Mar 16, 2017

Blizzards are Becoming More Common in the U.S., Study Says

Vermont
USA
by
Jon Erdman
,
The Weather Channel
Photo: The Weather Channel
Photo: The Weather Channel

The number of blizzards in the U.S. have increased by almost a factor of four since the mid-20th century, a recent study has found.

From 1959 through 2014, 713 blizzards in the Lower 48 states were documented by the study published in the January 2017 issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climate.

Using a linear regression model, the study found the number of blizzards each season in the U.S. rose from about 6 at the beginning of the study to 21 to 22 by the 2013-2014 season.

"A strong positive trend in annual blizzard frequency exists, particularly in the past two decades," said Dr. Jill Coleman, associate professor at Ball State University, the study's lead author.

"Ultimately the increased blizzard activity trend has a large component related to data quality issues early in the record, but the entire trend cannot be fully explained by these issues alone."