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Weather Extremes : Second, and Heavier, Snowstorm Hits Tokyo Area. All-time snow depth records set | Weather Underground

: Christopher C. Burt, 8:27 PM GMT on February 14, 2014 +6

Second, and Heavier, Snowstorm Hits Tokyo Area. All-time snow depth records set

As the eastern U.S. digs out of its biggest snowstorm of the season (see Jeff Masters blog on the subject) another snowstorm has hit Tokyo, Japan this Friday-Saturday (February 14-15), the 2nd big snow to hit the city in the span of just a week. Early reports say that 27 cm (10.6”) of snow has fallen in downtown Tokyo as of 2 a.m., February 15th local time. However, extraordinary snowfalls of up to 42″ have fallen in sites in the far suburbs (50 mile radius) of the city, doubling previous all-time records.


This generalized map of average January snowfall in Japan illustrates how rare it is that more than 10 cm (4”) falls anywhere south of Sendai at low elevations along the eastern shoreline of Honshu Island. Map from Teikoku’s ‘Complete Atlas of Japan’.

Snowstorm of February 8-9

Today’s 27 cm was about the same amount that was measured during the storm of February 8th last week which was 22-27 cm (there are discrepencies in the METARS for that day), which apparently may have been the heaviest snowfall in the downtown area for 45 years (since 30 cm/11.8” fell on March 12, 1969). During the February 8-9 event up to 50 cm (20”) was reported in some areas of greater Tokyo. Notable snowfalls during last week’s (February 8-9) storm included 35 cm (13.8”) at Sendai (about 200 miles north of Tokyo on the eastern coast), its heaviest snowfall since 41 cm (16.1”) on February 9, 1936, Ishinomaki (about 20 miles up the coast from Sendai) picked up 38 cm (15.0”), its deepest since 43 cm (16.9”) on February 17, 1923, and Chiba (across Tokyo Bay from Tokyo) with 33 cm (13”), its deepest fall on record but the POR only goes back to 1966 at that site.

Snowstorm of February 14-15: Greatest Snowstorm on Record for Tokyo Region

It is quite rare to have heavy snowfalls east of the mountain ranges on Honshu Island (as the map above illustrates) and in downtown Tokyo especially. The deepest snow on record for the city was 46 cm (18.1”) measured on February 8, 1883 (this is a depth record, not necessarily a single snowstorm record). So with the 27 cm (10.6”) that has fallen today, following a similar amount just six days ago, this is truly an exceptional event.


A couple stroll through a park in downtown Tokyo at the beginning of the Valentine’s Day snowstorm. Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi.

Unlike the storm of February 8-9, this latest storm has apparently broken some all-time snowfall records at other locations in the greater Tokyo region. These include 112 cm (44.0”) at Kofu City, Yamashi Prefecture (50 miles west of Tokyo) of which 106 cm (41.7”) fell in just 24 hours. This has obliterated the previous record of 49 cm (19.3”) set on January 15, 1998 (POR goes back to 1894!). Maebashi (50 miles NW of Tokyo) picked up a record 73 cm (28.7”)–71 cm of which fell in just 24 hours– surpassing the previous record of 37 cm (14.6”) set on February 26, 1945 (POR to 1896). Chichibu (30 miles NW of Tokyo) received 98 cm (38.6”)–92 cm (36.2″) in 24 hours– smashing the old record of 58 cm (22.8”) set on February 14, 1928 (POR since 1926), and Kawaguchiko (a mountainous site 50 miles west of Tokyo) ended up with an astonishing 112 cm (44.1″) cm (56.3”)–of which 102 cm (40.2″) fell in 24 hours) surpassing their former record of 89 cm (35.0”) set on January 15, 1998 (POR since 1933). Many other sites also broke their all-time records for single storm and 24-hour totals. The margins of the new record snowfalls over the previous records for the sites listed above are simply staggering.

Needless to say, the heavy snowfall in the greater Tokyo region has resulted in many flight cancellations and delays of commuter rail lines. The Nissan Motor plant in Yokohama (just south of Tokyo) asked its workers to go home early on Friday, an almost unheard of event.

The storm has wound down today (Saturday, February 15th in Japan) so the snowfall statistics are still preliminary.

KUDOS: Japanese climate expert Mr. Yusuke Uemura for the snowfall statistics for both storms.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Categories: Snow


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Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Survey says: 97% of climate scientists agree that humans cause global warming | Weather Underground

This is one of my favourite blogs of all time. Dr Master’s is a great scientist and a very fun and easy to read writer-not always a common combo. I’ve seen a lot of nonsense “science” and plain silliness on global warming on various blogs over the years, but Dr Master’s sticks to clear science with no weird political rhetoric and silliness.

