Beltane start of Summer and Snow…

Yes, it is “May Day”, also known as the Celtic / Druid holiday of Beltane that is the official start of Summer on the Druid calendar. A time to celebrate the winter left behind and the warmth that is here.

In a world of Global Warming, we ought be having “fond memories” of back in the olden days when we knew what snow was…

Instead, we’ve got active snowfall.

Colorado snow accumulations from May 1, 2013 storm
Posted: 05/01/2013 06:52:06 AM MDT
Colorado snow accumulations in the northern part of the state for the May 1 storm, according to the National Weather Service, include:
Black Hawk — 6.3 inches

Boulder — 4.1 inches

Breckenridge — 5.8 inches

Cameron Pass — 18 inches

Conifer — 3.6 inches

Estes Park — 13.2 inches

Evergreen — 2.5 inches

Fairplay — 3 inches

E Fort Collins — 8.7 inches

SW Fort Collins — 11 inches

Genesee — 4 inches

Glendevey — 11 inches


Nederland — 6.4 inches

Northglenn — 1 inch

Pawnee Buttes — 1.5 inches

Pingree Park — 24 inches

Yes, up to two FEET of snow in some places. There’s a nice cold snowy ‘winter storm’ blowing through the “Mountain States”. No, not “Climate Change” nor “Climate Chaos”, nor even the newest attempt at re-branding “Climate Weirding”. Just ordinary weather.

That’s sort of the whole point. The weather is absolutely normal and entirely inside historical ranges. Just not hot. Or extreme.

Alaska is letting folks run snow tires longer (guess it’s not warm up there either):

State again extends snow tire deadline
May 1 deadline extended to May 15
Posted: April 29, 2013 – 4:28pm | Updated: April 30, 2013 – 12:00am


Alaska drivers will have an extra two weeks to dismount the studded tires from their road vehicles, the Alaska Department of Public Safety announced Monday.

The deadline of May 1 has been pushed back to May 15.

The state’s decision to extend the date by which cars and other road vehicles must not be fitted with studded tires comes days after a late-season snowstorm dumped more than four inches of snow on Juneau last Friday.

Other parts of the state have also experienced significant snowfall, with Fairbanks receiving snow Monday.

Of particular note:

The normal deadline by which drivers in parts of Alaska south of the 60th parallel north must have studded tires removed from their vehicles is April 15. That date was pushed back to May 1 earlier this month.

So a full one MONTH later than usual…

Also whacking Wyoming and other States and headed on toward the MidWest (that is actually in the Eastern Half of the nation…)

Snow storm hits Plains, Midwest, May 2013

The same storm bringing heavy snow to Denver and Cheyenne Wednesday, May 1, has the potential to bring a swath of heavy, wet snow from eastern Nebraska to northwestern Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan by Thursday. – AccuWeather

Westbound I-70 is closed at the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado due to multiple accidents caused by the snow – @breakingweather

49 mins ago by editor

Meteorologists say snowfall in Plains, parts of Midwest could be ‘historic’ – @NBCNews

52 mins ago from by editor

28 inches of snow reported in Buckhorn Mountain, Colorado – @breakingweather

1 hour ago by editor

‘Amazing’ temperature contrast in Iowa: 32 in Sheldon, 81 in Keokuk; up to 5 inches of snow in state’s northwest, meteorologist @asoswx says

2 hours ago by editor

@MoberlyG tweeted:
Photo: 12-inch snow in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Warming? My frosted butt cheeks!

I think what we have here is the sound of the Fat Lady Singing….

There’s also a bit of snow in Iceland and Norway so it’s not just a US thing. (Again, it isn’t ‘weird’ to have snow in Norway now either. It just isn’t warm either.)

We are running above average “climatology” on snow. Not dramatically, but it’s pretty clear snow is not just “a fond memory”…

Live N.H. Snow chart

Live N.H. Snow chart

Original from here.

It’s awfully hard to be “warming” when you are under a layer of snow…

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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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30 Responses to Beltane start of Summer and Snow…

  1. Power Grab says:

    They are predicting snow for the NW part of Oklahoma and the panhandle. There’s a lot of winter wheat out there. If it snows enough, it will insulate the wheat and keep it from dying.

  2. Verity Jones says:

    Feels (and looks) more like mid-March than 1st May where I am in UK. My mother used to remind me of the old saying “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May is out”. That is don’t shed a layer of clothing… but opinion is divided on the second part. It could be ‘until the close of May’ or it could be ‘until the “May” (= Hawthorne) blossoms. Sounds like wise advice this year.

  3. punmaster says:

    Snow tires; those are fables, like the Loch Ness monster, right ? I’ve seen pictures . . .

