Yesterday, this city recorded a high temperature of 55 degrees. It rained a bit in the morning, but it was otherwise fairly pleasant most of the day. Not a bad day for early April.
Except it's early January. New England doesn't get much of a winter anymore these days.
There is a report out today where our climate folks are becoming concerned that we don't get a "frozen season" anymore.
Of course it affects all the winter activities and economy. Ski areas up north can still make snow, but how much? And how long does it last now?
Meteorologists looking back at data from 2022 have found it was one of the warmest years on record for Massachusetts.
The statewide temperature averaged 50.3 degrees Fahrenheit for 2022, tying 2016 for the sixth warmest year since 1895 when recordkeeping began, according to a new report.
Researchers at UMass Amherst's Climate System Research Center say Massachusetts had its second warmest summer on record, driven by the eighth-warmest July and warmest August. Spring was the state's sixth warmest and fall was the seventh warmest.
January was the only month of 2022 with an average temperature below normal.
On our current trajectory, the future may hold even hotter summers and less snowy winters, as is evident today.
"We're losing the frozen season," said Michael Rawlins, the associate director of the Climate System Research Center. "The frozen season, the number of days each winter below freezing is being reduced."
While there are some that deny any sort of thing is happening, I don't need a scientist to tell me what I can see with my own eyes. We have an annual scouting event in February called a "Klondike Derby". We load up homebuilt dogsleds with equipment and pull them around the woods to compete against other Scouts in games of skill or entertainment. I cannot remember the last time we had this event in enough snow to pull the sleds - most of them have wheels now.
We did have that brief cold snap before Christmas, and in downtown Boston "The Lagoon" froze in the Public Garden. (It's where the famed Swan Boats are.) We were able to skate on it for about 48 hours, but it all melted and has not re-frozen as of this writing.
And where I really notice it is in my own backyard. I'm Italian - we are required by law to have some kind of garden, no matter how small. When we moved to Waltham in 1996, I took over a small corner next to my back stoop. Traditionally, I plant on Mother's Day weekend, and the growing season is usually over by Columbus Day. Well...this has slowly shifted. We've gotten killing frosts deep into late April, and a few years ago a significant snowfall occurred on the weekend after
Mother's Day. I don't dare plant until Memorial Day now, and the end of the season now comes closer to Veteran's day.
Today is a little more 'normal' as we used to understand it. But looking down the week, temperatures will remain in the low to mid forties all week, with little or no precipitation in view.
As I have always been fond of noting - "No snow in January means no water in August". We had a very dry season last year. With California being flooded now, maybe New England will be the next to get a drought.