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Winters arriving later than ever

Associated Press

Carol Minger walked on the Stone Arch Bridge as it snowed in Minneapolis on Friday. The snowfall was the first of the season.

Associated Press  

WASHINGTON — Winter is coming later, and it’s leaving ever earlier, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Across the United States, the year’s first freeze has been arriving further and further into the calendar, according to more than a century of measurements from weather stations nationwide.

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Scientists say it is yet another sign of the changing climate, and that it has good and bad consequences for the nation. There could be more fruits and vegetables — and also more allergies and pests.

‘‘I’m happy about it,’’ said Karen Duncan of Streator, Ill. Her flowers are in bloom because she’s had no frost this year, just as she had none last year at this time. On the other hand, she said just last week it was too hot to go out — in late October, near Chicago.

The trend of ever later first freezes appears to have started around 1980, according to an analysis by the Associated Press of data from 700 weather stations across the U.S. going back to 1895 compiled by Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at NOAA.

Associated Press