Talk about a “climate change.”
While millions of Americans in the eastern U.S. were being pummeled by record snow and low temperatures, western U.S. residents were enjoying the sun in record warm winter temperatures.
While this winter ranked as the 19th warmest on record, February was exceptionally cold, with many northeastern states experiencing temperatures that were the second lowest on record, along with record-breaking levels of snowfall.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that “northeastern states had February average temperatures that were the second coldest on record, with several individual cities being record cold. Record snowfalls were widespread in the East, while record warmth engulfed much of the West.”
Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Washington had their warmest winters on record, while frigid “winter temperatures, driven in large part by a frigid February, were observed from the Mississippi River to the East Coast,” reports NOAA.
About 1.3 million square miles of the U.S., 91,000 square miles more than the 40 year average, in February. It was so snowy that Boston, Massachusetts had its snowiest month since 1872, when such records began. The city got 64.8 inches of snow, beating the previous record of 43.3 inches of snow.
But while the Northeast was pummeled with snow, California and other western states were still stuck in drought. NOAA notes that “[d]rought conditions worsened across parts of the Central Rockies, Southern Plains, and central Gulf Coast. Drought conditions improved in parts of the West and Ohio Valley.”
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