About That Climate Change-Induced Polar Vortex Snowfall in Atlanta Earlier This Year

Continuing with the fact-checking of the "Southeast State Climate Change Fact Sheets" provided by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), the next state on the list is Georgia.

For this state, SACE provides some "Climate Change Impacts on Georgia" that include the following:

Extreme weather, including severe storms, heat waves, cold snaps, and more intense hurricanes are all becoming more typical in a warmer world. These events have a large toll in terms of physical damage, lost productivity, higher insurance costs, and public health. For example the 'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014 practically shut down Atlanta with road gridlock while thousands of children had to spend the night at school because their parents couldn't reach them.

The link provided by SACE regarding the "'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014 [that] practically shut down Atlanta" is to an ABC News story from Good Morning America on January 29 with the alarmist title "Freak southern snow storm strands 8,000 students."  The story provided the following description of the carnage, and also included a video segment with George Stephanopoulos:

Nearly 8,000 students across Georgia and Alabama woke up today in school gyms or on buses. Streets and highways were littered with abandoned cars. Others emerged from churches, fire stations and grocery stores where they had spent the night after a rare snowstorm left thousands of unaccustomed southerners frozen in their tracks.

'Weather got so severe that we had to close the school,' said Christine Hoffman, the principal of Inverness Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala., where 75 students spent the night. 'We promised parents that staff would be at our school until every child was picked up.'

Tuesday's storm deposited mere inches of snow – less than three inches in Atlanta – barely enough to qualify as a storm up North.

It is true that Atlanta received 2.6 inches of snow that day.  Here we have the maximum one-day snowfall amounts back to the start of records (1930) for January, and on an annual basis, in Atlanta.

There has been no significant trend in either of these datasets since records began, nor since 1970 or over the last three decades.  Just a quick look at the dataset illustrates that what occurred in January 2014 is nothing particularly unusual at all for an Atlanta winter.  No evidence whatsoever for climate change on this angle.

The January total snow depth for Atlanta this year was just 4 inches – not much above the long-term average of 2 inches.  Back in 2010-2011, it was 15 inches. The record is 49 inches in 1940.  There were two days with snow on the ground this January.  The long-term average is one, and in 2010-2011 there were six, with the record year being 10 in 1940.

January of this year wasn't even close to being a record cold month.  The average temperature in the Atlanta area was 37º F, the 12th coldest on record and much warmer than January of 1977 – which averaged only 29º F.  Of course, there has been no significant trend in January's temperature since records began way back in 1879, nor over the past few decades.

The coldest day in Atlanta during the "polar vortex" of January 2014 reached a minimum of +6 º F.  This is nowhere close to the record low of -8º F set during January 1985.  Almost perfect non-correlations exist for the coldest January temperature of each year in Atlanta since 1879, and also over the last 30 years.

The temperature was below freezing for 22 days in Atlanta this January.  Yet again, nowhere near a record (which was 27 in 1977), and recent decades have no significant trend in number of freezing days during January, either.

After looking at many angles trying to determine how the "'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014" in Atlanta can be conclusively linked to climate change, that evidence doesn't appear to exist.

Continuing with the fact-checking of the "Southeast State Climate Change Fact Sheets" provided by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), the next state on the list is Georgia.

For this state, SACE provides some "Climate Change Impacts on Georgia" that include the following:

Extreme weather, including severe storms, heat waves, cold snaps, and more intense hurricanes are all becoming more typical in a warmer world. These events have a large toll in terms of physical damage, lost productivity, higher insurance costs, and public health. For example the 'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014 practically shut down Atlanta with road gridlock while thousands of children had to spend the night at school because their parents couldn't reach them.

The link provided by SACE regarding the "'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014 [that] practically shut down Atlanta" is to an ABC News story from Good Morning America on January 29 with the alarmist title "Freak southern snow storm strands 8,000 students."  The story provided the following description of the carnage, and also included a video segment with George Stephanopoulos:

Nearly 8,000 students across Georgia and Alabama woke up today in school gyms or on buses. Streets and highways were littered with abandoned cars. Others emerged from churches, fire stations and grocery stores where they had spent the night after a rare snowstorm left thousands of unaccustomed southerners frozen in their tracks.

'Weather got so severe that we had to close the school,' said Christine Hoffman, the principal of Inverness Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala., where 75 students spent the night. 'We promised parents that staff would be at our school until every child was picked up.'

Tuesday's storm deposited mere inches of snow – less than three inches in Atlanta – barely enough to qualify as a storm up North.

It is true that Atlanta received 2.6 inches of snow that day.  Here we have the maximum one-day snowfall amounts back to the start of records (1930) for January, and on an annual basis, in Atlanta.

There has been no significant trend in either of these datasets since records began, nor since 1970 or over the last three decades.  Just a quick look at the dataset illustrates that what occurred in January 2014 is nothing particularly unusual at all for an Atlanta winter.  No evidence whatsoever for climate change on this angle.

The January total snow depth for Atlanta this year was just 4 inches – not much above the long-term average of 2 inches.  Back in 2010-2011, it was 15 inches. The record is 49 inches in 1940.  There were two days with snow on the ground this January.  The long-term average is one, and in 2010-2011 there were six, with the record year being 10 in 1940.

January of this year wasn't even close to being a record cold month.  The average temperature in the Atlanta area was 37º F, the 12th coldest on record and much warmer than January of 1977 – which averaged only 29º F.  Of course, there has been no significant trend in January's temperature since records began way back in 1879, nor over the past few decades.

The coldest day in Atlanta during the "polar vortex" of January 2014 reached a minimum of +6 º F.  This is nowhere close to the record low of -8º F set during January 1985.  Almost perfect non-correlations exist for the coldest January temperature of each year in Atlanta since 1879, and also over the last 30 years.

The temperature was below freezing for 22 days in Atlanta this January.  Yet again, nowhere near a record (which was 27 in 1977), and recent decades have no significant trend in number of freezing days during January, either.

After looking at many angles trying to determine how the "'polar vortex' snowfall of 2014" in Atlanta can be conclusively linked to climate change, that evidence doesn't appear to exist.