Why doesn't it snow like it used to?

February 7, 2008 1:27:42 PM PST
Yes, we have been pretty snow-deprived this winter and last winter, as well. But it wasn't that long ago that we were blanketed with the white stuff!

Erica's Answer:

Here's a statistic that really puts things in perspective: In Allentown, where records have been kept since 1922, 4 of the 10 snowiest winters on record have happened in the past 15 years. Those winters are 1993-'94, '95-'96, 2000-'01, and '02-'03. In the 1950s and 1960s, we also have 4 winters making the list of the 10 snowiest winters ever in Allentown. Those years are 1957-'58, '60-'61, '63-'64, and '66-'67. The 1980s don't even make the list once; neither do the 1920s or '30s.

Why is this? Our weather patterns go in cycles, as you know, but not only annual cycles, such as the changing of the seasons! There are also multi-decadal cycles of warm and cool weather, wet and dry weather, etc. We're probably in the midst of a "snow rut" right now, and it may take years for us to pull out of it!

- Erica