Buffalo, U.S. airports hit with severe storm — what is climate change’s impact? – MarketWatch

by | Dec 27, 2022 | Climate Change

Snowed-in Buffalo, N.Y., braced Tuesday for more wintry accumulation just days after an epic blizzard that killed at least 34 people, stranded some motorists in cars for days over the Christmas holiday and brought the city’s airport to a standstill. About 4,000 domestic flights were canceled nationwide Monday and travel plans remained snarled Tuesday, according to tracking website FlightAware, which has the latest scheduling. Of the 4,000 grounded flights, some 2,900 were for Southwest Airlines
whose handling of the holiday cancellations prompted an investigation by the Department of Transportation.

Read: Southwest’s ‘heartfelt apologies’ to travelers are just beginning amid winter storm Elliott chaos The culprit was the severe storm named Elliott, although not officially by the National Weather Service. And although it may seem contradictory, climate change may be contributing to more extreme winter weather. While snow, wind and bitter wind chill factors are expected in many northern states this time of year, even hardened Buffalo residents were shocked by the severity of this storm. And the fact that these winter storm events persist even while Earth is warming is a baffling phenomenon that some scientists are linking mostly to increased precipitation in a warmer atmosphere.

The calendar flipped to winter last week, and promptly ushered in what the National Weather Service called a “once-in-a-generation type event” that hobbled holiday travel by air and road on some of the busiest days of the year. As of Tuesday, much of the U.S. was still reeling from the ferocious winter storm, with at least an additional two dozen deaths reported beyond the Buffalo area, and power outages reported in …

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