In the past week in the metro Providence area we have seen temperatures range from 70's (F) to single digits. The Washington Post ran an article claiming that February has actually been warmer than the average March down around D.C. Climate change, however, as any good conservative will tell you, is just a scam being perpetrated on the energy industry by those granola-
Two years ago (2015), we saw annual snowfall in excess of 100" near me. This was almost three times the average for the area and it seems like most of it fell in just a few weeks. The news at the time gleefully reported that many of the biggest snowfalls were in recent years. I got curious -
Nothing jumped out at me here, but if you take 20-
So while the average snowfall hasn't changed all that much, hovering around 40"/year (moving up to 50" in the past 25 or so), the standard deviation has jumped rather dramatically (from ~20" to ~30") in the past few decades -
Some practical consequences of increased snowfall variation are:
It makes snow removal planning and budgeting harder for towns and cities. More budget crises and increased taxes. Not like our local city fathers need any more excuses to raise already oppressive property taxes.
Infrastructure wear and tear -
People who depend on snowfall and actually *like* it such as ski resorts will see more frequent 'bust' years.
Ecological effects -
There will be more winters *I* personally have to shovel more snow. And that just plain sucks!!
The point is that while we have reached the point where climate change is starting to become apparent to anyone who has been around for more than a few years and pays any attention to the weather, some of the consequences will be a lot more troublesome than just seeing future Februaries getting a little warmer.
4 March 2017