HARRISBURG, Pa. — As we welcome the first day of Astronomical Summer at 11:32PM Sunday, we enter a season that, on average, is warming in Harrisburg.
You may remember me writing in a previous blog about how carbon levels are rising in our atmosphere. Regardless of whether you believe it's man-made or not (science says it is), the data alone does show our rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases, trap heat and amplify it.
As a result, we get warmer temperatures. Warmer temperatures mean setting more hot temperature records (and significantly more hot records than cold).
These warmer temperatures are most apparent in the summertime because it's the hottest time of the year. With the most recent data, provided by Climate Central, our summers have certainly warmed in Harrisburg.
Since 1970, we average 8 more days of 90° weather now than we did 50 years ago.
Our low temperatures have risen by more than 3°, and our high temperature average has risen by just under 3°.
It may not seem like a lot from one day to another, but a change in average temperature has a much larger effect over time. Not only can extreme heat events cause heat-related illness and poor air quality, but the quality of wildlife and the ecosystem overall.
Cities also can get much hotter on warmer days than surrounding rural areas because they have more heat-absorbing surfaces and materials.
Warmer average temperatures also lead to a hit in your wallet, as average air conditioning used with increased cooling demand hits as temperatures rise.
We'll talk more on the impact of a warming climate in our upcoming Climate Smart series with the entire FOX43 Weather Team.
Until next time,
-Chief Meteorologist Bradon Long