In meteorology, we refer to the months of September, October and November as meteorological fall – or autumn. During this time, our average temperature for the afternoon hours decreases from the mid 80s in September, to the 70s in October and then into the 60s for November. In general, we lose about 8-10 degrees per month – with our average temperature on December 1 being 58 degrees.
Of course, these are average temps – and there can be variations in what we see each day for our afternoon highs due to weather patterns, wind direction and a variety of other factors.
From a climate perspective, when we look at the trend since 1970, across the United States – Autumn has been getting warmer.
- Fall temperatures have increased by 2.7 °F on average across the U.S. since 1970.
- Since 1970, fall has warmed at 97% of 245 U.S. cities analyzed. 139 cities warmed at least 2°F.
- The greatest warming (exceeding a 5°F increase) has been at locations in Nevada, Texas, and Arizona.
- In Norfolk, the trend is similar, about 1.9 degrees warmer for the period since 1970 to 2021.
These warmer than average fall seasons can impact things such as bird migrations, fall fruit ripening, fall color on the leaves, crop production and animal activity. In addition, it can prolong the mosquito season – something I don’t think any of us want!