Heavier and more intense snowstorms to blast Massachusetts due to climate change: UMass scientist

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Massachusetts digs out after nor’easter dumps more than 2 feet of snow, massive power restoration effort continues
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If you hated digging out from the 2 feet of snow dumped on the region last week, a local scientist has some unfortunate blizzard projections for you.

Thanks to global warming, heavier and more intense snowstorms are expected to blast the Northeast and Massachusetts in the decades to come.

Seven of Boston’s top 10 biggest snowstorms on record have happened since 1997 after last weekend’s nor’easter pummeled the Bay State. These major storms have hit the region as temperatures climb at a rapid pace.

“These intense snowstorms we’ve seen in recent years are a manifestation of a warming climate,” University of Massachusetts Amherst atmospheric scientist Michael Rawlins told the Herald on Thursday.

“Climate models project places like the Northeast can expect heavy snowstorms to continue to occur through at least the mid-century,” added Rawlins, associate director of the UMass Amherst Climate System Research Center.

The 23.8 inches of snow that fell on Boston last weekend was the seventh largest storm on record for the city.

Two whoppers in 2015 made the Hub’s Top 10 list, as did major snowstorms in 2013, 2005 and 2003; the 28 inches in 2003 was the biggest storm in Boston’s history.

“It’s not surprising to scientists who understand climate dynamics and atmospheric physics that we’re seeing heavier snowstorms and more intense snowstorms occasionally in this region,” Rawlins said.

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