Winter is coming...ever later - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Winter is coming...ever later

Posted: 11/02/2017 10:45:00 -04:00 Updated:

If you have noticed that winter seems to be coming later, you are not alone.

Data compiled by The Associated Press shows the date of the first freeze of the year has fallen further down the calendar over the last few decades. The AP analyzed information from 700 weather stations across the U.S. going back to 1895 compiled by Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information.

The data shows an overall shortening of the United States freeze season for 2016. It was more than a month shorter than the freeze season of 1916. The Associated Press reports scientists say it is a combination of global warming and changes in weather patterns that also are connected to man-made climate change, but less directly.

READ MORE: Science Says: Jack Frost nipping at your nose ever later

The AP reports the average first freeze over the last 10 years, from 2007 to 2016, is a week later than the average from 1971 to 1980, which is before Kunkel said the trend became noticeable.

In Indiana's Grant County, the data shows the first freeze in 2016 was a full month later than the normal first freeze. The normal first freeze, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, is October 21. In 2016, however, the first freeze was not until November 13.

Take a look at a timeline of Grant County's data, with data points on every 10 years in addition to some key points.

From the analysis:

  • Last year, the first freeze was latest in the Pacific West, starting on average on Dec. 1 -- 32 days later than the 20th century average.
  • Oregon’s freeze season last year was 61 days -- two months -- shorter than normal.
  • Last year ten states -- Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, Utah, Connecticut and Illinois -- had freeze seasons at least a month shorter than average.
  • This year, about 40 percent of the Lower 48 states have had a freeze as of Oct. 23, compared to 65 percent in a normal year, according to Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private service Weather Underground.

You can look through the historical data for Indiana's weather centers below. Drag the icon under Date to view each year or select a year to see the date of the first freeze for the reporting counties.

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