Recent blockbuster snow totals along East Coast may be tied to climate change
Above-average sea-surface temperatures off the East Coast are adding more moisture to the atmosphere.
The snowstorm that brought travel to a halt in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this week may have set a state record for the most snow in a single day in New Jersey, with numerous reports of snow totals between 25 and 35 inches.
Blockbuster winter storms, which unload such prodigious amounts of snow, may be increasing in a warming world. The evidence started accumulating in the 1990s, and observations from snowstorms this winter add new weight to this counterintuitive idea.
With climate change, Washington may have entered era of more blockbuster snowstorms but less snow overall
The nor’easter that ended on Groundhog Day this week dumped 35.1 inches of snow in Mount Arlington in north central New Jersey, about 40 miles west of New York City, according to a report received by the National Weather Service. If validated, it would break the New Jersey record for the biggest multiday snowstorm. The existing record of 34 inches was set at Oak Ridge Reservoir in December 1947.
However, Dean Iovino, a meteorologist at the Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J., said there are questions about how the snow was measured in Mount Arlington, which make the observation “suspect.” He said the Weather Service, the New Jersey state climatology office and other organizations will review the measurement.
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