Summer has made its mark here in Miami -- temperatures have been very warm, to say the least! According to University of Miami Researcher, Brian McNoldy, we have been experiencing some unprecedented weather conditions in our area.
The first half of 2020 was the hottest first half of a year by a large margin of (0.7°F). During this time frame, there were 17 days with 93°F+ highs, where the old record was 15; 12 days with 94°F+ highs, where the old record was 11; 6 days with 83°F+ lows, where the old record was 2; and three days with 84°F lows, which has never happened before!
This past June has been documented as the 4th hottest June on the record! There was a record tie for the month's high temperature of 98°F, including three new daily record highs, and 0 record lows. The week of June 24th, 2020 - June 30th, 2020, is actually the hottest week ever recorded for any time of the year. This record included seven consecutive days with a daily average temperature of 88°F. The old record span for any time of year was only three successive days!
Daily Temperature Graph for Virginia Key, FL (Credit: Brian McNoldy).
Just this week, on July 3, 2020, there was a new record for the hottest water temperature at RSMAS at 92.5°F! To put the extremity in perspective, the average high of the water temperature in June was 86.1°F and currently 87.7 during July.
Brian McNoldy retrieves all this data for his analysis from the NOAA meteorological and oceanographic instruments located at the University of Miami RSMAS dock on Virginia Key. Look further into this data HERE and read about our 2019 "extreme autumn" HERE.
Summer heat is anything but novel to South Florida. However, according to this data, temperatures are evidently on the rise as one of the many implications of climate change. Warmer waters have implications for our marine ecosystems and wildlife. For example, hot waters create prime conditions for algae to bloom and grow. Algae can form mats in the water column, or on the seafloor, smothering seagrasses and corals and making it difficult for them to survive.
Miami Waterkeeper continues to work towards a more 'sea-level rise ready' Miami through our climate change resilience work. Learn more about our efforts HERE.