When we discuss rising temperatures the focus is typically on sweltering summers and record heatwaves but some of the most warming happens when we aren't concerned about the heat. Wintertime is warming much faster overall than the rest of the year, and this brings widespread changes to the cold season.
Warming during the coldest time of year is a trend seen nationwide, especially across the Northeast and Great Lakes. This also extends across the Midwest, where temperatures have climbed over 4 to 5 degrees on average over the last half-century. This winter warming is higher than all other seasons, even double the warming trend during the summer.
Winter warming is especially seen in the month of December locally, where temperatures and snowfall are impacted as a result. The average snowfall during December in Columbia has dropped from 4.4" to 3.4" over recent decades, a nearly 25% drop. Cold snaps are shrinking, while the chilliest nights become harder to find as well. This is all set to continue this year as temperature trends are climbing above average into December 2023 the next couple weeks.