A <I>Very</I> Long Term Forecast

A pedestrian walks down a freshly snow covered sidewalk outside the Hall County Courthouse in Grand Island, Neb., Wednesday morning, Dec. 20, 2000. Winter weather. AP

Here's one very long-term weather forecast for the northeastern United States: increased storminess for the next 900 years.

In fact, stormy weather appears to have been increasing already for the last 600 years, researchers reported in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal Nature.

Geologists from the University of Vermont reached that conclusion after studying sedimentary layers from lakes in Vermont and eastern New York. They looked for layers of sediment that had been washed into the lakes during floods caused by rainstorms. By radiocarbon dating, they were able to determine when these stormy periods occurred over the last 13,000 years.

They found that these storm-related floods appeared to occur in regular cycles peaking about 3,000 years apart, with the oldest peak some 11,900 years ago. Each stormy period has lasted about 1,500 years in all.

Similar findings have been reported from studies of ancient ice in central Greenland, the researchers said.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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