Climate change takes fall chill out of air for Halloween trick-or-treaters


As Halloween approaches, cooler temperatures will spread over Illinois. But weather experts say climate change is making October nights across the Midwest warmer, more often than not. According to a new analysis from the nonprofit Climate Central, fall evening temperatures in the United States have warmed by nearly two degrees on average since 1970. It’s even higher in cities such as Chicago and Peoria, which have seen increases of more than three degrees when comparing minimum temps. Climate Central meteorologist Lauren Casey said it doesn’t just affect traditional fall activities.

“The extension of the allergy season can be a nuisance for some people who are sneezing and sniffling,” she said, “but much more burdensome for people with other, more serious respiratory issues, like asthma.”

Casey said parents should keep a close eye on the Halloween weather forecast and dress kids appropriately if they’re going trick-or-treating. She also pointed out that mosquito season is being extended, too. To help mitigate these trends in the longer term, Casey said, Illinois residents should do what they can to avoid energy sources from fossil fuels.

Casey said adapting to these changes is another important step so that folks aren’t caught off guard when the calendar flips to November.

“You can best prepare if you do have asthma, if you are potentially susceptible to mosquito-borne illnesses,” she said, “all these things which can impact our everyday lives.”

For prolonged allergy seasons, health experts have said vulnerable people should put some time and research into establishing a medication regimen that works for them. Meanwhile, Casey said the warmer weather results in heavier rain events, which attract more mosquitoes. She suggested being more mindful of areas of standing water as the fall drags on.

Mark Richardson

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