it is not ALWAYS about your Backyard
Not only does this story LINK have a lot of great winter weather information in it from around the world that you may not know about … BUT it also brings out a critically important point. Yes, everybody wants to know about their backyard snowfall or for their weekend plans. But that is not a particularly good way of looking at the science of weather in terms of the large scale. It is certainly the wrong way to look at big things such as how much of the climate is actually changing and what if anything is driving the change?
Let me elaborate for one second. As many of us in the Washington DC Richmond Hampton Roads and north-central North Carolina areas know it’s been a while since we have seen anything more than 1 OR 2 inches of snow in these areas on the ground from the particular snowstorm. BUT if you go outside of our little region, you will see that there have been major snowfalls with still more than a foot of snow on the ground in much of Pennsylvania …northern New Jersey and New York City eastern and southeastern New York …most of New England …the entire Midwest most of the central and Upper Plains … the Rockies. Hell… even the Pacific Northwest has been hit by a couple of significant snowstorms in Seattle and Portland.
So, if you are just focused on our area and you ignore what is going on in the rest of the country it looks like the winter has been a completed bust or a dud.
But that is not the case if you ask people in these other areas.
The point is that you should not judge the “ big weather picture ‘ based on upon your house / your location. it is really critically important for you to understand that one hurricane…. one snowstorm ….one bad winter ….one mild winter …one active hurricane season …. or one inactive hurricane season has nothing to do whatsoever with long-term climate trends.
Maybe you are one of those people that believe there is no long-term climate Trend. Fine. but if that is your view then STOP making the argument that a cold winter disproves this or a mild winter this proves that.
Singular events do not mean anything…. any more than Bucky Dent HR’ in the 1978 game 6 of the ALC between the Yankees and the Red Sox meant that he was a home run hitter. Anybody who knows baseball history knows Dent almost never hit any home runs and it was a fluke event.
To drive home the point even further — There was a lot of talk earlier in the winter about a significant change in the pattern developing because that the Polar Vortex in the Arctic regions was going to split into several different pieces. This in turn would force the AO (Arctic Oscillation) to go into the negative phase and set up a colder and substantially stormier second half of the winter.
That is exactly what has happened even though it has not happened right here in Richmond or DC or in Virginia or North Carolina or Maryland or Delaware.
Globally, the Winter of 2002-2021 underwent a massive pattern flip exactly as forecasted. And this story proves that even though it may not have happened
in your location.