If it’s hotter than usual, it’s not just you. El Paso’s first 100-degree day of 2022 arrived earlier than expected on Monday.
At 3:08 p.m. Monday, the El Paso airport weather station recorded 101 degrees, a new high for May 16, beating the previous high of 98 degrees set in 2018.
The early three-degree climate matches a pattern of warming temperatures in El Paso caused by climate change.
Dating back to when official record keeping began in 1887, the average start date for 100 degree weather in El Paso is June 13. According to the National Weather Service, the first 100-degree day on record was May 7, 2020.
A state climatologist report published in 2021 projected that by 2036 the number of 100 degree days in Texas would nearly double from 2001-2020.
the Nonprofit Climate Central found that average spring temperatures in El Paso have risen 5.9 degrees since 1970.
Spring temperatures increase the most in the southwest. Climate Central analyzed temperature trends in 234 cities across the United States and found that the average temperature increase in El Paso trailed only Reno and Las Vegas for the highest nationally.
The monsoon season could bring some relief from the scorching temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook predicts that above-average temperatures will persist in the southwest through the remainder of May, June and July.
The Environmental Protection Agency considers extreme heat to be the number one weather-related killer in the United States. The elderly, children and people who work outdoors are particularly vulnerable.
The El Paso Emergency Weather Task Force is providing fans for people who do not have adequate air conditioning. The city of El Paso is also opening cooling centers during extreme heat warnings, which have not yet gone into effect.
Editor Martha Pskowski can be reached at [email protected] and @psskow on Twitter.