Paducah’ed in Jackson

OK, it’s not that often you hear about “Snow in Paducah” on the national news, so I figured “maybe it matters”…

000 wwus43 Kpah 290106 wswpah urgent – Winter Weather Message national Weather Service Paducah Ky 706pm CST Mon Nov 28 2011 , Winter Weather Advisory Until 12am CST tonight.

Moz086-100-107>110-114-290600- ,, Bollinger-wayne Mo-carter-ripley-butler-stoddard-new Madrid- including the Cities Of, Marble Hill, Piedmont, Van Buren.

Doniphan, Poplar Bluff, Bloomfield, New Madrid 706pm CST Mon Nov 28 2011 Paducah has Issued a Winter weather Advisory for Occasional Snow, Which is Until 12am CST tonight.

Areas of Moderate to Occasionally Heavy Wet Snow will Continue this Evening Across Much of SE Missouri, of a Marble Hill to New Madrid Line.

As Much As 1 to 3 in.

Of Slushy Snow will be Possible in the Advisory Area.

Reports of an Inch or Two of Snow Have Already Been reported near Ellsinore.

Yes, it’s fall in The South, and that always means…

Hang on, wait a minute, snow in fall? Not unheard of, but certainly not very warm… This sounds more like a New England fall than one from The South…

Is a nice video from Accuweather that talks about things like I-22 in Mississippi perhaps getting some snow, and I-40 in the south perhaps also having some snow problems. Oh, and somewhere Jackson Tennessee getting inches of snow too.

We are continuing to have that “old style” pattern from back in the ’50s where cold lenses of arctic air head south bringing cold and snow with them, while that displaces some warm air northward to replace it. Think of a Lava Lamp where a “blob” falling down cause other “blobs” to move up. So expect the “warmers” to make a big deal out of the (temporary) warmth in New England, but what matters is the very early snow in “The South”…

Soon enough that cold will move East and North and we’ll have reports of very cold storms there. The key bit, IMHO, is that these storms are delivering perfectly NORMAL snow, just a pattern we’ve not seen for a few decades. It will be played up as “climate chaos”, I’m sure; but it isn’t. It’s just the normal cold phase of the planet getting started.

Some History

Oddly, the wiki for Paducah Kentucky has an interesting weather / climate note in it:,_Kentucky

Paducah has a humid subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 57.2°F (14°C). Average annual precipitation is 49.31 inches (125.25 centimeters), and average annual snowfall is 10.6 inches (26.92 centimeters).

Notable snowstorms are the Great Blizzard of 1978 and the Pre-Christmas 2004 snowstorm. Many snowstorms also hit the area during the very snowy winter of 2002-2003.

Paducah is also prone to ice storms. Two hit the area two weeks apart in February 2008. The crippling and catastrophic January 2009 Central Plains and Midwest ice storm also struck the area, and was by far, the most devastating.

So it’s a “mild subtropical” place that just happens to have had, post the 1998 peak of temperatures, a “Pre-Christmas 2004 snowstorm”, a “very snowy winter of 2002-2003″ and two ice storms in 2008. Oh and a ‘crippling and catastrophic” ice storm in 2009. Man that “Global Warming” is a cold hearted bitch…

Now it’s 2011 and we’re getting snow in November. More “Global Warming” like this and the place is likely to need ice skating concessions…

Wunderground reports the “monthly November”: for snow as (Min Max Average)

Snowdepth 0.0 in 0.0 in 0.0 in

Which is a bit vague as to if that is the historical average or this specific month average… but says that November 28th 2011 had (actual, average, record):

Snow T in – – ()

So we at a minimum had a ‘trace’, there is NO average and NO record… Doesn’t that make “trace” a new record? Or at least tying an old record? It also makes me wonder if we measure snow correctly if a load of wet slushy snow only gets counted as a trace since it melts when it sits in the bucket for a while…

Jackson Tenn. does show significant snow in the daily report for 28 Nov 2011:

1:45 PM 33.8 °F 23.9 °F 33.8 °F 100% 29.79 in 2.0 mi NNW 15.0 mph – 0.10 in Snow Light Snow
1:53 PM 34.0 °F 25.0 °F 32.0 °F 92% 29.79 in 1.8 mi NW 12.7 mph – 0.11 in Snow Light Snow
2:39 PM 33.8 °F 27.0 °F 32.0 °F 93% 29.79 in 0.5 mi West 8.1 mph – 0.03 in Fog , Snow Heavy Snow
2:53 PM 33.1 °F 26.9 °F 32.0 °F 96% 29.80 in 0.5 mi West 6.9 mph – 0.04 in Fog , Snow Heavy Snow
3:14 PM 33.8 °F 26.4 °F 32.0 °F 93% 29.80 in 0.2 mi West 9.2 mph – 0.01 in Fog , Snow Heavy Snow

Yet I find it odd that the “light snow” has 0.11 inches (the number preceding the description) while the “heavy snow” only has 0.03 inches, but hey, snow is snow /sarcoff>

Oddly, the daily summary only lists total precipitation and does not list any snow…

while the monthly summary for November lists:

Precipitation 2.13 in 0.26 in 0.00 in 7.61 in
Snowdepth – – – –

I’m left to presume that “1 to 3 inches” in a storm warning, if it comes down in small enough patches of “heavy snow” per hour, can become a ‘-‘ on standing in the records for a little while… Shall we say “Jackson was Paducah’ed”? meaning to have observed snow erased before it makes an embarrassing entry into the data record?

