Monday, January 14, 2008

Study: Winters in the Northeast Warming

Northeast (TGW) - A study of weather station data from across the Northeast from 1965 through 2005 found December-March temperatures increased by 2.5 degrees and average snowfall totals dropped 8.8 inches over the period.

Also, the number of days with at least 1 inch of snow on the ground decreased by nine days on average.

"Winter is warming greater than any other season," said Elizabeth Burakowski, a researcher.

Burakowski cites two likely causes for the reduction in so-called snow-covered days: higher maximum temperatures and "snow-albedo feedback," in which less snow cover to begin with allows more sunshine warmth to be absorbed by the darker ground, making it less conducive to snow cover.

Though the research has yet appeared in a peer reviewed journal, her observations appear to be in line with meteorologists and skiers thoughts.

"We've seen some erratic winters in recent years," Parker Riehle, president of the trade association Ski Vermont, said. "The mood swings of Mother Nature, perhaps, are deeper than they used to be."

Via :: AP