Northeastern Winters Are Getting Warmer - Here's Why

Lagoon Bridge in Public Garden

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New data explains why the Northeastern region of the United States is currently experiencing warmer than usual winter temperatures.

Researchers with the independent organization Climate Central found that the nationwide climate change trend is particularly strong in the Northeast, while 97% of the country experienced winter temperatures higher than "normal" standards on at least seven days.

The study included 238 U.S. locations and analyzed how temperatures have warmed since 1970 and found that the Northeast and Great Lakes were the regions where winter has warmed most.

The top-five highest winter temperature increases since 1970 were Burlington, Vermont (7.1 degrees Fahrenheit), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (6.1), Chattanooga, Tennessee (6.1), Concord, New Hampshire (6.0) and Green Bay Wisconsin (5.7).

Last year, Nature Climate Change cited outsize heating and alterations in wind patterns to sending warmer winter temperatures to the Northeast region, as well as rapid summer warming.

“Some of the biggest populations centers in the U.S. are suffering the greatest degree of warming,” said lead author Ambarish Karmalkar, a professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, via Nature Climate Change. “This warming is being driven both by equally rapid trends in the Atlantic Ocean and by changes in atmospheric circulation patterns.”

The recent study by Climate Central showed that the United States averaged an increase of 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit among the 238 locations included from 1970 to 2022.

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