Central Florida cold snaps are shrinking

A cold snap is defined as several days with temperatures below the 30-year average.

Orlando cold weather stretch. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Orlando, FLA. – Heading into a weekend with the coldest temperatures in years, it might not seem like a suitable time to talk about winter losing its chill. But in all reality, that is what is happening.

Last week the big news in Forecasting Change was the date making 2021 the sixth hottest year in history for the planet, and the fourth hottest in the U.S.A. Part of that overall warming is the changing length of the cold snaps in winter.

A cold snap is defined as several days with temperatures below the 30-year average.

This chart below shows the trend nationally. Even in the Northeast, The Ohio Valley, and The West the cold snaps are shrinking.

Climate Central: Winter losing its chill

In Central Florida, we are right in line with shorter cold snaps. We still get the chill from time to time, like this weekend! But the length of days below normal has dropped in the last 50 years. We are up and down, but on average, we have lost 4 days in our cold snaps.

Climate Central: Shorter Cold Snaps in Orlando

The shorter cold snaps may not seem like it would be a problem for you, as in “who moves to Florida for the cold?” But cold times are needed to help keep our pest-like mosquitoes and ticks under control. The cold snaps are also important for the nation’s water supply for drinking water, agriculture, and even fruit production.

The summer gets most of the attention in the climate change discussion. But the warmer winters, and shorter cold snaps, are a huge part of the problem.

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.