Sweltering summer nights reduce chances of cooling off during the day

Climatologists say summer temperatures are rising, but what is more concerning is the lack of cooler temperatures during the evening. Warm nights don’t allow for buildings and people to cool off and recuperate for the next day.

Experts at Climate Central say they are monitoring an alarming temperature trend that could impact people’s health and financial stability.

According to the nonprofit organization, average summer nighttime temperatures have warmed by an average of 3 °F, which is not allowing communities to cool and recharge during the warm season.

The last two summers have set records for having some of the warmest low temperatures, and there appears to be no end to the trend.

According to NOAA data, the lowest summer temperatures ever observed were in 1915, when the country’s average minimum temperature was reported to be 56.53 °F. The last two June through August time periods have registered 61.47 °F and 61.24 °F.

Climate Central said the rate of warming is nearly twice as fast as summer daytime highs.


The warming trend has been particularly focused over parts of the western U.S., where the Southwest has seen summer night warm by 3.8 °F and the West and Northwest have seen average temperatures climb by 3.5 °F.

Some of the communities that have reported the highest nighttime warming trends include: Reno, Nevada (17.4 °F); Las Vegas (9.6 °F); El Paso, Texas (8.2 °F); and Salt Lake City (7.7 °F).


Burdens of nighttime heat

The experts at Climate Central stated greater heat during the nighttime hours can lead to more heat stress on the body and lead to increased demand for air conditioning and higher utility rates.

People most vulnerable to the heat include the young, elderly and those with illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that warm weather events can cause exhaustion and heat stroke. 

On average, the CDC reports over 700 heat-related deaths occur every year in the United States. 

A recent study found those in lower-income groups usually face greater hardships from heat waves.

Climate Central said those without resources face an increased risk of electricity shutoffs and an inability to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures with air conditioning.

Experts attributed the rise in temperatures to continued high levels of carbon pollution, which could increase occurrences of hot summer days and warm nights by a factor of four to eight times more by 2100.