NC summer heat lasting longer while fall, winter, and spring get shorter

Weather Stories

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A longer summer is every kid’s dream right? Experts however say it’s more like a nightmare.

“Weather hazards that we may not be used to in February or November that are now becoming more common, with the heat being more common later in the year with this summer-like weather being extended farther out,” explains Corey Davis with the North Carolina Climate Office.

He says over the years our fall, winter, and spring seasons are getting shorter, while the summer heat is sticking around.

“We only go back two years in 2019 where we saw a case in early October, we were still hitting 100 degrees in Raleigh,” Davis said. “So we definitely have some recent examples where that summer-like weather prolonged well into the fall.”

If the summer weather is pushed into the fall, that means less time to recover during the cool months and more problems with crops.

“The cool season being shorter would give us a shorter window to collect rainfall that might recharge reservoirs and lakes, groundwater supplies that allow agricultural interests to catch up on all the work and damage that a prolonged period of hot and sometimes dry weather that occurs in the summer,” says Jonathan Blaes, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

It’s important to remember that our changing climate is more than just heat. It’s drought followed by extreme rain, and more active hurricane seasons. These extremes are becoming more common and as Blaes explains, more concerning.

“People and infrastructure are generally not built to withstand those extreme events very well, and those extreme events often pose the greatest risk,” he says.

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