Breakdown: Why summer nights are warmer than ever

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 2:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2022 at 2:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Have you thought that in summer, temperatures at night seems warmer than in the past. If you have had that thought, you would be correct. According to research, summer night low temperatures temperatures have warmed nearly twice as fast as summer daytime high temperatures. Research found that...

  • Since 1970 to 2021, average summer nights have warmed across the contiguous U.S. by 2.5°F.
  • In 40% of 246 U.S. locations analyzed by Climate Central, average summer nights have warmed by at least 3°F since 1970.

Temperatures are also staying very warm and in our case in the Mid-South not just warm but humid well after sunset.

These warmer summer nights we are experiencing can be tough because many of us look to feel relief at night. Warm nights can not only cause health risks but also expensive cooling costs. Many scientist attribute the warmer changes to climate change.

Places that experienced the most overnight warming since 1970 were: Reno, Nev. (+17.3°F); Las Vegas, Nev. (+9.5°F); El Paso, Texas (+8.1°F); Salt Lake City, Utah (+7.3°F); and Boise, Idaho (+6.9°F).

Observed warming trends along with research from Climate Central estimates suggest that, with continued heat-trapping emissions, we can expect summer nights to continue to warm and to occur more often.

When temperatures don’t fall much overnight, people don’t have a chance to recover from the extreme hot days. Places where this can be a big issue is in cooler climate areas, in urban heat islands and for vulnerable groups of people which can include very young and elderly, individuals with chronic illness, and people who work outside. People who face disproportionate exposure to extreme heat including lower-income areas.

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