More rain, higher temps predicted in Delaware climate study

 (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

A new report provides details on how Delaware’s climate is predicted to change over the next hundred years. Spoiler alert: the prediction calls for more heat and heavy precipitation.


In addition to rising temperatures, the climate change report predicts more extreme heat days as well as more frequent heavy rains leading up to the year 2100.

The report was commissioned by Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara. “This solid science will be the foundation on which we will base actions that will make our communities statewide more resilient and prepared for climate impacts,” O’Mara said.

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The 56-page report, which is available on DNREC’s website and posted below, predicts that the average annual temperature could increase by as much as 9.5 degrees by the end of the century. Under the most severe scenario, the number of days that the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, which historically happens less than once a year, could increase to as many as 15 to 30 days per year.

Rainfall is expected to increase along with the rising temperatures. The report predicts a 10 percent increase in total rainfall by the end of the century. 

Considering current weather conditions, some might welcome the news that the number of cold days are predicted to dwindle. The number of very cold days, when the temperature drops to 20 degrees or lower, are projected to occur just three to four days per year under the most severe scenario.

The report was put together by Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech. “This report tells us what the future climate of Delaware will look like, depending on whether the world follows a higher or lower carbon emissions pathway,” Hayhoe said.

The climate report is part of a more comprehensive study being done by the Division of Energy and Climate called the Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment. The final results of that study are expected to be released in a report in March.

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