You may also be wondering exactly how global warming leads to heavy snowstorms. According to NOAA's Climate.gov website, the explanation seems to be that rising surface temperatures are causing increased evaporation, which in turn puts more water in the atmosphere.
NEWS: Historic Snow Doesn't Mean Global Cooling
NOAA says the boost in moisture and increased precipitation can be especially significant for coastal winter storms such as Nor'easters. You might remember that one of those buried Boston under heavy snow in mid-February of 2015.
As this 2014 Slate article by meteorologist Eric Holthaus explains, global warming also puts heat into the atmosphere that weakens the polar vortex, the swirl of high-altitude winds around the north that confines cold Arctic air. That, in turn, can allow cold air masses to slip southward, creating brutal cold weather.
According to a 2009 study, the energy that global warming puts into the atmosphere also causes more extreme shifts of the North Atlantic Oscillation, which basically is the difference between atmospheric pressure in northern Iceland compared to the Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic. A big change in the NAO can affect the direction and strength of the jet stream, which influences temperature and precipitation patterns across the eastern part of North America, according to Weather.com.