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Winter Temperature Trends

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Over the past 40 years or so, winters have gotten gradually warmer. From 1970-2012, winters in the continental U.S. have warmed by 0.61°F per decade on average.

That’s just an average, though. California and Nevada have only warmed at a rate of 0.17°F per decade over that time (slowest winter warming region in the country), and the Southeast has gone up just 0.29°F per decade. A couple of places — northeastern Nevada and south-central Wyoming — have actually cooled down during that time.

But that’s no surprise. Even in a world that’s warming overall, there will be regional variations. The upward temperature trend is consistent with what you’d expect to happen as heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide continue to build up in the atmosphere.

Related Content:
Interactive - Warming Winters: U.S. Temperature Trends