Winter officially starts Wednesday, but the U.S. average temperature is 16 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s four degrees colder than any time last winter, according to meteorologists.
“If it seems like the current cold snap is unusual, you are right,” Dr. Roy Spencer, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, wrote in his blog Sunday.
Spencer shared a chart created by weather forecasters at WeatherBELL Analytics showing just how cold it is this year compared to the coldest point during winter 2015-2016. That chart was also shared by meteorologist Anthony Watts.
— Watts Up With That (@wattsupwiththat) December 18, 2016
“If you think it is colder than you remember last year, your’e right,” Watts wrote on his blog. “Winter hasn’t officially started yet, it begins on Wednesday, December 21st.”
Watts wrote that “as of 7 a.m. EST this morning, Sunday, Dec. 18, the average temperature across the Lower 48 states of the U.S. is colder than any time all last winter.”
“What’s worse, the coldest part of winter is still six weeks away,” Watts wrote.
New York Times reporter Tatiana Schlossberg lectured readers on Dec. 15 that frigid winter weather doesn’t disprove global warming.
Schlossberg also wrote how global warming may actually cause more cold snaps like the current one.
“Some studies suggest that climate change could actually make these frigid waves of Arctic air more common, a result of shrinking sea ice. However, other scientists remain skeptical of this theory,” she wrote.
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