Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region

Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region

This 4-week course will feature a new season each week through short lectures and activities covering Great Lakes weather, observed changes in the climate, and societal impacts of climate change. Along with sharing our passion for weather and climate, we’ll convey information from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Weather-Ready Nation initiative as well as findings from the recent National Climate Assessment and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).

Learn how the mid-latitude location of the Great Lakes Region and the influence of five massive and stunning fresh-water lakes combine to create exhilarating weather systems each season. Winters are cold and snowy; spring brings thunderstorms, heavy rains and tornadoes; summers are hot and humid and the transition to autumn paves the way for especially windy storms like the one that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. On top of all this, climate change is adding to the complexity. Numerous observations demonstrate that the climate of the Great Lakes Region is changing. Average temperatures are getting warmer and extreme heat events are occurring more frequently. Total precipitation is increasing and heavy precipitation events are becoming more common. Winters are getting shorter and duration of lake ice cover is decreasing. We’ll share the data with you before focusing on people and communities adjusting to these changes. And to slow the rate of future climate change, we’ll share actions you can take that benefit you and everyone who loves the weather and climate of the Great Lakes Region.

A helpful web resource that highlights the topics in this course can be found here.

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