If you know anyone from the Northeast, you’ve heard all about how eerily warm March was this year. Even in Syracuse, dubbed “Snowiest City in the U.S.” after last year’s chilling 128 inches of precipitation, this year’s snowfall paled in comparison to last year’s.
2010-2011 Snowiest cites/total snowfall:
Even though March broke more than 15,000 records for day and night-time highs, the months leading up to it weer also surprisingly warm. According to the NOAA, we’ve been experiencing these off-and-on strange winters (last year a lot of snow, this year hardly any) because we are reaching the end of our La Nina cycle. That’s great news for coastal residents fearing a rough hurricane season as the Atlantic fares much better during El Nino and neutral years.
However, folks in the midwest/western states might not be so pleased. Colorado has all but dried up because of the warm winter temperatures. To make matters worse, the snow is melting early, which means once the winter heat comes, most of the snowpack the region depends on for water will be depleted. On top of that, the weakened jet stream compounded by the lack of precipitation means more wildfires in the region. Also of concern, drought areas are spreading, in addition to intensifying. Last year’s drought, which burned a large portion of Texas, was much worse than the infamous Dust Bowl. This year won’t be much different. Let’s pray the Pacific delivers us an MJO (though that means more storms for Florida through Texas).
In this new age of climate extremes, it really bares true that while one place enjoys the pleasant change in weather, another region pays sorely for it.