In the past week, I have been spending a good deal of time remembering and researching weather events over the last few years at Stratford Point while working on coastal restoration and management plans for the property. Stop for a moment and think of how much Connecticut has experienced since just 2008 - multiple tornadoes, several blizzards, countless nor'easters, dozens of days with winds gusting well past 30 or 40 or even 50 to 60 MPH along the shoreline, record amounts of rainfall and snowfall, the hottest day ever, Tropical Storm Irene, the most snow depth recorded, several brutal straight-line wind and supercell thunderstorm events, the recent October storm that shattered every snowfall record for the month nearly everywhere, and so much more.
The month of October was notable across the country and even the world, and this graphic, courtesy of NOAA, shows you what was going on in other parts of the globe in the eighth warmest October since 1880.
Global warming does not mean the end of snow and cold temperatures, and it is a misnomer. We use the term climate change because that is what results from the warming of the Earth - a changing climate. As average temperatures increase across the planet we will continue to see unbelievable events such as these increase as well. What we know as weather is primarily driven by temperature and moisture differentials on the Earth, and when this gap widens, there are going to be more potent and more frequent storms of various types. This will often involve extreme events like heavy snow in October or record-breaking heat in the summer. What we are seeing is only the beginning of what could be a frightening ride.
I do not think many people in Connecticut are skeptical of a changing world after what we have experienced this year alone. At Connecticut Audubon Society, we continue to monitor our weather and climate, adjusting our planning and management practices as needed.