Flexi Says: An unusual number of blizzards have occurred in the United States in recent decades. Some of this blizzard activity may be related to global warming. When people think of global warming, they often think of heat waves, drought, and melting ice caps. How can global warming increase snowstorms? Two factors contribute to this effect: more moisture in the atmosphere and a jet stream that dips farther south.
Warmer temperatures cause more water to evaporate from oceans and land into the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water vapor. This movement of water from Earth's surface to the air can make for longer dry spells, but when the conditions are right for precipitation, much more water can fall in the form of rain or snow. The jet stream is a river of air that circles around the polar region. As the Arctic warms, the jet stream slows and dips farther south. This brings cold air and greater potential for blizzards in North America and Eurasia.