How winter and summer temperatures will shift in the U.S. by 2050. Graphic: Vox

By Umair Irfan, Eliza Barclay, and Kavya Sukumar
30 October 2018

(Vox) – Our world is getting warmer. This we know.

Just look at Los Angeles, which experienced all-time record heat in July 2018, topping out at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Dozens of other heat records across the United States were smashed this summer alone.

But how much will temperatures in US cities change by 2050? By then, scientists say average global warming since preindustrial levels could be about twice what it is in 2018 — and much more obvious and disruptive. It’s a world you’ll (probably) be living in. And it’s the one we’re definitely handing off to the next generation.

To answer this question, we looked at the average summer high and winter low temperatures in 1,000 cities in the continental US, comparing recorded and modeled temperatures from 1986 to 2015 to projections for 2036 to 2065. This offers us the best possible estimate on how much winters and summers will shift from 2000 to 2050. (More on our methodology here.)

Here’s how much the winters and summers in the city closest to you are predicted to change about 30 years from now.

By 2050, the weather in many U.S. cities will be similar to southern cities today. Graphic: Vox

Our analysis shows that in almost every case, the places we live are going to be strikingly warmer in a few decades.

Every season in every city and town in America will shift, subtly or drastically, as average temperatures creep up, along with highs and lows. Some of those changes — like summers in the Southwest warming by 4°F on average — will mean stretches of days where it’s so hot, it’ll be dangerous to go outside. Heat waves around the country could last up to a month.

Winters will lose days in the 20s and 30s. Rain and snowstorms will be more intense and frequent in some places and less predictable and lighter in others. [more]

Weather 2050

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