TYLER, Texas — The summer of 2022 will go down as one of the hottest summers on record. How hot? We're gauging the summer of 2022 as sweltering. It wasn't as hot as the summer of 2011 but it was no where close to our coolest summer on record.
Our records indicate it was the second hottest summer according to available data, dating back to 1883. How did we come up with this data? We used a database from the Applied Science Information System that keeps track of the daytime highs and the nighttime lows. When we add up all the temperatures and average them out over the summer. The mean average temperature this summer was almost 87-degrees. Summer 2011 is still champion with a mean average temperature of more than 90-degrees.
This hot East Texas summer falls right in line nationally as the United States recorded its third hottest summer on record. More than 100 U.S. cities experienced one of their top 10 hottest summers this year. How much of a roll did climate change play in this extreme summer heat? Climate Central, a think tank of journalists and scientists who monitor our changing climate have developed a tool called the climate shift index. It correlates the warming temperatures to climate change. The Climate Shift Index suggests that climate change played a role in more than 30-days where our temperature was above average.
And nowhere was that more apparent than with our overnight low temperatures. We used to rely on the setting sun to ease the heat of summer and bring a bit of relief during the nighttime hours. But now, because of climate change our nighttime temperatures are almost two-degrees warmer than it use to be a half century ago.
Climate Central research shows that almost three-quarters of the U.S. population experienced warmer than average nighttime temperatures on 15 or more nights. And the research suggests climate change made it twice as likely.
A new season is now beginning. Fall often brings cooler days and nights. It will here in east Texas, but the first few days of the new season will feel like summer. Hopefully autumn won't follow summer's lead. We all welcome the cooler nights and cooler afternoons that Autumn promises to bring.