Most Rochesterians can remember snow flying around by Halloween, and even more anticipate at least a couple inches by Thanksgiving. This year, however, proved a Christmas without snow. Aside from few lake effect flurries, there was no accumulation, and this Christmas was a green one. According to my local news station, Rochester has experienced abnormally high temperatures for November and December. I think it might be nice to be able to wear a fleece jacket instead of a heavy down coat, but I remember Decembers where there was a foot of snow on the ground. Normal temperatures for this time of year are not in the 40s and 50s, but 2011 showed us otherwise.
I know there are still many climate change skeptics out there, but I think these local changes in weather patterns are just a taste of more drastic anomalies yet to come. Climate change is already being experienced in other parts of the globe
, namely the Arctic and Antarctic. On a more social level, the weather here has affected holiday spirit. As the climate changes, so do our attitudes regarding holidays that are shaped by the seasons. Honestly, it did not feel much like the holiday season this year — at least in my personal experience. Maybe the lack of snow is a silent warning that we really need to make monumental change so that future generations can experience snow-capped mountains and frozen ponds for ice skating. Most of all, a world without snow could be a much colder one than we know now. From my own childhood memories, it was the snow that brought people together for hot chocolate, bundling up by the fireplace, and just for gazing out the window in awe at the spectacle of a winter wonderland.