4 December 2020
Climate Change Is About to Show Up On Your Local Weather Report
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Every ten years the climate “normals” are recalculated. Today, for instance, the normal high is 52 degrees here in Salisbury, Maryland. Most TV weather reports show the average high and low for the day, and I put them on our 7-day forecast graphic, but these numbers are about to change.
The normals we use now are based on the 30-year period from 1980-2010, but starting next year we will use the 30-year average from 1990-2020.
Does the warming planet show up when we do the new averages? You bet it does.
The graphic below was created by Climatologist Brian Brettschneider and shows how the new normals compare with the older ones. In nearly every case, the new normals are warmer. You can easily see the signal of climate change in your backyard, by simply recalculating the numbers every ten years.
Rainfall numbers will change as well.
So will average snowfall, winds, and a host of other variables.
Do these updates include statistics on extremes? I’m thinking of the changing distribution and magnitudes of precipitation extremes as the atmosphere warms.