I know this is going to sound like a shock to some people, but I am actually missing winter. I never thought I would utter those words until I realized that it feels like a long time since the last significant snowfall.
Make no mistake about it, I don't miss driving in snow. I think that as far as driving is concerned, snow should never exist because it makes people drive stupidly and causes accidents. From a perspective of appearance, however, it's sad that there isn't snow.
Winter is the season of Christmas lights, Santa Claus, hot cider, and classic holiday music playing on the stereo. With a blanket of snow outside this all feels normal because most people associate the Christmas season and snow. When it's 62 degrees in the midwest and people are wearing shorts things seem far less festive. To me, lacking snow almost feels like it isn't the Christmas season. Instinctively I know that it's December and therefore the holiday music and the abundance of mini-lights is par for the course. When the Christmas stuff is out when it's warm outside it almost feels as though it's springtime and I'm just at one of those Christmas stores that runs all through the year.
More important than my personal take on this is the global issue that this non-festive weather presents. The warm temperatures in a characteristically cold month of the year suggests the worsening of climate change. According to the Indiana State Climate Office, the average max temperature in December for Indiana from 1971-2000 was 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The projected highs for the next 5 days in Indianapolis are (in degrees Fahrenheit) 42, 42, 44, 44, 40. The highest temperature reached on November 30, 2016 was 54 degrees which is 9 degrees over the historical average of 45 degrees for that date. According to the Weather Channel, in the winter of 2015 more than half of the annual snowfall came in the second half of February and the first half of March despite the fact that January is characteristically the coldest month of the year and the month with most snowfall.
These figures suggest a big issue with the winter weather systems as they are not acting as they normally do. However, it isn't just winter. In the past four years, Indiana has had one of its worst droughts (2012) and a summer with almost double the amount of precipitation it normally sees (2015).
What I don't know is whether or not any of these irregularities can be totally reversed. What I do know is that as a nation and as a planet we must work to try and reduce our carbon footprints. I want my children to have white Christmases without having to worry about if that white Christmas means they're buried under a foot of snow. I want my white Christmas back, I want the usual mugginess of the Indiana summer, and I want weather patterns that are more of the "predictably unpredictable" variety rather than generational anomalies we're seeing every year.