Less Snow and More Blizzards?

Reduced Future Snowfall - US Map

At first this headline sounds bizarre, but the explanation is pretty simple. More CO2 leads to warmer air which holds more moisture which can produce larger rain and snow storms. While these larger blizzards are more frequent, they don't make up for reduced overall snowfall. This trend is already underway with reduced spring snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere. More blizzards in exchange for fewer snow days is a poor tradeoff whether you ski or not.

For those of us who live in the mountains, less snow and earlier spring snow melts also mean less water. The high alpine snow pack is a reservoir for much of the mountainous western US and Canada and this snow is melting even faster than Arctic sea ice.

What can we as skiers and snowboarders do about this? Read the Snow Code and decide what changes you can make first. Change can be difficult, but the status quo is even worse.

More Info:

AP - Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards

NPR - As Arctic Ice Melts, So Does The Snow, And Quickly

Controls of Global Snow Under a Changed Climate, Sarah Kapnick and Tom Delworth

National Snow and Ice Data Center

Oregon Climate Change Research Institute

Princeton Environmental Institute

Rutgers University Global Snow Lab