Is Global Warming the Cause of a Snow Drought?

By Maggie Eckhart

In the Lehigh Valley, most of the population is shocked to see the absence of snow on the streets and sidewalks. By this time of year the Valley usually has some type of snow that sticks.  Not only is it the lack of snow that has unsettled citizens, but it’s also the unusually high temperatures. 

According to Weather Atlas, the average high temperature in December in PA is 34°F. The temperature on December 10th was 45-50°F. That is 11-16°F higher than the average high. 

Along with the higher temperatures there will be no sign of snow, just rain. With the average high in December of 2019, PA has a high of 45°F and an average low of 30°F, which is normally as low as 18°F, the perception of 3.54” is not the form of H2O is should be (U.S Climate Data). 

So what is causing this? Pennsylvania Real-Time News believes that the snow just hasn’t arrived yet; they explain that it is going to all go down after the New Year. But still, why such a delay? Some may argue that this could be caused by global warming or the new belief that seasons may be shifting. 

The mindset behind season shifting is essentially a cover for climate change. “Spring is arriving earlier, winters are shorter, and the number of freezing days is declining…A slight change in temperature is enough to push the spring thaw earlier, and delay the first frost until later in the fall” (Conservation in a Changing Climate). 

This could be an explanation for these warmer temperatures in December in Pennsylvania, a state that experiences extreme temperature changes during the shifting seasons. Are we safe or is it just a warm winter?