Why Is There More Snow This Year Than Usual?

A devastating winter storm is ravaging the Southeast this week. It has gotten so bad, officials have summoned the National Guard to help in disaster relief.

According to USA Today, some places in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama have seen as much as 12 to 18 inches dumped at once. Nearly 300,000 households were left without power. A few North Carolina regions got as much snow in one storm as they would usuallyget in an entire winter.

In fact, this winter has brought atypically intense weather across the United States. Last November,storms blanketed thecountry in more snow than any other time since the 1960s. Because of low temperatures, snow has also stuck around for longer than usual.

Every state besides Florida saw at least a little snowfall. And this has been a trendweather experts have been watching for a while.

“It’s striking to see that in the past decade, every single autumn month has seen greater-than-average North American snow cover except for Sept. 2011, Sept. 2012, Oct. 2011, Nov. 2009 and Nov. 2016,” said meteorologist Bob Henson to Weather.com. “That’s just 5 out of 30 months.”

Can we thank climate change for the more intense weather, or is it just a natural fluctuation?

That’s a difficult question to answer. The effects of climate changeare never just about one winter or year;people have toconsider weather changes over time. In fact, theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration looks at climate astrends that happen in 30-year segments.

At the same time, climate change can result in more extreme weather as a side effect. We should remember that without singling out one year or another.

As the Scientific American notes, “If nothing else, we should all keep in mind that every time we turn up the thermostat this winter to combat the cold, we are contributing to global warming by consuming more fossil fuel power. Until we can shift our economy over to greener energy sources, global warming will be a problem, regardless of how warm or cold it is outside.”

Image credit: Getty

75 comments

Jessica C
Jessica C22 days ago

thx

SEND
Olivia M
Olivia M24 days ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D26 days ago

I wonder if I can hibernate like the bears???...

SEND
Colin C
Colin C27 days ago

Interesting thanks

SEND
Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson28 days ago

Thank you.

SEND
Toni W
Toni W28 days ago

TYFS

SEND
Toni W
Toni W28 days ago

TYFS

SEND
Nita L
Nita L28 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Thomas M
Thomas M28 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Irene S
Irene S29 days ago

We got no snow at all here so far.

SEND