Earth 365: Is Climate Change Causing More Severe Weather In Pittsburgh?
Climate Signals summary: Although the science is complex, evidence is mounting that climate change may be having an influence on severe weather occurrences in parts of the country.
One of the biggest areas of concern when it comes to climate change is the risk of more severe weather.
In just the past year, we’ve seen tornadoes in late October, record-setting snowfalls in mid-March and more frequent flash flooding. But are we actually seeing increasing extreme weather here in southwestern Pennsylvania or does it just seem that way?
“We had a busy October of 2021. In January 2019 we did a survey in Mercer County. We did a tornado survey, the first one ever recorded in February, in Uniontown in 2018. So we’ve been having these tornadoes outside our peak window, which is usually May through the early part of July,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Fred McMullen.
The takeaway? It does appear western Pennsylvania’s severe weather patterns are changing, although slightly.
And it means we can’t let our guard down for severe weather at any time during the year just because we’re in a month when we normally don’t see tornadoes, record-breaking snowfall or tropical storm flooding.
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