A peek at our possible future climate

climate explorer january rainfall map

A screengrab of the Climate Explorer map that allows you see projected rainfall change under two different emissions scenarios. This map is showing projected rainfall for the Northeast January in 2050. (The deeper the green, the larger the project rainfall increase from the 1960-1989 normal.)

We've had an unusually dry summer so far, and it's been somewhat hotter than usual, too. And while any one year isn't necessarily a sign of some broader trend, this summer is in some ways an example of what the future summers here might be like because of climate change.

We were thinking about that today while looking around the federal government's new Climate Explorer website. It takes projections based on climate change models and greenhouse gas emission scenarios and makes them easy to map and graph for locations around the country. For example: Here's the page for Albany County.

So, what sort of future are the models pointing toward for our area?

climate explorer albany cooling degrees projection
This is projection of cooling degree days (a measure of how many days are above 65 degrees and by how many degrees) for Albany County under two scenarios, if emissions stop rising (blue) and if they continue increasing as they have been.

Well, even under the scenario in which emissions stop increasing (which seems... unlikely), the model indicates the daily maximum average temperate will probably rise a few degrees between now and 2050. And while that might not seem like much, it could mean summers in which the average daily max temperature here is closer to 85 instead of the upper 70s (as is typical now) -- and winters with an average daily max temperature closer to 40 than 30.

Another interesting angle is precipitation. The model used by Climate Explorer projects this area will get more rainfall on average over the course of the year -- but in the form of wetter winters and possibly somewhat drier summers. There's also a projected rise in the number of days with rainfall above 1 inch.

Earlier on AOA: A future of more extremes

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Kitchen 216

The newest restaurant on Lark Street: Kitchen 216. The modern soul food spot is currently in a soft-open phase. It's grand opening is set for... (more)

Albany History Lost and Found

This looks interesting and fun: A bunch of local history nerds are getting together at the University Club in Albany May 4 to talk about... (more)

Today's moment of spring

(whispering) Wake up... it's time to wake up...... (more)

Thinking about the future of Washington Ave

Could there be a safer, friendlier, better version of upper Washington Ave in Albany? That was the question at the heart of the the public... (more)

Capital Region Grown-Up Egg Hunt 2018

The Capital Region Grown-Up Egg Hunt returns April 8, and this year the hunt will be at Collins Park in Scotia. The event is pretty... (more)

Recent Comments

Several family members and I have been treated well by Dr. James Puleo Jr.. He's brilliant, personable, and takes the time to figure out what's going on.

Thinking about the future of Washington Ave

...has 7 comments, most recently from Kat

New life for buildings in Schenectady's Eastern Ave neighborhood -- and aspirations to lift the whole neighborhood

...has 9 comments, most recently from Michelle

Albany History Lost and Found

...has 1 comment, most recently from Tess

An orchard for Washington Park

...has 4 comments, most recently from jsc

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 4 comments, most recently from jsc