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

    Warmer weather during winter has been an obvious trend for decades now. But this year is different. The last few years, we’d have weeks where the snow would thaw in my area but then it would get cold again because that was happening was a storm was pulling warm air up from the south.

    This year, we’ve had the opposite where the default is warm weather and occasionally a storm brings cold air down from the north.

    Now this is the second year of an el Nino, so this hopefully isn’t the new average case yet. But this year is really exemplifying how much things have changed since the last second year of El Nino we’ve had. Not even sure when that was (2012?), but I am sure that I’ve never seen a winter like this before.

    Oh yeah, bringing up 2012 reminds me that we’re also at the solar maximum part of the sun’s cycle.