During the summer, Oklahomans often look forward to the evening when things cool off a little. But lately, Oklahoma has been experiencing uncharacteristically warm nights, which can be just as problematic as hot days.

Through the first half of June, Oklahoma has seen an increase of nights with lows of 70 or more compared to last year, according to the National Weather Service in Norman. The reason being is because there is a lot of humidity in Oklahoma right now.

In 2023, for the first half of June, Oklahoma City and Lawton had zero nights with temperatures 70 or above, while Wichita Falls, Texas, saw one. For 2024, Oklahoma City has had three nights with temperatures 70 or above, while Lawton and Wichita Falls have seen six.

As for this week's forecast, June 17-23, 2024, Oklahoma City has five days forecasted to have nights with temperatures 70 or above, while Lawton and Wichita Falls have six.

National Weather Service in Norman
National Weather Service in Norman

Why are warm nights increasing?

The short answer: climate change. Days are getting hotter than average, and the 2018 National Climate Assessment found that in a majority of the United States, nights are warming faster than days. And again, it's humidity that's the main cause.

According to an article from CNN, moisture in the air is trapping the heat - moisture reflects heat during the day and traps the heat in at night. Plus, urban areas are more at risk of warm nights than rural areas.

This is because urban areas have more concrete buildings, asphalt, less green spaces and trees. Concrete and asphalt absorb heat and at night, the heat is released, whereas green spaces and trees absorb less and provide shade during the day.

@nrdc.org Is it hot in here? #extremeheat #climatechange #climatejustice ♬ Campfire - Charmer & Klay

Why are warm nights a problem?

Other then being sticky and uncomfortable, warm nights are not conducive to the health of humans, or their pets. With the increasing number of warm nights, the number of heat-related deaths are expected to increase as well.

After a hot day, nighttime is when the body can get a break from the heat, but warm nights do not allow this break. With this lack of a break from the heat, people will experience heat stress, which can progress into a heat stroke, and is associated with dizziness, confusion and passing out.

Also, warm nights are a contributor to loss of sleep. According to an article from CNN, it's estimated that people will lose two nights of sleep a year with the increase in warm nights, and it's expected to be worse for people without access to air conditioning.

@nowthisearthA new study found that people are losing an average of 44 hours of sleep as a result of the climate crisis — and it’s only expected to get worse ♬ original sound - NowThis Earth

As for pets, most pet owners will take precautions with their pets during a hot day and limit their time outdoors. At night, pet owners will prolong their pet's time outside as it is typically cooler. But with warm nights, pet owners will have to continue the same practices during the day, especially when the humidity is high.

@wirecutter Here’s how to keep your pets cool during intense heat #dog#dogs#learnontiktok#pool#fypシ#pets#petsoftiktok#heat#summer#cold#lifehack♬ Paint - Trees and Lucy

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