SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even though we’ve been slightly below average to start December this year that hasn’t been the case in recent years.

Metrological winter is here, which includes the months of December, January and February.

Recent research has shown winter is the fastest warming season. Between 1970 and 2022, data was collected from 238 locations across the United States. Around 97% of the locations had warmed on average 3.3 degrees. It also shows that winter has warmed the most in the Great Lakes and Northeast.

Warming winters graphics

Of the data collected, 80% had seven more days of above average temperatures. 24% of those locations had at least 14 days above average.

On the other side, 97% saw shrinking cold snaps. Cold snaps shrank by an average of six days.

With warming, winters there are other pieces of life to watch. Water is supplied by snowpack in some locations, so with less snow there’s less water. Crops can also be affected. This would lead to a longer growing season, but that leads to different issues including more pests and weeds along with an increase need to irrigate.

The top five locations with the most winter warming were Burlington, Vermont; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Concord, New Hampshire; and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

So far, temperatures this December look to do the opposite for much of the nation, with below average temps.