Alabama-esque Winters in Store for New Yorkers by 2050? Hopefully Tornadoes Aren’t Part of the Package

Many regions in the U.S. were flooded with rainstorms throughout this past summer — quite literally, entire towns of homeowners discovered flooded basements on more than one occasion — but it doesn’t seem like Mother Nature has any intention of easing up.

According to reports from CNN and The Weather Channel, inclement weather conditions set upon the southeast region of the country on Monday, October 13th, and put about 32 million people at risk. Within 48 hours, more than 12 tornadoes had been recorded and two lives had been taken — one in Alabama, and one in Arkansas.

This isn’t just the first big storm of the fall tornado season; it’s the first time since 2009 that tornadoes in the U.S. have caused deaths during October. By Wednesday, October 15th, severe storms in southern areas had subsided and begun moving up the northeast coast, with many regions encountering thunderstorms.

This tornado blitz certainly comes at an interesting time: recent reports have explicitly predicted that, by 2050, New Yorkers could be experiencing much milder winters, similar to those of Alabama.

The cause of such drastic weather patterns is nothing to take lightly; warmer weather in the future would certainly be the result of global warming, and it wouldn’t be a temporary change. While environmental concerns dominate conversations about global warming effects, Americans are realizing that warmer temperatures could also negatively affect the country’s entire socioeconomic structure.

If New York state stopped having snowy winters, for example, thousands of people would likely lose their jobs. There would be little need for snowplows or icy-weather items like snow tire chains. Entire companies that make a profit from cold-weather clothing would likely go out of business. The heating and cooling industry would have to change significantly, and it’s likely that the number of workers in the heating and cooling industry would drop significantly, compared to current employment opportunities (which number around 300,000).

While many New Yorkers are likely to feel a wave of hope at the prospect of not trudging through piles of snow and ice every winter, this past week’s tornado storm has residents thinking twice about how welcome a new weather pattern would be. Areas like New York are blissfully safe from tornadoes and hurricanes at the moment — but if these areas start acquiring Alabama’s weather trends, would that change?

Unfortunately, not even leading meteorologists can predict that yet.