An Indian Summer Climatology across the Northeast United States, 1950-2015

Authors: Darren Bryant Parnell*, Salisbury University, Craig Allen Ramseyer, Salisbury University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: climatology, Northeast United States
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The phrase “Indian summer” is commonly used to describe a warm period that occurs in the fall after the first fall frost. This warm period often is the last time of the year to take advantage of favorable weather conditions for outdoor activities. It is assumed that the phrase Indian summer was introduced in the late 18th Century to describe the same periods of warmth that exist today. Indian summer events are most frequently associated with the Northeast United States due to the region’s climate, but the phrase also is used in other parts of North America and some temperate European countries. Although this phrase has been around since at least the late 1700s and often is used to describe a period of unseasonably warm temperatures in the fall, there is no formally agreed upon definition of an Indian summer event. A primary focus of this study is to create a formal definition of an Indian summer event for the Northeast United States in terms of the magnitude and duration of the above-average temperatures. This study also provides a historical background of the Indian summer events across the study area from 1950 through 2015 by analyzing the spatial and temporal variability of these warm periods. The results of the study are useful for optimally planning the last opportunity for an outdoor activity of the year such as biking, camping, hiking or backpacking.

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