Once again German meteorologists are reminding us how the predictions of warm, snowless winters made in 2000 are turning out to be completely false, as Bild writes here, just when Germany gets socked by more snow and cold.
A few days ago I wrote a post about Mojib Latif postponing warm winters by up to 100 years into the future as a result. It seems indeed much of what Latif writes and says needs to be taken with much caution. Not everything he says is accurate. In fact sometimes he plays it a little fast and loose with the truth.
In the very same interview at klimaretter, he is quoted as saying (my emphasis):
When I was a kid in the 1960s, we sometimes still had snow at Easter. In the meantime we have really forgotten how a winter really appears – and there can be winters also in times of global warming.”
Well, he was a kid growing up in Hamburg. So just how many snow-blanketed Easters did Hamburg see in the 1960s? We know it saw one hell of a hurricane that makes Sandy look like a picnic.
Latif used the word “sometimes” to describe the frequency of “having snow at Easter” in the 1960s, implying 3, 4, or maybe 5 times. It would be stretch calling 2 times “sometimes”. Once is certainly not “sometimes”.
Sorry I have to do this, but what follows are the Easter snow ON THE GROUND statistics in cm for Hamburg of the 1960s, looking at Holy Thursday through Easter Monday:
1960: 14-18 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1961: 30 March – 3 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1962: 19-23 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1963: 11-15 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1964: 26-30 March; 0,0,0,0,3cm
1965: 15-19 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1966: 7-11 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1967: 23-27 March; 0,0,0,0,0
1968: 11-15 April; 0,0,0,0,0
1969: 3-7 April; 0,0,0,0,0
Of the 50 days of Easter-time during the 1960s, only one single day saw snow in Hamburg – a whole 3 cm on Easter Monday, March 30, 1964!
Maybe there’s a good reason why people don’t recall the winters that Mojib says we supposedly used to have. Perhaps it’s because they never really occurred as he claims they did. Or did Mojib spend his Easters up in the mountains during his childhood and he’s confusing them with Hamburg?
We don’t want to be too hard on Mojib, as it is true that the 1960s were colder than say the 1990s or 2000s.
But if someday you should ever find yourself drinking a beer together with Mojib and he starts telling his fishing stories, just remember his Easter snow stories.
Mojib Latif is a meteorologist and climate scientist at the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel (Geomar). Photo credit: Björn Láczay from Moosburg, Germany. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.