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Getting Hotter: New climate data shows Austin warming to record levels

The average daily temperature in Austin continues to increase due to climate change, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (City of Austin)

Austin's already warm climate is getting warmer, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA calculates climate normals, describing the average weather over the past 30 years, based on measurements gathered at more than 15,000 observation stations; they're updated each decade.

In Austin, the average temperature at Camp Mabry on West 35th Street was 70.7 degrees between 2011 and 2020, up 0.9 degrees from the previous decade and 2.1 degrees from 1981-90. The steepest increase was reported among the average daily maximum, which was 81.5 degrees between 2011 and 2020, up 1.2 degrees from the previous decade and 2.7 degrees from 1981-90.

"Texas is definitely one of the areas that has more warming than some areas in the country," NOAA Science Project Manager Michael Palecki said. "That's probably directly related to greenhouse gas-induced climate change."

Nationally, average temperatures are clearly rising. Between 1981 and 2010, the average temperature in the contiguous U.S. was 52.8 degrees. The new normal, calculated between 1991 and 2020, is 53.3 degrees—the warmest on record.

Although the new climate normals were anticipated, their impact is still being felt in Austin and around Texas. Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger cited worsening heat, flooding, wildfires, species loss and toxic algae blooms.

Rising temperatures have drastically increased the number of days over 100 degrees compared to the 20th century, shifting Austin's climate closer to that of Arizona than what it has been historically and affecting residents' quality of life. "If it's just so hot, it's miserable," Metzger said, noting the particular impact on people who work outside, such as those in the construction and agricultural industries, and vulnerable populations like the elderly.


A big announcement from Austonia

Howdy, and happy holidays.

I have some big news for you.

Austonia is now part of 6AM City, a fast-growing network of hyper-local newsletters across the country.

I’m proud to be telling you this, because 6AM City’s mission is very much like Austonia’s — a daily morning update on events, things-to-do and news, with an underlying mission of community building in the cities they serve.

If you’re not already subscribed, 6AM City’s Austin newsletter is called ATXtoday. One of its city editors is Laura Figi, who you’ll remember for her previous great work on Austonia’s newsletter.

I’ve been reading ATXtoday every day since it launched last year.

Starting this week, you’ll receive ATXtoday every morning and I’m confident it will become part of your daily wake up routine. Be sure to add to your contact list (how to do that here).

Meantime let me thank you for your readership and support of Austonia, and convey my wishes for a great holiday season for you and those close to you.

Thank you,

Mark Dewey

Austonia CEO

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.