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Rising high and low temperatures

While many Vermonters know from their own experience that Vermont's average annual temperature is increasing, the details of the rise paint a compelling picture of how climate change is affecting Vermont's four seasons.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The state's average low temperature is rising more quickly than the average high temperature. Since 1960, the average annual maximum temperature statewide increased about 0.4°F per decade while the average minimum temperature rose at 0.6 °F per decade. Vermonters are already seeing the results of these differences - less lake and pond freeze-over, earlier springs, and a longer growing season, alongside wetter winters and more frequent summer droughts.

Comparing the summer months of June-July-August with the winter months of December-January-February, the change is even more striking. The average maximum temperature in the summer has risen at about 0.15°F per decade, while the average winter maximum temperature has increased at 4 times that rate - 0.64°F per decade. The figure below also shows that the winter average maximum temperature has been much more variable over time than the summer average maximum.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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