Publication Date January 25, 2016

How global warming helped turn the blizzard of 2016 into a record-breaking storm

United States
Children are pulled home after playing at Riverside Park, which was covered in snow after a day of constant snowfall in New York City on Jan. 23, 2016—the city’s snowiest day ever. Photo: Astrid Riecken, Getty Images

Total snowfall and total snow cover are decreasing across North America, a trend that’s expected to continue. But there are several factors related to climate change that are almost assuredly increasing the chances for mega-snowstorms, like the blizzard of 2016, at the same time. This weekend’s storm was a perfect example of the weird new atmosphere we’ve made for ourselves.