Or perhaps snow only counts if it ‘sticks’… So this must have been ‘a warm snow’… and we all know Global Warming causes “warm snow” ;-)

Besides, who you gonna believe? The Official Record, or your own uncalibrated uncertified unofficial eyes?

In Conclusion

Well, I had my doubts about the Historical Record as it pertains to snow and precipitation prior to this little adventure in Southern Snow. Now I’m even more doubtful. Is it the Official Dogma that snow only “counts” under specific conditions of “sticking”? I suspect so. As I recall it, the stuff has to hang around in the snow gauge long enough for someone to observe it. Snow falling onto an above freezing gauge will melt, and become “precipitation” totals sans snow. But it will be official precipitation…

Somehow, I think this indicates we have a problem with our temperature records, and I think it is much more than a few tenths of a degree and vastly more than the imputed “global warming” amount. Certainly it indicates enough error in the recorded data to void any idea of betting the global economy on those data.

Also note that the Wunderground official low for the 28th was 33 F, so it never was cold enough for solid water. Nope, not at all. Never mind that each individual hourly record from 1:45 PM to 11:53 PM lists an event of “snow”. Nosirreee, not a single hourly air temperature was below 33 F. Now I’m not at all sure or clear on how you can have 10 hours straight of snow fall and always be above freezing, but I’m pretty sure it’s a neat trick, whatever it is.

Must be all that “warm snow”…


Just “for grins” I went back to take a look at the Paducah Ky hourly entries. They have an even higher air temperature with snow.:

Time (CST) 	Temp. 	Windchill 	Dew Point 	Humidity 	Pressure 	Visibility 	Wind Dir 	Wind Speed 	Gust Speed 	Precip 	Events 	Conditions
9:49 AM 	37.4 °F 	28.2 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.92 in 	2.0 mi 	North 	16.1 mph 	- 	0.01 in 	Snow 	Light Snow
9:53 AM 	37.9 °F 	29.2 °F 	35.1 °F 	89% 	29.93 in 	2.0 mi 	North 	15.0 mph 	21.9 mph 	0.01 in 	Snow 	Light Snow
10:05 AM 	37.4 °F 	28.2 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.91 in 	5.0 mi 	North 	16.1 mph 	21.9 mph 	0.01 in 	Rain 	Light Rain
10:38 AM 	37.4 °F 	27.5 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.89 in 	6.0 mi 	North 	18.4 mph 	24.2 mph 	0.02 in 	Rain 	Light Rain
10:53 AM 	37.9 °F 	28.5 °F 	35.1 °F 	89% 	29.89 in 	3.0 mi 	North 	17.3 mph 	24.2 mph 	0.02 in 	Snow 	Light Snow
11:02 AM 	37.4 °F 	27.5 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.87 in 	2.5 mi 	North 	18.4 mph 	24.2 mph 	0.01 in 	Snow 	Light Snow
11:13 AM 	39.2 °F 	29.0 °F 	35.6 °F 	87% 	29.84 in 	4.0 mi 	North 	21.9 mph 	26.5 mph 	0.01 in 	Rain 	Light Rain
11:53 AM 	39.0 °F 	29.6 °F 	35.1 °F 	86% 	29.83 in 	7.0 mi 	North 	18.4 mph 	28.8 mph 	0.01 in 	Rain 	Light Rain
12:53 PM 	37.9 °F 	28.2 °F 	35.1 °F 	89% 	29.77 in 	3.0 mi 	North 	18.4 mph 	29.9 mph 	0.05 in 	Snow 	Light Snow
1:05 PM 	37.4 °F 	27.2 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.76 in 	2.5 mi 	NNW 	19.6 mph 	31.1 mph 	N/A 	Snow 	Light Snow
1:15 PM 	37.4 °F 	27.8 °F 	35.6 °F 	93% 	29.77 in 	3.0 mi 	North 	17.3 mph 	31.1 mph 	0.03 in 	Snow 	Light Snow

Yes, I know that cold frozen water can sink into warmer air when a cold front is on top of a warm front, but really, doesn’t that just scream that the ‘average air temperature’ doesn’t say much at all about the ‘heat flow’? If part of the air column is 32 F or below as frozen water and absorbing heat and the rest is 37-39 F? What IS the average temperature of that volume of space? What is the average heat content?

You simply can not average the air temperatures and know what is happening to heat.

