SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — The climate is warming locally and globally and winter is one of the seasons that is changing the fastest.
Climate change can affect regions differently, but here in Western Massachusetts, the trend has been warming since 1970.
According to Climate Central, our winter has warmed 3.9 degrees. Rising temperatures can cause storms to produce more snow, for now. That’s because, for every 1-degree rise in temperature, the atmosphere can hold 4 percent more water — water available to fall as snow.
But regardless of what the data says, many Western Massachusetts locals told 22News they have noticed a difference in winters over the past few decades.
“Well, I think there’s less snow than there used to be. Um, but that’s just me. Um, you know, I still enjoy winter though it’s one of my favorite times of the year,” Kyle, from Indian Orchard, told 22News.
“When I was a kid, it was much deeper snow. You know, a lot more plow trucks,” Allen Cournoyer, in Ludlow said.
Our perception of winters in the past may be skewed as we were smaller when we were younger, or snow clean-up wasn’t as quick as it is today, but the data doesn’t lie. The northeast has seen a major increase in the frequency of heavy rain and snow events as a result of the warming.
Boston has seen an over 10-inch increase in annual snowfall from 1970 to 2018 but the trend is only going to be temporary. As temperatures continue to warm in the future, eventually this will lead to more rain than snow in the winter.
So the biggest difference in our winters here in Western Massachusetts has yet to come.