Forecasting Change: Summer is here and it’s getting hotter

Summer temperatures
Summer temperatures

ORLANDO, Fla. – Summer has a magical feel for most of America. It’s the time when school is out, lazy days arrive, families take vacations and the living is easy.

For Floridians, though, it marks the return of the “Mean Season,” the time of year when we are truly tropical and have severe weather potential. It is also getting hotter.

Check out the temperature trends in the graphics below. Over the last 50 years, Orlando has been inching up in the average summer temperature department.

Summer temperatures

For this week, the average high over the last 30 years is 90 degrees. This week, we have been above that average several times. Over the last 50 years, we have added three more days above 95 to our total per summer. Thursday will be one of those days.

Days above 95 degrees

And it’s not just the daytime high that is of concern. The ability of our atmosphere to cool at night is changing.

The average overnight low has crept up over the last half of a century. Staying warm at night makes the starting point hotter for the mornings, which leads to high daytime temperatures and it all becomes a growing feedback cycle.

Warm nights

In a nutshell, the trends are showing a trend for warming summer days, warmer summer nights and an increase in the number of extremely hot days. And as the climate changes, the hotter summers lead to health issues like heat stroke, breathing problems and sleep interruption. There are also energy concerns, possible grid failures and expensive repairs.

The lazy days of summer are upon us, but as you try to enjoy them, remember the issues the changing climate and the “global weirdness” are creating.

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