Cold snap was a 'freak of nature,' analysis finds

Data visualization showing very cold temperatures gripping large portions of North America on Jan. 1 2018

Data visualization showing very cold temperatures gripping large portions of North America on Jan. 1 2018

News, the cold snap that brought a frigid "bomb cyclone" to the east coast of the United States was not caused by man-made greenhouse gases, but is instead a naturally occurring phenomenon that is 15 times rarer today than it was just 100 years go.

The type of Arctic blast that hit MI on Christmas Day - and hung on for two weeks - is actually 15 times rarer than it was a century ago, according to World Weather Attribution. A century ago "it wouldn't have been that odd".

Some recent studies have suggested that the loss of Arctic sea ice because of warming could be a factor, by influencing air circulation patterns, weakening the jet stream and allowing more polar air to shift southward, at least in some regions.

The last recent winter with a colder 2-week span?

By analyzing historical weather records, the team found that the spate of bitterly cold weather that gripped states from ME west to Minnesota tends to happen about once every 250 years, the AP said.

Last year, this same team of scientists determined numerous headline-making weather events - from Hurricane Harvey to heavy flooding in France - could be connected to man-made global warming.

The group says climate change has made such cold spells less common and less intense.