Weather

Weather Data Confirms Miami Fall Is a Hellacious Rerun of Summer

The Miami area saw back-to-back months of above-average heat all summer.
The Miami area saw back-to-back months of above-average heat all summer. Photo by Aurimas / Flickr
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. 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:
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.  
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Jess Nelson is the 2019 writing fellow for Miami New Times. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is excited to be living close to the water again after moving to Miami from New York. She studied history at UC Berkeley and investigative journalism at Columbia University.
Contact: Jess Nelson