AUSTIN (KXAN) – The official start of meteorological spring (March, April and May) has arrived. Not only does spring mark the unofficial start of severe weather season and a blooming season for wildflowers, but it also marks the beginning of a significant warming trend.

Our average max temperature goes from:

  • 73.3° in March
  • 80.3° in April
  • 86.9° in May

With that said, our partners over at Climate Central found that the average springtime temperatures across the United States have increased by an average of 2°F since 1970. In fact, their research found that of the 247 cities across the nation that they analyzed, 232 saw springs getting warmer. These warming trends are a result of human-caused carbon pollution. 

Spring warming across the country from Climate Central

Climate Central found that Austin warmed significantly more than the national average. Since 1970, Austin’s average temperature has increased by 3.4° during the spring months.

Austin Spring warming from Climate Central

They also found the Southwest has experienced the most spring warming, with parts of Nevada, Texas, and Arizona seeing more than a 6° temperature increase.

75% of the analyzed locations experienced at least 7 more days above their normal spring temperature average. This in return is lengthening the growing season across the U.S. by producing more days above freezing. It may sound good at first as some plants and animals may benefit from longer growing seasons, but this also means more water needed and more heat stress.

Growing season lasting longer

Spring arriving earlier because of warming days can have major negative implications across the country.

  • Water supply is threatened for areas that are heavily reliant on a healthy mountain snowpack.
  • Earlier snowmelt and less snowpack can play major roles in hydropower generation and negatively impact agriculture.
  • Allergy seasons tend to extend and worsen across the country further impacting the millions of Americans who have allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases.
  • Pest seasons lengthen, further transmitting diseases.