Cornell University has just released some data from its Northeast Regional Climate Center, and what it reveals should surprise precisely no one who lives in the region: The winter of 2011-2012 has so far been one of the warmest and least-snowy on record.
The winter of 2001-02 registered at most stations as being warmer, and the warmest on record was 1931-32. Nonetheless, this winter is indeed abnormally hot and snow-free.
Art DeGaetano, a climatologist and professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the director of the Cornell-based NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, made the follow statement:
“So far, the 2011-12 winter has averaged warmer than normal, with temperatures in much of the Northeast averaging at least 5 degrees above normal. The 60-day average was within the top 20 warmest on record at all but one of the major airport stations in the region. This winter's prevailing storm path, combined with the warmer temperatures has kept significant snowfall at bay. Consequently, there is not a lot of snow on the ground, especially when compared to last year."This winter has been breaking heat records all over the place, offering more evidence yet that climate change is already taking its toll.
As Joe Romm points out in his post blasting the LA Times for failing to even mention global warming in an article about the record-hot summer, the ratios of record-breaking hot days far outnumber record-breaking cold days—comparing the two is a good way to chart climate change.