Already looking forward to fall? We don’t blame you—after relentless heat waves (and nowhere to be but home), those crisp, cool days are starting to look better than ever.
Autumn is less than a month away, but depending on your region, you might have to wait a little longer than normal to notice a chill in the air. Before you shut off the AC and light that pumpkin candle, here’s everything you need to know about the fall 2020 weather forecast:
When is the first day of fall?
The first day of autumn in 2020 is Tuesday, September 22—but don’t expect temperatures to cool down by then. Based on last year’s averages and this year’s lingering heat, most parts of the country probably won’t experience proper sweater weather until later in the season.
It’s not just you: Temperatures have soared this year. The highest temperature in over a century was recorded in Death Valley earlier this month. In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2020 has a high chance of being the hottest year in recorded history. Fall will bring some relief, but you can expect warmer, weirder weather in the years to come due to climate change.
When will temperatures cool down in autumn 2020?
Most of the United States usually experiences summer-like temperatures through September, and that likely won’t change this year. For most parts of the country, the weather will start to cool down in October, but will remain above average through November, according to AccuWeather and The Weather Channel.
Past data from the NOAA indicates that the Rockies, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast experience the most dramatic drops in October. The Sun Belt and the Southeast, meanwhile, usually see lower temperatures starting in November.
What will fall temperatures feel like?
Even when temperatures do start to drop later in the season, they might not be as low as usual. Across the board, weather authorities predict above average temperatures throughout much of the United States.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center expects higher averages throughout all of the United States from September through November; warmer temperatures are most likely in the Southwest, Alaska, and the Northeast. The Weather Channel also predicts warmer weather in those regions. On the other end of the spectrum, parts of the Midwest and Southeast are more likely to be closer to normal, but they’re still expected to be above average.
Above average temperatures don’t automatically mean hot weather, though—they just won’t dip as low as they normally do. Chilly weather is still on the way; The Farmers’ Almanac even predicts light, sparse snowfall in many parts of the country before winter officially begins on December 21. (Until then, we’ll be busy watching fall movies, sipping autumnal cocktails, and looking forward to leaf-peeping.)
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