Weather Fundamentals

The Seasons

Do large-scale weather patterns lead to season trends

Generally, no. One might believe, for example, that a milder-than-normal winter might be followed by a warmer-than-usual spring and summer. Actually, meteorologists have found no such reliable patterns. In fact, many times a warm winter is followed by a cold spring, or vice versa. A good example of this is the winter of 1994 to 1995. In the northern United States that season, there was a lot less snow and ice, and urban areas such as Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, saved lots of money on road salt. However, the following spring was decidedly colder, and Minnesotans saw ice-covered lakes and ponds well into the month of May. Looking back farther in history, the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s saw severe extremes, with the United States experiencing many of its all-time record lows and highs in 1933, 1934, 1936, and 1937.


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