Anybody who measures precipitation, as I do for the citizen-science group CoCoRaHS, knows that measuring snowfall is hard. It drifts, it compresses over time, there’s only a minor correlation between depth and moisture. So it’s hard to study and understand over the long term.

But it’s worth trying. A recent report from Climate Central (you can read the whole thing here) says that in general, snowfall over the past few decades has been declining on winter’s edges, before December and after March, but in some places the amount of snow falling during the winter is actually increasing because of heavier snowfalls (which often melt away, explaining why winters don’t seem snowier to me).

The Northeast is the only region with two seasons showing increasing amounts of snowfall. During the winter season, more than two-thirds of stations recorded an increase in snow, and the spring shows 17 out of 31 stations recording a longterm increase from 1970 to the 2019. However, in the fall, there was a decrease in snowfall levels at 22 stations. … Separately, warming ocean waters off the coast are also making for favorable conditions for larger and more extreme winter storms, particularly along the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that the eastern two-thirds of the United States experienced about twice as many extreme snowstorms in the second half of the 20th century versus the first half

Sow we’ll have more annoyingly big snowfalls that make it hard to get out of your driveway but they won’t last long enough for us to go skiing on the weekend. Thanks alot, climate change!

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