Mar 18, 2024 - News

Salt Lake City's springs are heating up

Data: Climate Central. Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Climate Central. Chart: Axios Visuals

Tomorrow's the first day of spring and the season is becoming less frosty.

The big picture: Salt Lake City's spring seasons are getting warmer a trend that reflects human-caused warming, according to a recent Climate Central analysis.

Why it matters: Much of the seasonal climate change discussion is focused on summer and winter when temperatures are typically at their annual high and low extremes. But the "between seasons" are affected too, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.

By the numbers: Springtime in Salt Lake City warmed by 4.5°F on average between 1970 and 2023, per Climate Central.

  • That's compared to a warming of 2.2°F on average across nearly 230 U.S. cities.
  • Most Western states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, saw a rise of more than 4°F on average — among the highest increases in the nation.
  • The group's analysis is based on NOAA data and looks at meteorological spring, which began on March 1 and ends on May 31.
Change in average spring temperature from 1970 to 2023
Data: Climate Central. Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Stunning stat: Spring has gotten notably warmer in the Southwest, where average seasonal temperatures have risen by more than 6°F in some places.

Zoom in: The highest average springtime temperature increases were seen in Reno, Nevada (+6.8°F); El Paso, Texas (+6.3°F), and Las Vegas (+6.2°F).

The intrigue: Warmer springtime temperatures cause a variety of knock-on effects, per Climate Central, including earlier snowmelt which in turn affects drinking water supplies, longer allergy seasons, changes in agricultural growing seasons, and more.

What to watch: The rest of the week is expected to see sunny conditions, with a chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-60s.

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