JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – You might have noticed that our fall season thus far has been trending above average with just a few sprinkles of cooler temperatures.
According to a Climate Central study, summer temperatures are spilling over into our fall months. The study looked at the last calendar day when local temperatures reached their average daily summer high. There were 242 cities in the study across the U.S. and 77% (186) said their average summer temperature was recorded three or more days later since 1970, and more than half said these summer temperatures lasted a week or longer.
The study shows that the largest changes were along the Gulf region, including Florida.
In Jacksonville, the study shows that since 1970 our average summer high temperatures have lasted seven days longer.
These warmer-than-average temperatures lingering into our cooler months can have a lasting impact on our native plants and animals whose life cycles are scheduled around seasonal changes. In the future, this can impact or even change migration periods, hibernation and leaf drop.
For those up north who have a frost and/or freeze season, cutting those short can cause trouble for allergy sufferers. On another note, it means a longer growing season which has positive and negative impacts in different spots around the country. These high temperatures lasting longer could also mean water stress and excessive heat that can negatively impact crops.
This shift in our climate also has an impact on our local invasive species and pests like mosquitoes, ticks and even crop pests. Cooler weather usually keeps these pests at bay, but with the seasons cut short and warmer weather taking over, they tend to thrive for longer periods of time.
According to Climate Matters, our best hope to stabilize our climate is by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.