The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many cities and towns in the United States reported record cold temperatures in January and early February 2008. The average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 20th century average (1901-2000).
China’s 2007-8 winter is the worst in a century with cities in going for weeks without electricity because it was too cold and icy to repair broken power lines.
Toronto has recorded the most snow in February since 1950. The year 2008 brought 70 cm of snow in the first two weeks while the record in 1950 of 66 cm was for the whole month.
Chicago has had it 34th snowy day this season — the most snowy days since the 1978-1979 season. The 2007-2008 is currently the fifth highest seasonal snowfall in inches with about 56 inches. The snowiest season on record is 1978-79 at 87.5 inches. The season encompassing the year of the ‘Big Snow’ in 1967 measured 59.2 inches (23 inches of that season’s snow fell during that one storm from January 26-27). The 2007-2008 season has a shot at beating the season that had the big snow, which currently ranks third at 59.2 inches.
Regarding global warming, some climate experts suspect that manmade activity, such as carbon emissions, are a minor influence compared to cyclic solar activity and cyclic ocean currents that can bring warm water toward the polar regions from the equator. Some believe we are just as likely to enter another period of cold “mini-ice age” as a period of global warming.