Our Winters are Warmer by Bob Lindmeier
Our Winters Are Warmer by Chief Meteorologist Bob Lindmeier, member of SCSW Care for God’s Creation Team
I’ve been a broadcast meteorologist for almost 38 years. During this time, I’ve had an opportunity to talk to many people about their perception of how the climate has changed since they were a child. This is especially true of winter. Many say the snow is not as deep and it’s not as cold as it used to be. It turns out these perceptions are true. Winters are warmer throughout the United States, especially over many of the northern states.
Madison, which represents south-central and southwest Wisconsin, has warmed about 1°F per decade since 1970. This has made it one of the fastest warming communities in the country. Northern Wisconsin is warming even faster.
Warming winters may sound nice to some who prefer more moderate temperatures, but milder winters have resulted in difficult times for industries that economically depend on cold winters. Winter tourism and recreation suffer when mild conditions impact downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Snow removal businesses also suffer.
Milder temperatures mean that some storms that used to produce all snow are now producing both rain and snow. This reduces the amount of snow that accumulates. Milder weather also melts snow cover, which reduces the amount of time winter enthusiasts have to enjoy the recreational benefits that snow provides.
Our warmer winters are just one of many examples of how climate change is impacting our lives in Wisconsin.