Guest eye-roll by David Middleton
From Yale Climate Connections
‘How is climate change affecting summer weather?’
Look out for heat waves, dangerous deluges, and air pollution.
By Sara Peach
Monday, July 1, 2019
I would like to read your prediction of the effects of climate change on the traditional four weather seasons.
I ask the question because I have some suspicion that that’s going to change in some way, shape, or form. And I don’t look forward to that.
– Claude in Durham, North Carolina
Now that summer is upon us, I’m returning to your letter. As you’ll recall, there’s so much I can say in reply to your question that I’m breaking my answer into four parts – one for each season.
Broiling, steamy weather
As the globe warms, summers are growing hotter. Humidity is also rising in many U.S. cities.
How to protect yourself
Climate change is altering summer weather in ways that could be harmful to your health.
Wondering how climate change could affect you or your loved ones? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.Yale Climate Connections
Explore the “Ask Sara” archive.
How is climate change affecting summer weather?– Sara pretending she’s Claude in Durham, North Carolina
As the globe warms, summers are growing hotter.– Sara in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Not in North Carolina
The slope of the average temperature is only 0.0055x… That’s 0.55 °F per century, with an R² = 0.0084… The slope of the high temperature is only 0.0011x… 0.11 °F per century, with an R² = 0.0003.
Dean Wormer would call this…
Not in the U.S. Southeast Region
Surely the Southeast Region’s summers must be getting hotter…
No! And don’t call me Shirley!
The maximum summer temperatures have actually decreased a wee bit since 1895: Slope = -0.0009x; but there’s no actual trend: R² = 0.0003.
Not in the Lower 48 United States
- R² Tmax = 0.011
- R² Tavg = 0.027
- R² Tmin = 0.051
The closest thing to a significant summer warming trend is in the minimum temperatures… Is an increase in the average summer low temperature from 58 °F in 1885 to 60 °F in 2025 really a transition from normal weather to “broiling, steamy weather”? Particularly since less than 50 years ago, we were here…
Who is “Sara”?
Hi, I’m Sara Peach.
For nearly a decade, I’ve reported on the most pressing environmental issues of our day, with a special focus on climate change. My work has appeared in National Geographic, HuffPost, Scientific American, Environmental Health News and Grist, among others. I’ve won awards!
Since 2016, I’ve been an editor at Yale Climate Connections, a climate news website and radio program that airs on more than 400 stations nationwide. I also write the “Ask Sara” climate advice column.
I’ve been a guest speaker, workshop leader and moderator in university and nonprofit settings. One client called me “the most well-prepared moderator we’ve ever had.” I’d be happy to chat with you about your event.
Previously, I taught for five years at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.Sara Peach, Journalist/Speaker
Sara, you’ve earned eleventy gazillion Billy Madisons…