FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) - Safe to say 2020 has been somewhat of a scary year. A year that comes around once in a blue moon. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Still, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, more than 148 million U.S. adults still plan to celebrate with spooky traditions.
The coronavirus is one monster lurking in the night, but another is climate change. In the spirit of Halloween, we utilize data from Climate Central. The Independent Group of Journalists and Scientists examined all the Halloween extremes by recording the coldest, warmest, rainiest and snowiest October 31st on record for 242 cities including Kansas City.
In addition, Climate Central looked at minimum temperature trends in the month of October from 1970 to 2019. The analysis unearthed some spooky statistics.
- 1) Of the 242 cities analyzed, 88% (212) experienced an increase in their nightly average October temperatures. The greatest increases were reported in Reno, Nevada (11.6F), El Paso, Texas (8.8F) and Las Vegas (8.7F)
But here in Kansas City, our average nighttime low temperature in the month of October dropped about a degree over the last 50 years including a bitterly cold night back in 1993 when the low fell to 17-degrees.
Across the state line in Topeka, Kansas, October nights have shown a small increase in overnight low temperatures. Here’s a look at the Climate Central numbers crunched since 1970.
Topeka’s warming October nights reflects the overall warming trend of the Autumn season. Nationally, Autumn temperatures are running about one to almost four degrees warmer than they were 50 years ago. We’ve even seen that trend of overall warmer temperatures locally in Kansas City. The change has only been about a degree over the last 50 years.
These trends are largely influenced by increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere which is blamed for climate change. Climate change has an impact on longer allergy seasons and a longer disease carrying mosquito and tick season.
Climate change can also put a damper on Halloween activities such as pumpkin carving. As global temperatures increase, some regions of the U.S. experience wetter weather. Wet weather can lead to poor pumpkin quality and make them susceptible to disease. A foreshadowing of this happened in Morton, Illinois, where above average precipitation in 2015 rotted their harvest contributing to a nationwide pumpkin shortage.
But it’s not all bad news. This Saturday, for the first time in a number of years, Halloween night will shine bright with a Full moon. The second full moon in October, making this one a “Blue Moon.” Here is some information that Meteorologist Alena Lee dug up regarding this weekend’s “Blue Moon.”
The forecast calls for a clear sky and relatively cool temperatures. A great night to get outside and enjoy a moonlit Halloween. A Halloween like this that comes around once in a Blue Moon.