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 usually get in an entire winter.

In fact, this winter has brought atypically intense weather across the United States. Last November, storms blanketed the country 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 trend weather 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 change are never just about one winter or year; people have to consider weather changes over time. In fact, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration looks at climate as trends 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

76 comments

Maria P
Maria P2 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Jessica C
Jessica C2 months ago

thx

SEND
Olivia M
Past Member 3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D3 months ago

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

SEND
Colin C
Colin Clauscen3 months ago

Interesting thanks

SEND
Chad Anderson
Chad A3 months ago

Thank you.

SEND
Toni W
Toni W3 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Toni W
Toni W3 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Nita L
Nita L3 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Thomas M
Thomas M3 months ago

Thank you

SEND