Winter climate forecast?
January 6, 2016 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone point me to some good projections of winter weather 40-70 years out? I'm not able to follow the math used in the few reports I've found. All I want to do is hedge my bets when planting fruit and nut trees(50%), the nitrogen fixing trees(50%) reaching full maturity isn't as high a priority. So will a future forest in the Ozarks look more like Wyoming or Mississippi?
posted by ridgerunner to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Basically impossible to know right now, I think. Global climate change is a huge wildcard.
posted by town of cats at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2016

Best answer: This has lots of good information: Projected Climate Change by Geographic Region.

- Temperatures will continue to warm over the century with a projected average increase by the end of the century of approximately 7 to 11° F under the high emission scenario and 4 to 6.5°F under the low emission scenario.12
- For the contiguous United States, summer months are projected to experience greater warming nationally compared with winter months. Extreme heat days (defined as a daily maximum temperature that currently has a 5% chance of occurring each year) will grow in number while extreme cold will decrease. By the end of the century, extreme heat events are projected to have a 50% chance of occurring each year.
- Heavy downpours are projected to continue to increase while the lightest precipitation decreases. By the end of the century, heavy downpours that have a 5% chance of occurring in a given year are projected to have a 20 to 75% chance of occurring in a given year. In addition, these types of precipitation events are projected to be 10 to 25% heavier.
- In general, northern areas of the country are projected to become wetter while southern areas, particularly the Southwest, will become drier.
- The jet stream over the United States is expected to continue to shift northward. The jet stream steers and fuels mid-latitude storms (i.e., extratropical storms).
- Precipitation and humidity are projected to significantly increase in the northern United States during winter and spring. This increase is in response to warm, moist air from the south moving northward and replacing very cold, dry air masses.
- Warming temperatures will increase evaporation as well as shift the rain/snow line northward and to higher elevations so more precipitation will fall as rain and less as snow.
posted by acridrabbit at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This map is a bit further in the future, but you can type in your city name and see what it will feel like in 2100. (They also have a summer version). This weather site also includes climate forecasts for 2050.
posted by three_red_balloons at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: acridrabbit,
Thanks, that's an awesome site. From just skimming it, I'm going to need to buy a backhoe to build more swales, and linear ponds with steep south sides. Maybe switch out Burr oaks for Swamp. Contingency planing, it like a hall of mirrors ;)
Thanks again
posted by ridgerunner at 8:03 PM on January 6, 2016

You might also check with your local extension service, both because they may have this info already compiled for your area and because if they don't have it yet, they should really get on with it.
posted by asperity at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2016

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