Finally, after a horrendous winter across the U.S., weather reports show that for the first time since November 20, 2013, less than one-tenth of America is covered with snow. Yep: That means for nearly five months, at least 10 percent of the U.S. always had snow covering it. On Wednesday, weather forecasts clocked in at 9.6 percent for the amount of snow cover. As of Thursday, weather forecasts have indicated that snow cover is even lower now, clocking in at 8.9 percent.
A comparison? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on Dec. 15 last year, 53 percent of the continental U.S. (emphasis on continental — sorry, Alaska) had snow cover. Not to state the obvious, but the decrease in snow cover has come a long way.
With that said, seven years earlier, on Dec. 15, 2006, merely 12 percent of the continental U.S. had snow cover. The continental U.S. has also had some form of snow cover since September 21, 2013, which means that for nearly seven months, the U.S. has had snow at some point.
Next week, the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region can expect to see a bit of snow. Sorry, but winter's here to stay for a while longer.
As a reminder, this trend toward more snow cover in the continental U.S. appear to be more of a blip in weather than a larger climatological change. If we look at the Northern Hemisphere overall — and not just the continental U.S. — snow cover during the spring has increasingly been receding since the 1960s.
Since 1985, only six springs have had an above-average snow cover — and this 2014 spring is one of them. Scarily enough, the less snow there is, the less sun is reflected back into space, which is precisely what makes global temperatures climb.
So, given the drastic state of climate change (and some media outlets' inability to cover it accurately), maybe it's okay that winter is lasting this long, after all.