Serious Snowfall in the Winter of 1947

Climate Change Responsible for Heavier Rain, Shortened Ski Season During Winter Months

After a summer of record-breaking wildfires, heatwaves, flooding, and an above-average hurricane season, this winter looks like breaking some records of its own. From flooding to freezing conditions and warmer temperatures than usual, scientists believe that climate change is impacting winter weather. 

A recent study found that extreme winter weather in parts of the United States is linked to accelerated warming of the Arctic caused by climate change. The scientists say that their observations and modeling show a physical link between climate change in the Arctic, the stretching of the polar vortex, and the impact on the ground.

They believe the stretching of the polar vortex caused the deadly Texas cold wave in February of this year.

Extreme Rainfall and Flooding

British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest were recently hit by an atmospheric river, which is a narrow corridor in the atmosphere that transports moisture from the tropics to northern latitudes. As a result, more than 20 locations across British Columbia broke daily rainfall records. At the same time, the Pacific Northwest had more rainfall in the first two weeks of November than they usually get in the entire month. 

Studies show climate change is making atmospheric rivers bigger and more dangerous, and we can expect more of these this winter and in the future. 

In the UK, The Met Office has warned there is an “above average” likelihood of the winter weather this year being wetter than usual, and the government has warned that climate change is increasing the risk of flooding.

Heavy Snowfall

Parts of China have had the worst snowfall in 116 years and the most widespread early cold snap in a decade, which experts say is due to the La Nina climate phenomenon. Officials have also warned that China should expect frequent cold waves throughout the season.

Scientists said earlier this year that extreme snowfall events are likely to become an increasingly significant impact of climate change in the following decades due to increasing humidity, which enables intense snowfall. 

The Effects of a Warmer Winter 

While most of the headlines focus on more extreme winter weather, such as heavy rainfall and colder conditions, climate change is also causing warmer winters in some areas. 

Lake Michigan’s freezing could be delayed as temperatures are around 8°F warmer than usual for late November. However, the warm water could kill delicate underwater ecosystems which rely on colder winter temperatures. 

Warmer weather has also delayed the opening of several ski slopes in Colorado and will likely lead to a shorter season. 

As climate change continues to impact weather and daily life, will continue to innovate solutions for climate security. 

Interested? Read the following articles to learn more: 


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