Although cold weather still happens in a warming climate, the winter season is less cold than it was half a century ago and is the fastest-warming season in a majority of the U.S states.
An analysis of winter temperatures indicates that 98% (236) of 242 cities had an increase in average winter temperatures from 1970, with the highest increases around the Great Lakes and Northeast region. Plus, 74% (179) recorded at least seven additional days of above-normal temperatures between 1970 and 2020.
Akin to a warming fall season, a warmer winter can have negative impacts. For instance, less snow accumulation in certain areas can threaten skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports-based economies. Also, the winter’s chill period is shrinking, hurting the development of fruit trees like peaches and cherries.