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Home Science Causes The New Normal: The Impact of Climate Change on Nor’easters by City Tech Blogger Kristy Kim

The New Normal: The Impact of Climate Change on Nor’easters by City Tech Blogger Kristy Kim

Climate change is likely a major factor in the frequency and severity of the nor’easters this year. The increasing temperature of the ocean may provide more energy and moisture content for nor’easters to potentially intensify the rain and snow fall that can precipitate on the East Coast. The significant impact of nor’easters on affected populations in the U.S. this year alone, show that issue of climate change must be researched, as it can have a substantial influence on extreme weather conditions we face in the United States. Despite arguments about climate change and its link to the weather, ignoring the likelihood of this idea is impossible. Any significant changes to our environment can eventually affect our lives. Sooner or later we must adapt to any future climate changes in order to prepare ourselves for the uncertainty of this weather, and to reduce the risks it poses to society as a whole.


The current weather phenomena in every newspaper are about the recent string of nor’easters going up the coast of the Northeastern part of the United States. A nor’easter is a weather-related phenomenon with a strong area of low pressure on the East coast of the U.S., usually with winds from the northeast from the Atlantic Ocean. With every nor’easter, the possibility of heavy rainfall, snow, flooding, and strong winds can negatively impact affected areas and populations. According to an article on Weather.com, “The U.S. East Coast is an ideal spot for nor’easters, especially during the winter months. This is because the polar jet stream transports cold air southward out of Canada into the U.S., then eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean where warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic tries to move northward.” Essentially, nor’easters develop when there are differences  in temperature of cold and warm air on land.

In the month of March 2018, four nor’easters have affected the East Coast alone. Populations can be affected in a severe way, especially with the occurrence of multiple nor’easters, one after another within the same month. Many areas may suffer from power outages, which is potentially dangerous for those living in suburban areas that lack immediate resources in comparison to an urban area. The rain and snow affect most New Yorkers (and any area with a high volume of commuters); all methods of mass transit can be suspended or have extended delays due to the dangerous traveling conditions. Accidents on the road increase because    it is difficult to navigate due to the rain and snow falling and creating less than ideal driving conditions. Areas that may potentially be affected by nor’easters should be on alert and abide by the warnings and advice aired on local and national weather stations to stock up on food, stay at home if possible, and move to an area on higher ground if located near the coast (coastal flooding).

All things considered, the string of nor’easters that have hit the east coast are a clear indication more needs to be done to address climate change, regardless if you believe it actually exists or not. So while the weather continues to be unpredictable, areas like New York City will continue to come to a screeching halt because we as a society are too busy arguing instead of trying to figure out solutions. If we continue to be in denial, we can no longer say, “April showers bring May flowers” because we do not know what the weather will bring us.

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