It’s been a while since we’ve seen this much cold weather
SPOKANE, Wash.– With the last two bitterly cold nights around the Inland Northwest, Spokane has now had nine days where temperatures fell into the single digits in winter 2021-22. This is the most since the winter of 2018-19 when 13 days had the mercury fall below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
This winter is being defined by two outbreaks of frigid air with otherwise mild weather. Even with the long stretches of warmth, it’s much more in line with what we would expect than the warmer winters of 2019-20 and 2020-21.
More than ever though, the coldest weather of the winter isn’t as cold and isn’t sticking around as long. In the 1990s, Spokane could expect an average of 12 days each winter where temperatures would drop into the single digits. Today in the 2020s that average is down to eight days.
In the 1990s, subzero lows came an average of four times per winter, with some winters seeing many and some seeing zero that would balance each other out. It’s now been since 2017 that Spokane has gone subzero, so the average is now only two subzero days.
Overall winter temperatures are up 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit in Spokane since 1970.
Not many of us will be sitting around longing for the bitter winter chill. The fact that winters seem to be easing up around the Northwest and the nation, however, is another sign of climate change working behind the scenes of our weather.
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