The Office of Sustainability has worked closely with ATMOS Research, led by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, to conduct geographically specific climate models for Austin through 2100 using the Camp Mabry Weather Station. To address uncertainty around various human activities, preliminary projections for Austin are based on two emissions scenarios:

LOWER SCENARIO — global carbon emissions peak and then decline by end of century.

HIGHER SCENARIO — continued dependence on fossil fuels means that carbon emissions continue to grow throughout the century.

The climate projections summarized here are averaged over 30-year time scales to address natural variability, which can cause climate to vary from year to year or even decade to decade.

 

CLIMATE PROJECTIONS FOR AUSTIN

 

Historical Observed Near-term (2011-2014) Mid-century (2041-2070) End-of-century (2071-2100)
     

LOWER

HIGHER

LOWER

HIGHER

TEMPERATURE            
Summer average high temperature (°F)
93.8
96.9
97.9
100.2
98.6
103.8
Cold nights (minimum temperature < 32°F)
16.6
10.8
7.8
6.4
7.0
3.9
Warm nights (minimum temperature > 80°
0.5
5.4
10.5
39.5
17.0
86.7
Hot days (maximum temperature > 100°  F
11.7
31.4
40.1
63.2
46.5
92.3
Very hot days (maximum temperature > 110°F)
0.0
1.3
0.4
11.6
0.9
19.5
PRECIPITATION            
Annual precipitation (inches)
33.7
31.8
33.6
33.3
33.0
31.4
Dry days (<0.01 inches in 24 hours)
277.3
280.3
280.6
282.7
281.4
288.1
Longest dry spell (days)
53.1
53.3
54.4
54.7
54.0
60.4
Wet days (>2 inches in 24 hours)
2.2
2.5
2.8
2.7
2.8
2.8
Wettest 5 days (inches of precipitation)
5.8
7.2
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.8

 

Conclusion:

Climate projections are consistent with larger-scale trends observed across the U.S. and the world. Austin can expect more extreme weather in the future. These include:

  

Increases in annual and seasonal average temperatures

More frequent high temperature extremes

Graphic: Sun and heat waves

 

Slight increasee in number of dry days per year

More frequent drought conditions in summer due to hotter weather

Graphic of rain and flooding

 

 

 

 

Little change in annual average precipitation

More frequent extreme precipitation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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