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  • Ryan Wittler

Your Climate Normals Are Officially Different Because of Climate Change

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate averages for temperature and precipitation probably just changed where you live, and it’s because of climate change.

"Climate normals" change:

Once a decade, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updates “climate normals,” more commonly known as the average temperature and precipitation in an area for a given time period. They’re used to put actual temperature and precipitation into historical context, and sorry if we spoil it, but it’s not looking good.

Nearly all of the continental U.S. is getting warmer, save for a few places in the Dakotas and Montana where it’s actually getting cooler. Precipitation outcomes are less obvious, however, as some areas may see wetter winters, but drier summers, resulting in little net change in the data, but big impacts on ecosystems.

The updates don’t come as a surprise, they’re in line with our current decades-long trends of a warming planet and changing rainy seasons all over the world.

You can look up your area’s new averages at the NOAA’s website here.

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