I also find it rather odd that we start and end with 37.x where the x is either a 4 or a 9 (that is just SO screaming ‘artificial artifact’ and “unphysical”) but has a blip UP to 39.x for two measurements… in the middle of a snowstorm? OK, it did shift to rain for those two measurements, so maybe a gust of something warmer did blow in, but is that telling us anything about heat flow on the planet? Or just telling us that ‘weather happened’? And if it is just saying “weather happened”, then what does averaging a load of those say about heat flow? Precisely nothing. It just tells you what the average of the unaveragable weather was. It certainly has no predictive power.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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12 Responses to Paducah’ed in Jackson

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    Paducah is also prone to ice storms. Two hit the area two weeks apart in February 2008
    The new minimum began with the Solar Cycle 23 minimum…, a sudden drop in Ap index, a big Tsunami in Indonesia…300,000 deads
    Dew point….for it to work humidity is needed. A growing humidity is expected, as increased low altitude clouds formation too (as Henrik Svensmark says). No lack of water as the Rvd.”Al Baby” imagines…(The New Church of GW), ask Thailanders or Pakistanees…
    It´s Gaia promoting life with volcanic ashes and rains. Just don´t live near one volcano or in a dry former river course….

  2. Richard Ilfeld says:

    For pilots a nasty environment indeed. 25 years ago I landed hard there with an inch of ice on the Mooney. I lived in Union city, where it was an even nastier micro climate, being nestled in a bend in the Ky river. SubTropical my foot!

  3. Judy F. says:

    Here in Colorado, it can snow at temperatures up to 40 deg F, and rain at temperatures down to 32 deg F. That is of course, not official, just what I have personally seen. As a rule, the colder it gets, the flakes of snow get smaller and as it warms up, the flakes get larger. If it is really cold ( negative degrees F) we often say it is too cold to snow. Our low humidity levels probably have a lot to do with that.

    I don’t know how they measure snow depth officially, because I am sure that our method of sticking a ruler into snow piled on a picnic table isn’t quite scientific enough. Of course here on the Plains, we rarely have snow without wind.( Our snow usually falls sideways.) In open areas the snow doesn’t stick, it just blows by until it hits a windbreak of some sort, which usually is the least desireable place for a pile of snow i.e. in front of the garage.

    The general rule of thumb here is that one inch of snow equals 1/10 inch of precipitation. A late spring snow, usually a heavy, wet snow, is called “poor man’s fertilizer”. I don’t know if it is because the fields green up so fast after the snow, probably because of the moisture and the warmth, or if there is something in the snow that does indeed have a fertilizer effect.

  4. George says:

    Hey, I saw it snow in Augusta, Georgia in 1976 or 77. In ’73 Savannah got nearly 4 inches of the stuff (granted that was in Feb ’73). But ’73 was the big one:

  5. George says:

    usually a heavy, wet snow, is called “poor man’s fertilizer”. I don’t know if it is because the fields green up so fast after the snow, probably because of the moisture and the warmth, or if there is something in the snow that does indeed have a fertilizer effect.

    It is because it contains a lot of nitrogen and unlike rain which can quickly run off, the snow allows this nitrogen-rich water to slowly trickle in.

    This would be especially true if there were any electrical activity along with the snow (thunder snow). In that case the snow will be particularly nitrogen rich.

  6. PaulID says:

    what is strange is with the current La Nina that we here in Idaho are going out in nothing but shirtsleeves (well I am) we have had daytime temps in the upper 40s lower 50s unprecedented? nope my dad remembered playing football on thanksgiving in shirtsleeves in the 30s and 40s so a little strange but not unheard of I just hope we can keep going on the snow that is what our farmers rely on.

  7. Judy F. says:


    What is the mechanism for getting the nitrogen from the air to the ground? Why does electricity (lightning) help? I’ve heard of the effect, but not ever gotten a good answer on “how” it happens.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Judy F.

    Lightning makes TONS of fixed nitrogen all the time. Even way high in the are we have ‘sprites’ and other kinds of activity that make such compounds.

    They are generally light, so don’t sink fast. But if you dissolve them in water as it precipitates out of the air, a lot of it gets moved from air to ground in one batch.

    Atmospheric Fixation

    The enormous energy of lightning breaks nitrogen molecules and enables their atoms to combine with oxygen in the air forming nitrogen oxides. These dissolve in rain, forming nitrates, that are carried to the earth.

    Atmospheric nitrogen fixation probably contributes some 5– 8% of the total nitrogen fixed.

  9. Judy F. says:

    @ E.M.

    Thanks. The lightbulb went on with your reference. It also answers the question as to why the yard perks up after a nice rain, where watering it with a hose just keeps it alive. Those basic chemistry classes were oh, so long ago… and I did oh, so poorly in them. Sigh

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    Glad I could help. “Chemistry is your friend”… even it does speak a strange language and has occasionally rude obstinance about how things Must Be ;-)

  11. George says:

    I learned this from my grandfather who was a farmer. Unlike most of the farmers in the county that were “inheritance” farmers (doing things the way Dad did because that’s the way we always did it), my grandfather had a degree in agriculture (rare in the 1930’s) from the University of Maryland.

    I used to be afraid of thunderstorms when I was very young. He taught me that the rain was very good for the fields and added fertilizer and so I should be thankful for them and not afraid of them.

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