "snowiest winter in 125 years."

Dr. James,

Brilliantly put. You are like a candle in the dark...

Thank you!

Snow, cold maybe time to take a page from the Buffalo play book and bring back memories of winters long ago, in Charlottesville, when many a pond was frozen solid.

Funny, the front page of today's sports section, in the New York Times " Backyard Entertainment: Taking advantage of unusually figid weather, Buffalo residents are building rinks, from kits and on their own ( my family used a garden hose, string for corners and wood posts, for the sides) I think Roger Voisinet, of UVA hocket fame, once tried to build an outdoor rink at McIntire Park. --think he was a Buffalo boy, as well, must have skating in our blood.

A note for fdr...

I have a colleague, Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. For many years he has been conducting research on the ice cap of Greenland that involves the analysis of ice core samples. This work has provided physical evidence preserved in the ice going back many thousands of years.

You might find reading some of his work instructive and illuminating. In particular "Paleoclimate from Ice Cores: A framework for Archaeological interpretations," in El Nino, Catastrophism and Climate Change in Ancient America, Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, 2008.

During informal discussions Dr. Mayewski has described the conditions in the field that are complicating his further work, notably the rapid melting of the icecap. The melt water is causing a deterioration of the ice cap at an alarming rate by creating sub-surface rivers that continue to grow and erode the surrounding ice.

Beyond that, I discovered in the course of my own research that similar teams working in the Andes have all but abandoned their research because, in many places, the glaciers have simply melted away.

While there is no doubt that we, in this area, are having an unusually cold and snowy winter, there is abundant evidence to demonstrate that ancient glaciers are receding at rates more rapid than any in recorded history, and that this is because of rising temperatures. Similar phenomena may be observed in the pack ice formations north of the Arctic Circle.

Of course, it may be true that these are phenomena that have occurred in the remote past and for reasons unrelated to human activity. Nevertheless, the implications of such undeniably rapid recession of glaciers and arctic pack ice are potentially catastrophic, whatever the cause, be it increased volcanism influenced by solar activity or human activity.

I think there may be some risk in taking the events we see unfolding around us too casually. Even though it is politically fashionable these days to treat everything with a partisan, party line knee jerk, and to dismiss anything this party or that might advance in the direction of solving shared problems, for my part I rather wish those empowered with the vote would take the time to educate themselves enough to elect public servants with the wisdom to act responsibly and collegially.

I see our problem as less one of incompetent public officials and more as one of willfully ignorant voters with an attitude.

So the earth warmed up and colled down many times in the past... but THIS TIME it is all our fault...

Doubtful... Here is a cliamtologist who has admitted it ain't over till its over.....

Thats right! stoopid Algore. Takin our jobs! Sarah Palin 2012! Arf Arf

More! not enough snow to make life size sculpture of Al Gore..........that boy has exploded!!!

We have plenty of time left to set a new record that won't be broken for another 125 years. Why stop at 54 or 55 inches? :)

But of course all bets are off on or about December 21, 2012 anyway after the solar eruptions and activity from the sun knock out our entire electrical grid in this country. People know it's coming, but not a thing is being done to prevent it.

Congratulations, Charlottesville (and my sympathies as well)!

We did it biatchez!!!

TJ contracted an uncurable case of jungle fever during that 1772 storm

Snow comes from moisture which comes from global warming. It has not been especially cold this winter anyway. How many times under 10 degreess, three times? That ranks as normal, as I recall the 1970s.

On January 7, 2010, Greenland was warmer than Florida. Scary map here:

Colfer, read the article. That kind of thing happens all the time. I remember Anchorage having warmer temps than Miami Fl on occasion. It happens.

The earth has been colder and warmer than this before, and will be both again.

Ah Buffalo, spent a month there one night- think it was in Jim Kelly's place

Learn to spell, then have an "agenda".

By the way.....

Let there be no mistake, Dominion Power took these storms serious and they are on the ball. I noticed last night they had brought in a mobile command center (tractor and trailer) and parked it on the Sears lot so as to have direct communication with the many service and repair trucks brought into this area.

There is a good chance of MORE snow on Monday. I think instead of shoveling sidewalks everybody should roll all that snow into big snowballs and make snow sculptures of Al Gore on every street corner.