Snow, Snow, Everywhere

Is it growing warmer or it growing colder? In the US and in Europe it is hard to tell this year. As of now about 71% of the USA is covered with a layer of snow. Comparing earlier January amounts this is the highest in the last 7 years. 2010 was 56% with a low of 21% in 2006. Average snow depth has also increased proportionately in this time frame. The winters of 1976-77 and 1977-78 were the two of the coldest USA winters in recent times so we have a way to go yet. The winter of 2009–2010 in Europe was also unusually cold. Globally there were atypical snowfalls in several parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In January 2010, the northern half of Europe experienced its coldest winters since 1981–1982. The winter of 2010-2011 in Europe began with an unusually cold November caused by a cold weather cycle that started in southern Scandinavia and subsequently moved south and west over both Belgium and the Netherlands on 25 November and into the west of Scotland and North East England on 26 November. This was due to a low pressure zone in the Baltics, with a high pressure over Greenland on 24 November.

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