Warm Arctic? Expect Northeast Blizzards: What 7 Decades of Weather Data Show

This article describes how, when Arctic temperatures spike, extreme winter weather is 2 to 4 times more likely in Boston and New York, while the West tends to be warmer, a new study shows.

The warmer the Arctic, the more likely the Northeast will be clobbered by blizzards, says a team of researchers who analyzed winter weather patterns going back to 1950.

Citing disruptive storms like Snowzilla (2016), Snowmaggedon (2010) and Snowpocalypse (2009), the climate scientists wrote that “heavy snowfalls are generally more frequent since 1990, and in many cities the most extreme snowfalls have occurred primarily during recent decades.”

Their study, published in the journal Nature Communications, links the increased frequency of extreme winter storms with the rapid and persistent warming of the Arctic since around 1990. When temperatures over the Arctic spike, especially high in the atmosphere, extreme winter weather is two to four times more likely in Boston and New York, while the U.S. West tends to see warmer and drier conditions, they conclude.

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