Despite recent cold temperatures, Austin’s winters overall are warming

Weather Blog
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According to our friends over at Climate Central:

 

AUSTIN

 

This week’s snow-friendly temperatures are becoming less frequent, as warming winters are threatening the nation’s valuable winter recreation sector. 

 

 

A mid-winter cold snap has hit much of the country, but these episodes are becoming less frequent with climate change. Low temperatures and ample snowfall are a must for winter recreation — an industry that contributed more than $20 billion to the national economy in the 2015-2016 season. These conditions are under threat from warming winters, according to a new report from Climate Central.

 

A mid-winter cold snap has hit much of the country, but these episodes are becoming less frequent with climate change. Low temperatures and ample snowfall are a must for winter recreation — an industry that contributed more than $20 billion to the national economy in the 2015-2016 season. These conditions are under threat from warming winters, according to a new report from Climate Central.

Here’s how climate change is shaping conditions for America’s winter sports https://buff.ly/2VWZoxv #climatematters

 

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Warming is affecting regional snowfall patterns differently,  but from the 1970s to 2010s, 57 of the 107 analyzed weather stations saw the average annual snowfall trend downward by at least an inch. The biggest losers were Flagstaff, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Casper, Wyoming — all historically snowy Western cities that are getting drier overall. Since the 1970s, the annual snowfall has dropped by a total of 48, 31, and 29 inches in those cities, respectively.

However, warming of the Great Lakes has hindered ice formation and increased the evaporation that fuels lake effect snow. Annual snowfall totals in Marquette, Michigan; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Youngstown, Ohio have climbed by respective totals of 68, 33, and 30 inches in the last half-century. Trends have also climbed more than 10 inches in Northeastern cities like Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, as a warmer atmosphere leads to more heavy precipitation events where it is still cold enough to support snow. Still, future warming will mean fewer days below freezing and more rain than snow, as shown in our 2016 report, “Meltdown.”

 

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Climate change is leading to fewer days below freezing, affecting winter sports that depend on snow-friendly temperatures https://buff.ly/2CE08yt
#climatematters

 

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Snow-friendly temperatures are declining across the country. In the last half-century, winters have warmed by more than 2°F in 78 percent of the 244 cities analyzed. Seventeen cities have warmed by more than 5°F, led by a 7°F increase in Burlington, Vermont. And according to Climate Impact Lab, every state in the contiguous U.S. will see fewer days with below-freezing lows by midcentury, shortening winter recreation seasons.

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions would limit these effects. In Colorado, the nation’s top winter sports economy, unchecked emissions would cause 34 fewer below-freezing days per year by the 2040-2059 period, compared to the 1981-2010 average. But if the world meets its Paris Agreement pledges to reduce emissions, Colorado could save 8 snow-friendly days per year. For the state’s 43,000 winter recreation jobs, a salvaged week could make a major difference.

 

METHODOLOGY

Average winter (December through February) temperature and total annual (July through June) snowfall trends were calculated for 1970 to 2018 using data from the Applied Climate Information System. Local snowfall trends were calculated for stations with at least 10 inches of average annual snowfall, fewer than 10 percent of missing daily data, and at least five years of data in both the first and last decades of the study period (criteria based on Kunkel et al. 2009). The projected number of days below 32°F (under RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5) are multi-model averages obtained from the Climate Impact Lab. More information about the methodology can be found on their website.

SOURCE: Climate Central

 About Climate Central:

-An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public.

-Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. Our scientists publish and our journalists report on climate science, energy, sea level rise, wildfires, drought, and related topics. Climate Central is not an advocacy organization. We do not lobby, and we do not support any specific legislation, policy or bill. Climate Central is a qualified 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

-Members of the Climate Central staff and board are among the most respected leaders in climate science. Staff members are authorities in communicating climate and weather links, sea level rise, climate modeling, engineering assessments, graphic representations of climate data, and other climate science areas. Our journalists have extensive experience in mainstream print, television, digital and social media.

 

 

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