  4. dearieme says:

    My wife went down the garden this afternoon to wrap fleece around a couple of dwarf cherry trees: it’s lovely and sunny here in East Anglia but distinctly chilly. A local horticulturist tells us that “we’re five weeks behind”. The daffodils are still thriving (in May!) and the asparagus has put only the most tentative of spears through.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, at least it’s better than a drought… which the warmistas were predicting… Oh, pardon, they never actually commit to anything so those were just “projections” as in groundless pontifications..,


    Nice to hear from you again. I think we’ve both been too busy…

    Yes, UK weather takes a lot of ‘swing’ in the cycles, so much less predictable. The result of being ‘on the cusp’ between two sides of different state, both in the air and in the water.


    No! I’ve seen ‘Em! Honest!!! Up skiing it was. I was taking chains off my car and a big truck came in with them suckers stuck on it. Chewing up great gobs of snow… I turned away to protect myself from flying bits of who knows what, and then they were gone into the veil… but I swear they were real! Though it was back in the ’70s… maybe they’ve gone extinct since then…


    @ Dearime:

    5 weeks sounds about right to me. Somewhere between a month and 6 weeks depending on where you are. The snow map (at the same site as the graph above) shows much of Canada still covered in snow… So winter is both starting earlier and ending later. Makes you go “hmmmm”…

    I wonder if ….

    I did some graphs a few years back of trend “by month” that showed the “swing months” more variable by location. I wonder if one could demonstrate Willis’ thunderstorm thesis with monthly trends graphs. Look at it in the ’40s to ’70s, then in the ’80s to 00’s then in the 00’s to ‘teens… see if the different months have different segment trends. So summers tending to “max out” at the same stability point, but winters not. Swing months oscillating with the cycle from warming to cooling… Maybe it’s time for me to fire up the old Linus GIStemp server, download some new data samples, and go at that again…

    I need longer days, or an assistant, or a grant, or something ;-)

  6. Lynn Clark says:

    As someone who has lived in Colorado (near Denver) for the past 34 years (and in Utah prior to that), “late-winter” snowstorms like the current one are not unusual. (I seem to recall a monster blizzard in June — 1982 IIRC — that dumped 26 inches.) In fact, for many years I’ve hoped for a “late-winter” cold spell that could kill the blossoms on the crab-apple tree in my front yard, and thus prevent the mess all over my lawn and driveway in the fall. I’d love to get my hands on the neck of the landscape architect who chose to put crab-apple trees in the front yard of about every fourth or fifth house in my neighborhood.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Lynn Clark:,1-0,crabapple,FF.html

    Result Page: 1 2 3 Next

    Stick or press … 1/3-1/2 of the crabapples. Fill jars … water and sugar to boil. Pour syrup over apples. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes.
    Ingredients: 4 (jars .. sugar .. vinegar …)

    Wash crabapples, remove the … sterilized jars and seal at once. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes or store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
    Ingredients: 7 (allspice .. cinnamon .. cloves .. crabapples .. nutmeg …)

    Choose round crabapples, uniform in … leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cover with boiling hot syrup. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
    Ingredients: 7 (allspice .. cinnamon .. cloves .. mace .. stems …)

    Wash crabapples; stem and … you need for a batch, you can add a little water (not more than 3/4 cup). Do not try to double this recipe. It won’t work.
    Ingredients: 4 (crabapples .. sugar …)

    Put 3 to 4 pounds of crabapples into a large … the spoon all at once). Skim foam, pour into sterilized glasses or jelly jars and seal with wax or lid.

    so two more pages of recipes to go … call it a ‘feature’ and eat the suckers! ;-)

  8. tckev says:

    As a joke back in December I predicted for the new year, snow until June and summer ending first week of August . I sincerely hope I’m very wrong. ;-)
    The inconvenient fact is that often through the beginning of the last century it was not that unusual for there to be some very cold weather at this time of year. It also was not unusual either at this time of year for some very fierce tornadoes. Times have changed and so has the weather. I wonder what the climate’s doing.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    And just think, we are likely at the start of 20 years of consistently colder…

  10. Judy F. says:

    It has been snowing all day (May 1) here in northeast Colorado, with the temperature at 30F most of the day. However, since we had some warm temps last weekend ( about 80F) the snow is not sticking and it is melting on the roads. The snow is nice and wet and since the ground is warm enough it is soaking in and not evaporating or running off like it does if the ground is frozen.

