To say we tend to live in the present might sound obvious, but in terms of the weather, it bears saying. Our ability to sense present weather far exceeds our ability to recall weather of the past. This gets in the way of our ability to recognize climate trends. Weather records do not suffer this shortcoming and reveal facts that might surprise.

For example, our region was cold last winter from late January through spring and there has been some cold weather lately. We notice and remember this while failing to notice the longer trend of winters getting warmer. Smoothed out to a five-year running average, winter temperatures are a degree or so warmer, per day, than the 20th century average. Likewise, those frigid 20 below nights are happening only about half the frequency of the 20th century average.

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