I wanted to be a scientists for most of my life, and studied for it in school so I guess I take the plain ridiculous articles on science topics as more annoying than most people do. I highly appreciate cutting edge science like Rupert Sheldrake, and the stuff in David Wilcock’s excellent Source Field Investigations book, but work like theirs is dragged down by the unsupported idiocy that is so often published alongside it on otherwise awesome blogs.

Science isn’t hard to define, it requires the scientific method. For some reason people like to make it political, use statistics to lie, “gatekeep” and say certain things are “not science” even tho they use the scientific method properly but violate the politics of what is *allowed* to be studied, or conversely claim political rhetoric as science because they don’t like where the real science leads(as in the global warming area).

You can learn to spot the liars, gatekeepers, and Big Oil funded nonsense pushers by learning about how science really is done, and how it is published, and then look again at the articles claiming global warming isn’t real , or isn’t related to burning fossil fuels. They always leave things out, make absurd assertions without giving any supporting *facts* and often simply slander real scientists in order to keep people confused. Or present as “facts” unsupported assertions with no proof.

If ANY real science supported the idea that global warming wasn’t real, why would Big Oil have hired the same advertising firm used by Big Tobacco to purposefully obscure the dangers of tobacco for decades in order to avoid legislation to protect people?

eh, sorry to rant, but Big Oil really bugs me with such tricks-especially since they wrecked my Gulf with their stupid Deepwater Horizon mess.

Survey says: 97% of climate scientists agree that humans cause global warming

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:14 PM GMT on May 07, 2013 +40

Two studies done in 2009 and 2010 found that 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that humans cause global warming. But what would a larger sample of the scientific literature show, extended all the way up to 2011? You’re invited to help find out, by participating in an anonymous 10-minute survey where you will be reading the abstracts (summaries) of ten randomly selected technical papers on Earth’s climate published between 1991 and 2011. The survey was created by physicist John Cook of The Global Change Institute at Australia’s University of Queensland. Mr. Cook is the creator of one of my favorite climate change websites, skepticalscience.com. He authored one of our special Earth Day 2013 essays, Closing the Consensus Gap on Climate Change, from which I have pulled Figure 1 below. Mr. Cook is lead author on a new paper called “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” to be published in the next month or so in Environmental Research Letters. The paper analyzes the same papers included in the survey you’re asked to participate in, and the researchers plan to compare the results. Each of these 11,944 papers written by 29,083 authors and published in 1,980 journals included the keywords “global warming” or “global climate change” in their listing in the ISI Web of Science database. After reading each abstract, you will be asked to rate the level of endorsement within the abstract for the proposition that human activity (i.e., anthropogenic greenhouse gases) is causing global warming. There will be these choices available on a drop-down menu for you to choose from:

1. Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing more than half of global warming.
2. Explicit Endorsement without Quantification: abstract explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a given fact.
3. Implicit Endorsement: abstract implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gases cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause.
4. Neutral: abstract doesn’t address or mention issue of what’s causing global warming.
5. Implicit Rejection: abstract implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly. E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming.
6. Explicit Rejection without Quantification: abstract explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming.
7. Explicit Rejection with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming.
8. Don’t know.

When you are all done, the survey will let you know how your average score for the ten papers compares to the rating given by the authors. The survey took me about 8 minutes to complete, and it was interesting to see the tremendous diversity of research being done on global warming in my random sample. I’ll post about Mr. Cook’s results when his paper is published in the next few months.

Figure 1. Two recent studies have sought to measure the level of agreement in the scientific community in different ways and arrived at strikingly consistent results. A 2009 study led by Peter Doran surveyed over 3,000 Earth scientists and found that as the scientists’ expertise in climate change grew, so did the level of agreement about human-caused global warming. For the most qualified experts, climate scientists actively publishing peer-reviewed research, there was 97% agreement. Alternatively, a 2010 analysis led by William Anderegg compiled a database of scientists from public declarations on climate change, both supporting and rejecting the consensus. Among scientists who had published peer-reviewed climate research, there was 97% agreement. However, it is worth pointing out that science is not decided by majority vote. This is articulated concisely by John Reisman who says: “Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. It is evidence that does the dictating.” Figure and text taken from Mr. John Cook’s special Earth Day essay, Closing the Consensus Gap on Climate Change.

Thanks for participating!

Jeff Masters