What's With The Weather?

We’re already feeling the effects of climate change in the Northeast, just as climate scientists predicted: More extreme heat waves. Rain and snow concentrated in major storms. And more frequent short-term droughts. Drawing on analyses from climate scientists at the Northeast Regional Climate Center, we explain how recent weather phenomena fit the ‘new normal’ we can expect on a warming planet.

 

Satellite view of the 1997 El Niño shows white areas off the tropical coasts of South and North America indicating the pool of warm water.

An El Niño year coming could mean warmer temperatures on the way!

La Niña and El Niño refer to cold and warm extremes of natural variation in sea surface temperatures (SST) in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  This variation in SST is coupled with atmospheric events that change weather patterns around the globe in what is referred to as the El Niño /Southern Oscillation (ENSO). An El Niño .. Read More

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New comprehensive IPCC report released

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released its 5th Assessment Report (AR5). The AR5 supersedes the AR4 (now 7 years old), as the most complete synthesis available of everything we know about current climate change. The IPCC reports are written by teams of scientists drawn from all over the world. They summarize the .. Read More

Click image for larger view. Air temperatures (1000mb) for January 5-7, 2014, compared to the 1981-2010 average. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on NCEP Reanalysis data provided by NOAA ESRL Physical Sciences Division.

Regional extreme cold events despite global warming

The first week of January 2014 had an extreme cold event affecting the Midwest , eastern and southeastern United States. How extreme was it?  100 year low-temperature records for those particular dates were broken at as many as 50 NOAA weather stations scattered across this region, but it did not break any all-time records or .. Read More

While late fall temperatures have been chilly in the Northeast, other parts of the world have been having warmer-than-average or even record warm temperatures, as shown in the map below from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Winter Cold & Climate Change

Whenever we have a period of colder-than-average weather, like we’ve been having in the Northeast since before Thanksgiving and through the first half of December (see the Northeast Regional Climate Center for details), some people will start claiming it proves that global warming and climate change aren’t really happening. Climate scientists, in turn, must explain each .. Read More

Typhoon Haiyan (NASA photo)

Typhoon Haiyan one of the strongest storms in history

Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines was one of the strongest storms in recorded history. But whether climate change is increasing the frequency of typhoons and hurricanes remains unclear. Haiyan was the fourth Category 5 storm in the Pacific Basin this year, while the Atlantic has been relatively quiet.  It is widely accepted that sea .. Read More

Fall color in the Northeast

Warmer than usual Temperatures lead to a Gorgeous Autumn in the Northeast

The first half of fall 2013 was warmer than usual in the Northeast. During the period from September 1 to October 15, 2013, 34 of the 35 major climate sites were recording warmer than normal temperatures. In fact, 10 climate sites ranked the first half of fall among their top 20 warmest autumns ever recorded. Elkins, .. Read More

Photo by Julie Brustad-Hatch, Oneida, NY

Heavy Rainfall Causes Historic Flooding in Central New York

During the month of June, the Empire State went from one wet month straight into another. With a total of 7.60 inches of precipitation, 186 percent of normal, it was the 2nd wettest June since 1895 (only behind 1972 with 8.51 inches). All ten climate divisions of the state received above normal precipitation, with nine .. Read More

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April Lacking Showers

April showers were lacking in the Northeast in April 2013, as 32 of 35 climate monitoring sites wrapped up the month with below normal precipitation, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. In fact, 18 sites ranked this April among their top 30 driest. The prolonged dryness in southern New England led .. Read More

snowfall_feb_2013

Less Snow Punctuated by More Blizzards

The 2012-13 winter season in the Northeast turned out to be a warm one. From December 1, 2012 through February 14, 2013, the average temperature at 34 of 35 climate stations ranked in the top 30 warmest seasons ever recorded. Winter temperatures have warmed by 4°F since 1970 in the Northeast, which has caused a .. Read More

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Warmest Year on Record: 2012

2012 was the warmest year ever recorded for many of the major climate monitoring sites in the Northeast. For example, Syracuse, NY, broke their old record for the warmest year at that site, set in 1931, by 1.1°F. The city of Burlington, VT, had the greatest departure above their old record, set in 1998, by .. Read More