Special Report

Places Where the Weather Is Getting Worse Because of Climate Change

Source: mikkelwilliam / Getty Images

6. East Coast: Boston to Philadelphia

In 2018, cities in the eastern and central parts of the United States — major coastal cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, as well as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati — all recorded temperatures in the 70s on Feb. 20 or 21, each setting an all-time high for single-day temperature in the month of February.

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7. Maryland

On May 27, 2018, torrential rains west of Baltimore dumped between 6 and 12 inches on the towns of Ellicott City and Catonsville, Maryland, causing catastrophic flood damage throughout the area for the second time in three years. Based on historical records, there is only a 0.1% chance that such extreme weather events should occur, but their frequency in recent years is likely due in part to manmade climate change.

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8. Mid-Atlantic: Virginia to New York

A slow-moving colossal blizzard in January 2016 dumped up to 3 feet of snow from Virginia to New York, causing around $1 billion in damage and the deaths of 55 people. According to the Regional Snowfall Index, the blizzard was the fourth largest Northeast storm since 1900. Some scientists say the blizzard is an example of human-caused climate change because it was an extreme weather event.

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9. Northeast

According to the National Climate Assessment, the amount of rain falling in the heaviest 1% of storms in the United States increased by 71% from 1958 to 2012 in the Northeast, the most of any region. The increases in heavy precipitation have led to runoff and caused major flooding events throughout the Northeast, as well as the Midwest and Great Plains. Such increases in rain activity are unlikely to occur naturally and may be due in part to human-induced climate change.

10. Southwest: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico

Severe to exceptional drought conditions proliferated in the American Southwest at the beginning of spring. Fish in the Rio Grande had to be relocated, and farmers along the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico were told to expect half their irrigation allotment. The drought contributed to an abnormally intense fire season in northwestern Colorado and led to the first ever rationing of water usage along the Yampa River Valley in the basin’s history, as well as other serious impacts on people, agriculture, and wildlife in the area.

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