Forecasting Change: Streaks of hotter weather getting longer

More days of 95 degrees or hotter in Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – More streaks of days of well above normal temperatures are becoming the norm.

The graphic below shows the trend in Orlando for consecutive days of high temperatures at 95 degrees or hotter. The normal high this time of year is 92. In Orlando in 1970, the number of days with elevated temperatures at 95 or hotter was below five. Now that trend is on the way up and is up to about 7.5 days.

Longer streaks of 95

This week is on the brink of adding to this trend. On Tuesday, (Aug. 17) Orlando International Airport hit a high of 95 degrees. Then on Wednesday, the high hit 95 again. And looking ahead to the next 4 days the high is to be 95 or hotter. Remember, when it does not rain this time of year, we sizzle.

And lest you think this trend is just Orlando, here is the streak for Miami. Being right beside the ocean gives Miami a lower daytime average for a high this time of year, but since 1970 the streaks of days of 90 degrees plus highs have been zooming upward.

Longer streaks

According to our partners at Climate Central “analysis of ‘heat streaks,’ or the number of consecutive hot days, shows that much of the country is experiencing longer stretches of extreme heat compared to fifty years ago. Of the 246 cities analyzed, 77% (190) recorded an increase in their longest heat streak of the year, with 44% (108) reporting an increase of at least two days.”

This is the “new normal.” Steps we are taking now to stop the warming will take a long time to turn the pattern around, or at least slow it down. So, remember this story when or if you ever hear someone question the change that is happening with our weather.

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.