Winter has gone missing across the Midwest and Great Lakes, and time is running out to find it. Dozens of cities are on track for one of the warmest winters on record, making snow and ice rare commodities.

Several cities are missing feet of snow compared to a typical winter, ice on the Great Lakes is near record-low levels and the springlike temperatures have even spawned rare wintertime severe thunderstorms.

A classic El Niño pattern coupled with the effects of a warming climate are to blame for this “non-winter” winter, said Pete Boulay, a climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Winter has become the fastest-warming season for nearly 75% of the US and snowfall is declining around the globe as temperatures rise because of human-caused climate change.

    5 months ago

    I’ve got friends and relatives up in James Bay and they haven’t been able to open up the winter road properly up there this year. Ten, 20 years ago the winter road season started about a week or two before Christmas and lasted all the way to the first week of April in a good year. Now it realistically only lasts about one month.

    The openings they have for the road up there right now is for light vehicles like cars and trucks. The most important reason to have the ice road is heavy transports and they haven’t been able to get them up there yet this year.

    It’s a definite sign of unusually warm weather trends.