    I did not grow up in Colorado, but I have lived here for over 40 years and snow this late is not unheard of. There are pictures taken by the grandparents of the snow on the wheat in June sometime in the 1940’s. Where I live, our average last frost date is May 12. What is unusual this year, is that the temps are still regularly dropping below freezing, and it got as low as 16 degrees last week. Usually, by May, there is a chance of frost, but not these really low temperatures. The upside is that it has been cold enough that the fruit trees haven’t even budded out, so the chances that the flowers will be killed by low temps (because they blossomed too early) are lessening. The perennials are just poking their heads up, but the poor daffodils were frozen so hard that they look like creamed spinach.

    Last year I don’t remember it freezing after mid-March. I think Joe Bastardi has hinted at another cold spell next week too. What a difference a year makes.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    I think the altitude and the lower atmospheric thickness is also likely making things worse for you… Sorry to hear about the “creamed flowers” ;-)

  12. tckev says:

    @Lynn Clark:

    If your not taken with E.M.Smith’s recipes there is one other thing that you can do with crab apples, unfortunately it is alcoholic though. It’s crab apple wine and I’ve found a recipe on line that is close to the one I used to make.

    The things I would change is no citric acid, juice of 2 or 3 lemons or limes (about 1/2 to 1 cup of juice in total), 2lb of sugar + 1lb of honey, add 1 stick of cinnamon bark, and only use a good wine yeast.

  13. Ian W says:

    tckev says:
    2 May 2013 at 4:23 am

    Make that a Champagne yeast. That works well with crab apples and for that matter with normal windfall apples.

  14. punmaster says:


    I found this:

    Snow tires ( schnee dekk pneumaticus ) are a unique species characterized by a round body with octopus-like suckers covering the exterior of the body. This enables them to travel in severe conditions when snow and ice cover their habitat.

    During warmer weather they hibernate, emerging only when surface temperatures are consistently below freezing. Snow tires are found north of the 40th parallel in North America, as temperatures south of this line do not produce consistent conditions which enable the snow tire to travel. Travel over hard surfaces not covered by ice or snow produces extremely rapid wear of the suckers. When the suckers wear away the life of a snow tire ends. Although many researchers in a number of countries study snow tires, how these creatures obtain food from snow, and how they reproduce, remains a mystery.

    Because snow tires are non-migratory, many people south of the 40th parallel, especially in the southeastern United States, have held that their existence is a myth.

  15. philjourdan says:

    @punmaster – before radials, I remember when snow tires were commonplace in the lower 48 (at least in the snowier states – florida probably was exempted).

  16. Gail Combs says:

    dearieme, I am in central North Carolina (just south of the snowline in the USA) and our daffodils were blooming last week! Right now it is 59F.

    We normally see weather in the 80’s and 90’s in April but not this year. BRRRrrrr….

  17. Gail Combs says:

    punmaster says:
    2 May 2013 at 11:36 am
    ….Because snow tires are non-migratory, many people south of the 40th parallel, especially in the southeastern United States, have held that their existence is a myth.
    Down here in the south we call’em MUD tires.

    I have been very glad I bought and keep a set of chains for my 1982 Dodge PK (Cummins diesel) It snows here about once every five years but when it does the roads are not plowed and they turn to ice so you use chains or risk your life.

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. How old is it the Druid calendar as : it is “May Day”, also known as the Celtic / Druid holiday of Beltane that is the official start of Summer on the Druid calendar ?
    As the astronomical start of Summer now it is on JUNE ( Next Summer Solstice:June 21 2013 05:04 GMT) if we consider 50.3″ arc-seconds per year as the precession of equinoxes. In 51 days there are 4´406,400 seconds, which divided by 50.3 gives us 87,602 years ago….as the approximate date Druids decided to establish Beltane as a holiday. Quite an old culture!

  19. J Martin says:

    Crab Apple Jelly (Jam) is truly fabulous. I haven’t had any in years. Thanks for the reminder, now I will have to track down a jar or two this weekend.

  20. Pingback: These items caught my eye – 2 May 2013 | grumpydenier

  21. wayne says:

    Snow on May 1st in Oklahoma? Been a long time since I’ve seen this here, back in the late 60’s IIRC.

    We had 128 excess heat degree days above normal in April, also high in March, also high in February, this just might be what I thought was to begin about 2.75 years ago. Think there could be a 1/4 wave lag in the low solar effects?

  22. R. de Haan says:

    This is normal weather… really?
    I have missed this information about snow in Lesotho, South Afrika long before the start of the southern hemisphere winter season.

    I think we’re clearly seeing a regime shift here. Of course from an historic perspective nothing unusual because it all happened before but for our world today this shift will come with great implications for farming especially in Canada and the US , Russia and Northern Europe. With western governments continuing to push their AGW hoax and hiking fuel prices this will have serious consequences. In fact it their policies already have serious consequences. Food prices are at the core of the Arab unrests and in the UK and continental europe thousands have died from hibernation. Especially elderly no longer able to pay their fuel and electricity bills. Now all we need at this moment is a VEI 6/7 volcanic eruption to really make the party swing.

