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Winter Temperature Trends

Over the past 40 years or so, the planet has warmed considerably under its growing blanket of human-generated greenhouse gases. Winters in the continental U.S. have warmed as well — by 2.4°F since 1970, on average, which is 0.54°F per decade. That is just an average, though. When you zoom in to the regional level, some places have warmed faster and some slower.

The Upper Midwest, for example, has warmed significantly faster than the national average. Most of the northeastern quarter of the country has beaten the average, as well. The South and West, by contrast, have warmed relatively slow. In fact, patches of Nevada, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah have actually cooled over that time. It’s a reminder that even in a world that’s warming overall, there will be regional variations.

But regional variations are no surprise. The upward temperature trend is consistent with what you’d expect to happen as heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide continue to build in the atmosphere. 

How are winters changing in your part of the country?

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