Apr 28, 2022 - News

Philadelphia's temperatures inch up unevenly across the city

Temperature change in Philadelphia since first Earth Day in 1970
Data: Climate Central/RCC-Acis.org/NCEI; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The Philadelphia metro area is 3.4 degrees warmer now than it was in 1970, according to a Climate Central analysis.

  • That's almost a full degree higher than the national average.

The big picture: 49 states and 99% of the 246 U.S. cities reviewed by Climate Central are getting warmer, with average temperatures increasing by 2.6 degrees nationwide.

  • In Pennsylvania, temps are up 2.8 degrees.

Zoom in: Heat isn't distributed evenly across the city. Low-income neighborhoods tend to be hotter, due in part to low tree canopy, fewer green spaces, more exposure to asphalt surfaces, and a legacy of redlining.

  • Hunting Park, Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion, and Point Breeze are some of the warmest in Philadelphia.
  • Average surface temperatures show that some neighborhoods can be as much as 22 degrees hotter than others, according to the city.

Of note: Philadelphia's tree canopy declined by 6% between 2008 and 2018.

What to watch: Philly has set a goal under its Greenworks initiative to increase tree canopy to cover 30% in each of the city's neighborhoods by 2025.

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