Why do we get so much winter rain?

February 15, 2008 8:07:41 AM PST
The 35-degree rainfalls you speak of are coming from coastal storms.

Erica's Answer:

Winter storms that track along the East Coast often bring us big rainfall, and sometimes even snowfall, in the winter. But, these storms originate in the South, so as they migrate northward along the coast toward the Delaware Valley, they carry some of the warmer air with them.

Also, as a coastal storm approaches, it draws in moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. Cloud cover and easterly winds are usually the first signs that a coastal storm is approaching. But, an easterly wind is a milder wind during the winter months, since the Atlantic Ocean remains above freezing during the entire winter. So, temperatures will sometimes rise in advance of a coastal storm, due to the ocean's influence.

- Erica


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