ORLANDO, Fla. – Summers are a time when we can get out and enjoy the outdoors here in Central Florida. But in recent years, the heat has seemed to reach a whole new level, especially once the sun goes down.
Talking to people around town, its clear that the sweltering summer nights have been noticeable lately.
“Usually around 7 o’clock it starts cooling off. But this year? It has not,” Tondra Rainey from Ocoee said.
“It was a really, really hot summer, like you couldn’t stand being outside. My blood pressure was even acting up,” Alyssa Vincevic said as she worked into the evening in her ice cream truck.
Whether you’re walking the dog or watching your kids ball game or trying to take dinner outside, the thought of being outdoors in the evening isn’t as enjoyable as years ago.
In this changing climate, average temperatures at night are warming twice as fast than the daytime temperatures. Since the 1970s, Orlando’s average low temperature has increased about 1.3 degrees.
Why are our nights becoming so unbearably warm?
It all starts with the moisture content in the air.
Warmer air has the ability to hold more moisture in the atmosphere. But in the evening, the added humidity limits the air’s ability to cool down efficiently, holding those warmer temperatures longer into the night.
Have you noticed more clouds at night?
The clouds are another big contributing factor in our warmer-than-usual nights. In the evening, the warm air at the surface lifts to higher elevations. But with all the extra moisture at the surface, the air that lifts condenses and creates a thin layer of cloud cover.
During the day, clouds act as shade but at night they become more of a blanket, blocking the warm air from escaping and trapping it back to the surface.
Unfortunately as the planet continues to warm at this pace, our ability to cool down at night will become harder for everyone.
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