Forecasting Change: 90 degree temperatures arriving earlier

First 90-degree day arriving 7 days earlier on average

First 90 degree day coming earlier.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The arrival of spring came last week and oddly enough we had a drop in temperatures that kept most of Central Florida cooler than normal for a 3-day run but now the first 90-degree readings of 2021 have arrived and this heatwave is about 3 weeks too soon, according to historic data.

There are 4 consecutive days in the 7-day planning forecast that have daytime highs of 90 degrees or higher. The graphic below from Climate Central shows that Orlando should not supposed to be this hot this soon.

First 90 degree day coming earlier.

Over the past 50 years, the first 90-degree readings have happened somewhere within the second or third week of April to the end of March or early April. This week is going to add to that shift. The upcoming warm air will be a part of a “new normal” 30-year average when the numbers get tabulated.

This next graphic shows that summer is extending its reach by starting earlier and ending later. We do still get fall temperatures for a near-normal span, but our winter seasons are compressing.

Seasons shifting

In the coming decades, this trend is expected to continue and will lead to more power demand for cooling, especially in urban heat island areas that don’t cool down as much during the overnight hours.

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About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.