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Don’t Rush To Blame Yellowstone Flooding On Climate Change, Experts Say


While some national media outlets in the past month implied that climate change was at the root of flooding in Yellowstone National Park, some weather experts are cautioning against drawing hasty conclusions.

“This had very little to do with climate change,” said Cliff Mass, a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences. “In global warming, you would expect to see less snowpack. This year, we’ve had a cool, wet spring – that’s not warming conditions.”

Cowboy State Daily Meteorologist Don Day Jr. agreed with Mass’ assessment, adding the verdict is still out and could be for some time to come.

“Whether climate change had an impact on the Yellowstone flooding is something to be determined in post-analysis,” Day said. “Let’s apply some science to this before we make the statement, ‘Climate change played a role.’”

While Day might be a household name for many Wyoming residents, Mass has worked in weather science since 1981 and specializes in weather and climate prediction in the western U.S. In 2008, he started his weather blog and authored “Weather in the Pacific Northwest.” And for the past two years, he’s hosted the podcast, “Weather with Cliff Mass.”

Rather than blame global warming, both attributed the flooding to a […]

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