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East Coast Rain Blues

Why cold and snow is out and wet a warm remains the theme in the East, join in the conversation.

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Is Seasonal Lag real?



Is seasonal lag real poll  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think that our winters and summers are ending later?

    • Yes
    • No

Everyone in my area has been complaining about how it just goes directly from summer to winter, and then from winter to summer.  It does seem like Fall and Spring are becoming less relevant, but is there proof of this?  How do we go about trying to prove this "theory"? 

I'll start with some basic research - have Octobers been warmer than normal, representing an extension of summer?   You can get data from the High Plains Regional Climate Center.  I put this in the Long Range thread for starters, but the results for the NE/MA show that yes, Octobers have been warming.  9 of the Octobers since 2003 have been warmer than normal, 2 seasonal and 5 colder.  But since 2010, only one was cooler and one seasonal.  Here is a gif of the NE Octobers.  Complicating things is that the scale changes each year and typically the entire region doesn't have the same result, so I'm just eyeballing it.


What about the rest of the CONUS?  At least the scale is the same year over year.


What about the winter into spring?  Let's look at April.  In the NE (you can spot your state and count for your own result) , there was a better mix - 8 were higher, 6 colder and 2 seasonal.  However, the warm years took place prior to 2012 (except for 2017) and the cooler years took place post 2012.


  So, the maps kinda sorta, unscientifically validate the feeling that winters and summers are lasting longer, at the expense of spring and fall, at least in the NE.

Any thoughts on why?  Where to start?  ENSO? PDO? QBO?  EPO? AO? Sunspots? Or is it just that we are seeing warmer temperatures in general?




  • Like 2


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@Weatherdude1993 Did some research and posted " Meanwhile, since 2003, we have only had one very cold September (2006), and seven very warm ones (2004, 2005, 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). The others were all within a degree of normal."  "It's not just you. Where I am, every winter from 2012-13 to 2015-16 was warmer in December than in March. March on average is 4C (7F) warmer than December. "


And @Stacsh had this to add as a possible reason


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Posted (edited)

I definitely have noticed the phenomenon and been curious about it. I've not looked into it but as I live in the east I would think the effect of this phenomenon might be different in another part of the country, i.e. earlier seasons rather than later, as is typical. Cold east warm west or vice versa. 

My money is on this being related to the sea ice difference and/or some other really long term cycle. 

Edited by 1816

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Definitely feels weird. We went straight from a baking hot and humid pattern into frosts and eventually snow. Now we are getting temperatures that should've happened in November, and I bet March will be the snowfest, or winter.

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