1 US city's temperature swings could make it the capital of a crazy fall
The Washington Monument is silhouetted against the morning sky as the sun rises. In D.C., it was 98 degrees on Oct. 2 and then got down to 49 degrees three days later. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
In America, October unfolds much like the poem ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant.’ Making sense of October is like trying to describe an elephant by touching only its tusk or its tail.
October is a warm 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Or is October a cold 9 degrees Fahrenheit? It’s both; those were the temperature highs and lows in just one place, Denver, two days apart (Oct. 9 and 11). And Denver wasn’t alone with its temperature disparity.
In Washington, D.C., it was 98 on Oct. 2 and then got down to 49 on Oct. 5. New York City reached a high of 93 on Oct. 2 then had a low of 45 three days later. In Indianapolis, it was 92 on Oct. 1 and then 35 on Oct. 12. Topeka hit 90 on Oct. 1 and then 29 on Oct. 12.
For now, except in areas that have already seen a snowstorm or two, October is tending to produce higher temperatures across the country, which has led to significantly higher estimated cooling costs in several U.S. cities, according to an AccuWeather analysis.
Atlanta (41.8% higher), Boston (35.4%), Cincinnati (35.1%), Norfolk, Virginia (34.2%), Washington, D.C. (32.1%) and Birmingham, Alabama, (30.4%) have experienced substantially higher estimated cooling costs compared to normal for the period from May 1 through Oct. 13.
Birmingham has had 107 days of temperatures reaching at least 90 degrees in 2019. The record is 110 set in 1925. And Birmingham already has seen 33 days of at least 90 degrees in the 43 days of meteorological fall (Sept. 1-Nov. 30). That’s more than the city experienced in all of 2013 (28).
Other cities with higher-than-normal temperatures and the resulting higher estimated cooling costs include Indianapolis (27.6%), Philadelphia (23.9%), New Orleans (23.4%) and Salt Lake City (23.1%).
With its temperature swings since Sept. 1, Salt Lake City has to be the capital of this crazy fall.
The high temperature in Salt Lake City was 100 degrees on Sept. 1; the low dropped to 28 degrees on Oct. 11. As noted, the city’s estimated cooling costs are 23.1% higher than normal, but its estimated heating costs are also significantly higher at 44% above normal. Salt Lake City thermostats must be swinging more than the tail of a happy Labrador retriever.
The cooling season, which typically begins May 1, can last until late in the year in many U.S. cities, while the heating season runs from Sept. 1 until the following April. The costs of cooling and heating, including electricity, vary from year to year and from place to place, so the percentage change in your bill may vary from these percentages.
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