By Matt Owens March 5, 2014
The US East Coast has been experiencing a very cold winter. Or has it?
Here in the Washington D.C. area, the last two winters were among the warmest on record. For example, the winter of 2011/12 hardly had a day below freezing. And so it seems that we've quickly grown used to the mild conditions.
However, looking at only the trend in temperature, this winter of 2013/14 is fairly typical of the ones experienced from the 1960's through the 1980's.
In the chart above, I took daily mean temperature data and compiled it inot a set of 7-day averages (the red dots) for easier viewing.
Below is the same data set with just the 7-day periods showing that broke out above the 25 deg C (77 deg F) mark:
In the video below, WeatherNation Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas looks at this winter's cold from a longer perspective:
One of the effects of global warming though, is that the warming air holds more moisture, and that sets the stage for bigger snowstorms. So don't expect an end to snow - at least not until your particular region stops getting below-freezing temperatures altogether.
...And there has certainly been an increase in the number of snowstorms impacting large numbers of people on the East Coast, as tallied by NOAA researchers; the compiled data is shown below - each dot represents one storm. Visit the NOAA page to check out their data and additional information.