Weather events and climate trends are completely different things. The difference is explained at the Christian Science Monitor.
While the temperatures in New England this month may have felt shocking to residents, cold outbreaks were once much more common in the Northeast.
“People forget just how cold it used to be,” he says. “The only way to keep track of that is to get outside of the realm of anecdotes and back into the realm of data.”
My husband, a California native, moved to my small town in Kentucky seven years ago, looking forward to snow. I told him about some big snows, the last of which was 14 inches in February of 1998 that left us without power for two weeks. He's come to believe that I made those stories up, because the last few winters have been downright balmy. Right now, the snow is falling hard and fast where I live, but it's still a long way from the deep snows of the past. This comic is from Randall Munroe at xkcd.