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Long-term warming brings unwelcome treats for Midwest Halloweens

Pumpkin patch on sunny Autumn day.
Meow Creations - stock.adobe.com
Pumpkin patch on sunny Autumn day.

As Halloween approaches, cooler temperatures will spread over Wisconsin, but weather experts said climate change is making October nights in the Midwest feel warmer more often than not.

A new analysis from the nonprofit Climate Central said fall evening temperatures in the U.S. have warmed by nearly two degrees on average since 1970. It is even higher in cities such as Madison and Milwaukee, which have seen increases of nearly four degrees when looking at minimum temps.

Lauren Casey, meteorologist for Climate Central, said it does not just affect traditional fall activities.

"Allergy season has been lengthened by about a month in many locations across the Midwest," Casey reported.

She noted it makes it more burdensome for people with other more serious respiratory issues, such as asthma. The analysis pointed out mosquito season is being extended, too. Casey recommended to help mitigate the trends, Midwest residents should do what they can to avoid fossil fuel energy sources.

Casey stressed adapting to the changes is another important step, so people are not caught off guard when the calendar flips to October.

"You can best prepare if you do have asthma, if you are potentially susceptible to mosquito-borne illnesses, all of these things which can impact our everyday lives," Casey explained.

For prolonged allergy seasons, health experts advised vulnerable individuals should put some time and research into establishing a medication regimen that works for them.

Casey added the warmer weather results in heavier rain events, which attract more mosquitoes. She suggested people be more mindful of areas of standing water.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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