Green Initiative: May Global Warming Be Having An Effect On Winter?

Is Global Warming effecting witner weather - Green Iniciative

Global warming is constantly a hotly debated subject. But a lot of folks have been wondering if warmer winters are as a result of Global Warming? Well the simple answer to that question is yes… and we will discuss a few ways about how this is occurring. While some areas are receiving more snow, other areas are experiencing less with more rain, where there use to be snow. Let’s examine this shall we.

Global warming has been occurring over the years. While some have considered it as natural earth warming,  others have considered it as an effect of human pollution. While I believe the latter, the discussion today will be on how global warming is effecting winter weather.

First off, let’s take a look at whether the claim that the earth is warming is true.

  • Looking over the last 36yrs, temperatures have warmed, and have been warmer than average according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • In all actuality 2012 was the 4th hottest year on record.
  • Let’s take a closer look at what global warming actually is, also we will use reasoning ability to see how in essence it has an effect on the winter.
Temperatures are already ,marginal on average in the mid Atlantic for snow on average (Left) which usually leads to mixed precip (Right)
Temperatures are already ,marginal on average in the mid Atlantic for snow on average (Left) which usually leads to mixed precip (Right)

Now we know, temperatures at the surface and in the upper atmosphere have to be 32 degrees or below to allow for winter precipitation. It can still snow above 32 degrees at the surface but conditions are marginal and can likely lead to rain or a mix. Now below, the average temperatures during a winter storm system are marginal usually on average, where temperatures are in the 30’s. So rain and mix is in the equations in the 30’s area and the 20’s area may see even more snow.

Now let’s add to the illustration, global warming with the global temperatures on average are 2-4 degrees above average. You add the 2-4 degrees to the already marginal temperatures you may have already. So that would be the difference between rain, snow, and a mix that you will see on the second image in this illustration. You notice that the wintry precipitation is pushed up North where the

The 2-4 degree (warmer) difference could ultimately be the difference in marginal areas (left) could be the ultimate difference between rain or snow or even a mix. (Right)
The 2-4 degree (warmer) difference could ultimately be the difference in marginal areas (left) could be the ultimate difference between rain or snow or even a mix. (Right)

colder temperatures are and where it is marginal the wintry mix has shifted too. This is a simple illustration on how if temperatures around the world are 2-4 degrees warmer and you add that to the equation, temperatures are now far too warm for much winter precipitation that would have fallen. That being said, if there was no global warming, there would most likely be more winter precipitation. However with the fact that their is global warming we see more rain.

Take into consideration that since 1976 winter temperatures between December and February have warmed on average, from 1-2 degrees in the pacific Northwest to 4 degrees in the Northeast and up to 6 degrees in Alaska.

What This Means:

  1. Big cities in the east where temperatures are critical, constantly will realize more often that it is too warm to snow, more times than not. 4 degrees at times is the sole difference between rain and snow there. So even with the perfect storm track, a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), along with a positive Pacific North Amercian (PNA), temperatures still may not be cold enough to support snow in the major cities.
  2. In areas like Alaska, it may mean more snow, since temperatures are much colder to start off with. At times it is “too cold to snow” when you add warmer temperatures, that factor goes out of the window. (Too cold to snow refers to the factor that the air is so cold and the high pressure is so strong that storm systems tend to go around it and the system that do make it through at times can be dry.)
  3. The Pacific Northwest may see snow levels in the mountains be a little higher than most people are use to.

Did you realize that winter in general seems to be getting shorter? In general spring like temperatures come about 10-14 days before the would have 20 years ago. That is about 2 weeks of winter that is practically gone.

You might say, well temperatures during the winter of 2009-2010 were cold and snowy than in 2010-2011?

Well as shown in the illustration above, the storm track shifts as the global temperatures warm. More snow at times can indicate that it is actually getting warmer.

So what can be done to stop or slow down global warming? Well to be honest, it’s not gonna happen not under this government. Only God, can put a stop to it entirely. But there are still things we can do individually. And with that here is your Green Initiative:

  • Use clean Energy such as Solar Power.
  • Use clean Energy such as windmills. (This one really depends on how your local or state Government has this provided too you)
  • Trees actually help with temperature reduction, Trees take in Co2 and release Oxygen which does not hold heat as well as Co2 does, therefore temperatures are allowed to cool easier, take a look at the video done by Mythbusters or Discovery about how CO2 has an effect on temperatures. So how can you help? Don’t waste paper, paper is made from trees, the less paper you waste, the less the demand, the less is needed, and the less trees that will need to be cut down.


Credits/Sources and research from:

National Wildlife Federation

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Dante’ Avery Brown-Royal ( CEO/President)

Produced By: Weather Advance Films


Dante' Brown-Royal

Dante' Brown-Royal

Hello, I am Dante' the CEO/President of Weather Advance. I most of the time specialize in Winter Weather and winter forecasting. I also am pretty decent in predicting severe weather and tracking hurricanes. Howevere usually that's not my forte. I will strive to always give you the most accurate updates possible, and information possible when it comes to the weather!

109 thoughts on “Green Initiative: May Global Warming Be Having An Effect On Winter?

  • March 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I agree eric, these models will drive someone nuts and that would be me lol! Well not sure how far north it will make because of that block. The one thing i’m not certain and would like to know is that if the NAO is projected to go toward neutral during that timeperiod of the storm, wouldn’t that be concerning? Does that mean the block won’t be too strong or no?

  • March 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Please Lord let it be North and South Carolina that get hit hardest with this snowstorm…LOL

  • Eric
    March 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

    @ Armando
    That just goes back to what I said yesterday about when you have rapidly changing oscillations, like the PNA and NAO, this tends to deal with significant changes in pressure, and with the environment ahead of the system already quite favorable, I don’t see any issue with a neutral NAO, and by the way the NAO was neutral at the time of the historic winter storm that occurred in early February (at least very historic for southern New England that is). If the block was not too strong, then this system would actually try to turn the corner northward, thanks to the block of high pressure associated with the -NAO forcing a region of upper level low pressure directly underneath near the Canadian Maritimes, and since this system and that ULL over the Canadian maritimes are a good distance apart, this would allow for ridging to build in between and force the storm farther south, however if the blocking weakens in this instance (contrary to what many think of an NAO going towards neutral), is this allows for the “Rex Block” signature of the ULL directly underneath the high towards the Canadian Maritimes to diminish, thus allowing for the storm system which will be moving southeastward out of the northern plains and into the Ohio Valley a pathway to come more northward, thus bringing more snow into areas like NYC, NJ, PHI, etc.., but that’s just one scenario of many at this point.

  • Eric
    March 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    @ Reid
    Lol, I totally agree, even though I think the worst of the snow will be towards VA based off of the pattern and similarities to the 1962 storm, deep down, I’m pulling for this storm to crush the Carolinas, because like you I want to see a big snowstorm this year, lol, we are well below normal in my area with only about a dusting of total snow thus far as opposed to normal which features about 2-3 inches in a season.

  • March 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I can’t say we are below normal here…LOL…We got our 2 snow flakes back on the 16th of Feb…So now anything we get now is a bonus…LOL

  • Eric
    March 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    @ Reid
    Lol, you guys got quite lucky with that storm that a band of snow sprang up around the I-77 corridor in SC and southern NC into Charlotte, it was a nice surprise and somewhat unexpected as I had anticipated the band of snow to set-up northeast of Raleigh, of course that didn’t happen.

  • March 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Am I looking at the CMC’s last 2 runs wrong b/c it looks like some snow down into sc…

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