Nov 19, 2014
Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change?
Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive. How can you have more snow, earlier in the season with a warming climate?
An oversimplified explanation goes like this.
- Warmer climate = warmer water in Lake Erie
- Arctic warming = a wavier jet stream pushing unseasonably cold arctic air mass into the eastern U.S.
- Unusually cold air masses and unusually warm lake water temps = extreme temperature contrast of 50 degrees between lake surface and air mass
- Extreme temperature contrast = more intense lake effect snowfall rates of 3 to 5 inches per hour with 60-plus inch snowfall totals