On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams fretted over winter doing a "disappearing act" and proclaimed: "It was so warm today across much of the country, as you know, they're calling it June-uary. It's got a lot of people wondering whatever happened to winter?" The headline on screen pondered: "Where's Winter?"
In the report that followed, chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson added to the alarmism as she declared: "This most unusual January ending on a remarkably mild note across the country....2,890 daily high temperature records broken or tied." She later cited climatologist and global warming proponent Dr. Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research: "Add to that a world warming because of climate change and it stacks the deck, Dr. Meehl says, against a traditional winter."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, Thompson went further, seeming to suggest that the more mild temperatures actually caused deaths: "In upstate New York, where Lake George is only partly frozen, they are trucking in ice to build the winter carnival castle. Thin ice in Patterson, Iowa tragically took the lives of two friends out fishing."
In January of 2007, during a similar period of unseasonably warm weather, former Today co-host Meredith Vieira went so far as to blurt out: "So I'm running in the park on Saturday, in shorts thinking this is great but are we all gonna die?"
On Wednesday, Thompson repeated her assertion that it was a "most unusual winter" and noted how: "It is confusing crops in California, blooming too soon....The Sandhill cranes are early birds, returning to Lincoln County, Nebraska, a month ahead of schedule. So, yes, even nature is confused."
Concluding the morning segment, Thompson again pushed the global warming message: "Now scientists are unwilling to pin any one weather event on climate change but they say there's no question that our warming world is shifting the odds against a traditional winter, winters as we have known them."
Back in November, just days after a snowstorm the weekend before Halloween, Williams somberly observed: "Everybody out East said the same thing about this freak snowstorm, 'This kind of thing didn't used to happen. This never happened before.'"
In the report Thompson did at that time, she cited the same climate scientist, Dr. Meehl: "He says our warming planet makes extreme weather events more likely as greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal, alter the climate."
Read the complete transcript of the January 31 Nightly News report.