It's basically still summer in the Magic City. Take one step outside without sunglasses, and the searing sun instantly blinds you. Go for a short walk, and the sticky humidity soon drenches your clothes in sweat.
Miami is known for its heat — it's even the name of the city's NBA team. Locals know there are only a handful of days of so-called winter here, but this year's weather has been exceptionally hot. As of this past Sunday, 71 days have seen temperatures at or above 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes 2019 a record-setting year. The heat index — a measure used by the National Weather Service that factors in humidity to gauge a perceived equivalent temperature — has been closer to triple digits.
One abnormally hot year might not seem like such a big deal, but it's representative of a pattern of global warming. As Brian McNoldy from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science pointed out on Twitter yesterday, years with temperatures at or above 92 degrees have steadily increased in the past 50 years.
Sunday's high of 92°F in #Miami made 2019 the year with the most number of days with highs of 92°+ (71). And that was only on October 20... we may not be done yet! The last time we reached 92° so late in the year was 2002 (Oct 30th, the record latest). Chart shows past 50 years. pic.twitter.com/fUY6yzA3UJ— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) October 21, 2019
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And because it's only October, there's still plenty of time to reach new milestones this year. Yesterday was more of the same, tying a record high for the date:
Monday's high of 91°F in #Miami makes it the 115th 90°+ day so far this year (5th most of any full year, record is 121), and the 96th 91°+ day (3rd most of any full year, record is 97). It also ties the record high for the date, last set in 2018. #climate #NeverendingSummer #flwx— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) October 21, 2019
The Miami area saw back-to-back months of above-average heat all summer, as did the rest of the world. This past June was the hottest June on record for the planet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and July was the hottest month ever recorded. Last month tied as the hottest September on record for the world, marking the 43rd consecutive September and 417th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.
Florida has historically seen an average of three weeks per year when the heat index reaches 100 degrees, but scientists predict Floridians will live with more than three months of triple-digit days by midcentury. Miami's heat will rise even higher than the rest of the state, from 16 days per year with a triple-digit heat index to 114 days by the middle of the century and 153 days by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels.