Mar 4, 2024 - Climate

It doesn't stay cold for long in Cleveland anymore

Longest streak of cold winter days in Cleveland
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

As you're enjoying this amazing weather, you may find yourself wondering — is the cold coming back?

Why it matters: Even if it does, it's not likely to last for a long stretch.

Driving the news: Cold weather streaks in Cleveland have gotten six days shorter on average since 1970, Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from a new Climate Central analysis.

Reality check: Prolonged cold snaps still happen — Cleveland's longest of 2023 lasted six days.

  • Yes, but: That's nothing compared with the city's longest cold streak between 1970 and 2023, which came in 1977 and lasted 46 days.

The big picture: Cold streaks are largely getting shorter on average nationwide, per Climate Central.

What they did: Climate Central defines a "winter cold streak" as "at least two consecutive December-February days with average temperatures below the 1991-2020 winter normal average temperature" at a given location.

What they found: "Winter's longest cold streaks have gotten shorter since 1970 in 98% of 240 U.S. locations analyzed," per the report.

The bottom line: Even when it's cold for a few days, be thankful it's not 1977.

Go deeper: Spring could still be months away in Northeast Ohio


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