  23. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan….
    You beat me to it. Just what we need a spring volcano eruption to further muck up spring planting season.

    Hekla volcano (Iceland): strong inflation suggest volcano could be close to erupting
    May 1, 2013 – ICELAND – The famous Icelandic volcano is showing further signs that indicate an eruption could occur in a near future. Significant rapid inflation, concentrated in the northern part of the volcano, has been detected since early April and likely represents accumulation of rising magma underneath. Already in mid March this year, an earthquake swarm, volcanic tremor and deformation caused an alert, because it was believed that this was caused by rapid movement of magma under the volcano. The last eruption of the volcano was in March 2000, and it is estimated that by now, a significantly larger volume of magma has since then accumulated beneath the volcano. This would mean that a new eruption should be expected to be larger than the last one. Hekla’s eruptions normally begin with a powerful explosive phase, and could pose a significant hazard to anyone in close (less than 10 km) proximity during the onset of it. –Volcano Discovery
    Growing threat from Iceland volcanoes: British researchers say some Icelandic volcanoes could produce eruptions just as explosive as those in the Pacific Rim, with disruptive ash clouds. Previously, scientists had thought that Icelandic magma was less “fizzy” — containing less volcanic gases like carbon dioxide — than that in Pacific Ocean volcanoes, and expected much less explosive eruptions by comparison. However, research by Britain’s The Open University and Lancaster University said they’ve found evidence of Icelandic magma twice as “fizzy” as previously believed, increasing the likelihood of future eruptions like that of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 that created ash clouds that disrupted air travel over large parts of Europe. The researchers analyzed pumice and lava from an eruption at Iceland’s Torfajokull volcano some 70,000 years ago to search for evidence of the levels of gases from water and carbon dioxide in the eruption…..

  24. R. de Haan says:

    Right, people forget too quickly but for me it was like yesterday when European airspace was blocked from a volcano that according to so called experts, without a shiver over a doubt, would trigger a much bigger eruption within 1.5 years after the Eya eruption. Their only argument: because this happened in the past. Although I don’t think a past scenario will happen again today the break out of a real big eruption or a meteor impact for that matter could spoil our insignificant lives any moment. And when I watch the number of impact crates at the moon and the earth….
    Well, I am not de “doomist”, just take matters as they come and adjust to or escape tacky situations, if possible:

    Chinese researchers develop a new deadly strain of influenza in veterinary laboratory:

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh Dear… I have this urge to plant crab apples and wait a decade….



    All I can add is that their habitat ends at about 4000 ft elevation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains…


    Kerosene is your friend…


    Nobody knows how old. About 5k years is the common used value, but it is a made up thing….

    @J. Martin:

    You are most welcome… now I’m trying to figure out where to get / find crab apples. Last time I was “nose to nose and belly to belly” I was about 7 and packing a 30-30 Winchester walking next to Dad hunting deer and asked “Why are those apples so small?”…. about 250 miles north of here…


    Or the books are in the oven ….

    @R. de Haan:

    Snow already starting in the S.H. when it’s not yet stopped in the N.H.? Oh Dear…

    Aside from the social / cultural implications, there are a load of analytical things that come to mind..

    “That’s not right”… echoes in the mind as well….

    I think that I hear The Fat Lady singing really loudly now….


    I have never wanted to be more wrong in my whole life…. I’ve stated the expectation that volcanic activity is in sync with lunar/solar cycles (and potentially via orbital resonance with asteroid / comet impacts). I really really hope it does not work that way (though that is the way the data point…)

  26. R. de Haan says:

    Well, there is a bright side to everything. 100 years after the volcanic eruption of Mt.Vesuvius, the Romans discovered that pozzolanic mullet produced during the eruption was a basis for what we now call Roman Concrete. Some of the Roman builds still remain today in almost perfect condition.

  27. vukcevic says:

    In England (CET area) 1n 2012 daily maximum temperature was on average 1.3 degrees C below the 20 year long average.
    Since December this differential has considerably widen, I do hope that the average does bounce back.

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    If my understanding of how things works is correct, we’re going to be significantly below the average for CET for the next 30 years…

    @R. de Haan:

    For example…. “what he said” ;-)

    FWIW, this morning I found it had rained (stuff on the patio wet, and not just a dew kind of wet…)

    Not unheard of for this time of year in California, but neither is 90 F and sunny. We’re certainly not “warming” when it’s raining in mid-May….

    It will be interesting to see just how late in the year Europe gets snow, and how much the glaciers start growing…

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