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Old 04-29-2015, 03:13 PM
 
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For any given latitude and altitude, Western locales are notably tropical compared to the same place east. For example, Albuquerque is much further up and at a similar latitude to Asheville, but the latter has winters that are equally cold. And Seattle is pretty much Ecuador compared to Maine or Newfoundland.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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It's because of the cold snaps. Weather on the east coast is driven primarily by "cold snaps" of cold, Canadian/arctic air that sweeps down through the Great Plains.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:49 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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The jet stream moves from west to east and often pulls cold Canadian air down during the Winter. The Pacific Ocean moderates the temps in the NW US because water holds heat more efficiently. As the jet stream moves fronts across land in the Winter, they lose that moderating effect because land doesn't hold heat as efficiently as water and the air rapidly cools. By the time they reach the East Coast, the fronts have been cooled by more than 2 thousand miles of land.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroninja42 View Post
It's because of the cold snaps. Weather on the east coast is driven primarily by "cold snaps" of cold, Canadian/arctic air that sweeps down through the Great Plains.
Interesting. I do notice back east can get pretty warm in the winter during warm spells. I wonder if the days of extreme subzero cold make their winters seem worse than they actually are by dragging down the mean.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mini-apple-less View Post
Interesting. I do notice back east can get pretty warm in the winter during warm spells. I wonder if the days of extreme subzero cold make their winters seem worse than they actually are by dragging down the mean.
They do. Ive noticed that we do get our cold snaps here, but it looks like the cold snaps happen more often and are longer to our east. The state of Iowa is fun to watch in the winter. The west is often 5-20 degrees warmer during most of the winter and spring. Nebraska is kinda that way too. The west part of Nebraska seems to have less than the east. But the snaps are very wild and extreme over there.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:59 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-apple-less View Post
Interesting. I do notice back east can get pretty warm in the winter during warm spells. I wonder if the days of extreme subzero cold make their winters seem worse than they actually are by dragging down the mean.
Our water temperature is a lot warmer here in the east. The gulf stream with winter water temps in the lower 70's comes to within 15 miles of Cape Hatteras in NC and then starts veering out. By the time it is off the coast where I live in MD it is around 120 or so miles out with an ocasional warm water eddie that brakes off and comes in closer but our inshore waters will be in the mid 40's. But let a warm front come which starts bringing a SE wind and that warm gulf stream air from that 70 something degree water will moderate our coast and temps can be right pleasant - until the next cold front comes from the west bringing a cold northerly wind and the colder air with it.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
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This is "climate change" IMO. Lately, the Eastern Pacific has been warmer, and I have read many reports that this will be around for quite awhile. A warm Eastern Pacific will push high pressure upward and north over the Pacific Northwest, sending the jet stream into the midwest. Then it all moves east. I'm afraid the pattern is in place and may continue for years or decades. However, during the 1950's and 60's, and even into the 70's, this pattern was opposite. These things change, but usually not very quickly. Bad news, the west will continue to dry up, and that is not good news for anyone.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:42 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
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Truckee, California is actually one of the coldest places in the U.S. historically, although certainly not in the last couple of years. I've been in Tahoe and in Maine in below or around 0 F many times though.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Truckee, California is actually one of the coldest places in the U.S. historically, although certainly not in the last couple of years. I've been in Tahoe and in Maine in below or around 0 F many times though.
Thats because its at a high elevation. The Sierras overall have some of the highest elevation in the country
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
This is "climate change" IMO. Lately, the Eastern Pacific has been warmer, and I have read many reports that this will be around for quite awhile. A warm Eastern Pacific will push high pressure upward and north over the Pacific Northwest, sending the jet stream into the midwest. Then it all moves east. I'm afraid the pattern is in place and may continue for years or decades. However, during the 1950's and 60's, and even into the 70's, this pattern was opposite. These things change, but usually not very quickly. Bad news, the west will continue to dry up, and that is not good news for anyone.
Not exactly.

A warmer eastern Pacific would lead to MORE precipitation. The whole reason why California gets less rain is partly because of the cold current that originates in Alaska. The air above cold ocean has generally less humidity and is more stable. Its the warm, humid waters off the southeast that contributes to their rainfall.

Of course the high pressure cells and ridges steer storm tracks away, but this is not new. Also high pressure should be pushed further north of the Atlantic to, if one could solely explain by climate change.
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