A study of the sequence of mean winter temperatures since 1812 in the northeastern United States shows apparently no other than a chance relationship four-fifths of the time. The other fifth includes, two remarkable series of alternating cold and warm winters, with almost identical preliminaries of a few moderately mild winters, an ordinary or moderately-cold winter, and then a severe winter, which which opens the alternating series—severe, warm, severe, warm, etc. The opening severe winters in these two series were those of 1872–73 and 1917–18. Thus we examine with interest the records of the winters of 1876–77, 1877–78.…, 1882–83 and wonder whether the winters of 1921–22, 1922–23.…, 1927–28 will alternate cold, warm, cold, etc., a those of 45 years ago did for such a long period. A study of the weather maps of these winters of the seventies and eighties in conjunction with those of the past few years and of the present might show not only the immediate cause of these alternating winters, but also might, give us a hint as to when to expert our present series of alternations to cease.




Past presented in more detail before American Meteorological Society at Chicago, Ill., Dec. 28, 1920.