Dec 9, 2021 - News

Austin's warming winters

Data: Climate Central; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Winters in Austin are heating up, per new data.

Driving the news: The devastating Winter Storm Uri notwithstanding, this trend has been clear. ​​​​The first two months of the 2019-2020 winter in Austin, for instance, were the second warmest in 122 years of records

The big picture: Winter is the fastest-warming season in most places, translating into the disruption of rhythms in the natural world.

  • Bats that congregate under the Ann Richards bridge have been spotted sticking around longer, even into winter months.
  • The migration patterns of Monarch butterflies that pass through town are shifting.
  • Scientists say these changes could lead to "mismatches" between pollinators and crop cycles.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Andrew Freedman: In general, the cold times of year are warming faster than the warmer-weather stretches, but this does not mean that we won't have Arctic outbreaks and major snowstorms from time to time.

  • It does mean that the winters most of us grew up with are no longer a reality, and the odds of cold winters in much of the country are declining over time.

Flashback: We recently reported that autumns have been getting warmer, too.

What's next: Expect fairly strong cold conditions to push across our region Friday night into Saturday morning, per Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose. Temperatures are forecast to drop to lows in the 30s this weekend.


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