Hot, hotter, too hot… The snowbird migration is changing

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By Barry Zander
With temperatures in the Southern Belt of America rising rapidly, the effect on snowbirds is already a fact. It’s a sign of lifestyle changes for thousands of RV owners, as well as businesses that rely on the migration of RVers for survival. According to a study at the University of California in Irvine, we can expect cataclysmic economic consequences for Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and other snowbird-favorite states in the South.

“Who wants to park and play golf in 120-degree weather?” asks an 18-year snowbird traveler from Minnesota. “I’m already looking for an in-between spot. I’m ready to abandon our annual campground in Arizona for a livable environment.”

If you drive cross-country in the fall, you’re well aware of the stream of motorhomes and fifth wheels on the roads heading south, buying fuel, stopping off in RV parks and adding to the financial lifeblood of businesses relying on the “carriage-trade” economy. And that doubles in spring when snowbirds return home.

Cindy Yañez, a researcher at the University of California in Irvine, published an article this month in the Climatic Change journal that forecasts significant changes in the economy of southern tier states, places where the local survival depends on snowbirds from Canada and Washington state to New England for survival.

“Weather and climate are important considerations for tourists in selecting their destinations, and climate change may impact these decisions, with implications for economic revenue in tourism-dependent locations,” according to a scholarly paper written by a team of researchers led by graduate student Yañez of UCI. The paper gathered information from numerous other sources, but the findings are obvious to snowbirds.

“… [G]lobal warming may adversely impact the snowbird season and other tourist attractions through rising temperatures. We analyzed how increasing temperatures are likely to impact three key components of the tourism industry in the region: climate in the winter snowbird season, visitation at an outdoor tourist attraction, and the likelihood of extreme heat at an annual festival…

“Our analysis predicts a shortened snowbird season, which we define as the time of year with daily maximum temperatures below a threshold of 30° C [86° F], under two future climate scenarios and time periods.”

In the analysis of economic consequences, the paper goes on to say, “We also predict an increased likelihood of extreme heat stress during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.”

What does that mean for snowbirds? Maybe lower prices or more availability at prime spots. Maybe reduced value for traditionally exclusive snowbird-owned parking spaces. Who knows?

Please vote in the poll below and tell us if you’ll still travel if the temperatures continue to rise in snowbird destinations.

##RVT966

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Michael Theis
17 days ago

Ii seems to me Covid will impact snowbirds a lot more than warming temperatures, at least in the short-term. I live and travel in southern Arizona and there usually are some spaces in RV parks here taken up by Canadian snowbirds.

Ken
25 days ago

Wait a few years or an eon and the climate will change as it has done forever. Climate change is natural – and I love natural things and don’t want to try to stop their evolution. Climate change has given us all of the natural wonders we enjoy so much.

chris
23 days ago
Reply to  Ken

“Natural” climate change takes thousands of years.

John T
23 days ago
Reply to  chris

Not true. We had the Roman warm period that allowed the Romans to cross the Alps and colonize France and England, the dark ages cold period which brought the Huns west from central Asia, pushing the Goths into Rome and the Saxons into England, the medieval warm period which allowed the Vikings to colonize Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland and caused agriculture and the population to boom in Europe – most European towns were founded during this period – and the little ice age, which brought famine to Europe. The litle ice age ended around 1815.

chris
23 days ago
Reply to  John T

Ok, touche. But what we’re apparently doing in 150 years is shocking. Temperature and Co2 charts show we’re going off the scale. So far science has no other plausible explanation than it’s us.

Last edited 23 days ago by chris
Steve
27 days ago

I will not get into the climate change debate, but the weather in any given location in the south will vary. My in-laws have lived in Az for 25 years but moved home to Wis 4 years ago to be close to family. But they wintered in AZ near phoenix a couple years ago and complained it was cold. Two years ago they tried Gulf shores and it was cold and wet (it was last year also). Last year they tried Galveston for a month – cold – and then moved to McAllen which was OK but still not perfect. I think people need to understand that weather changes take many many year and any given year may be hot or cold. I don’t think I have enough years left to be certain that the weather patterns are changing.Any given year can be hot, cold, wet or dry based n several factors. I believe we need to be looking at climate change, but this may just be part of the earths normal cycles.

Marmot
28 days ago

If you could see what has happened to our Alaskan glaciers over the last 30 years you would understand that climate change is real.

chris
28 days ago
Reply to  Marmot

I see them on almost every science show I watch. Sad.

PennyPA
28 days ago

Actually, covid19 will dictate whether these campgrounds survive or not.

BILLY Bob Thronton
29 days ago

The earth has been warming for thousands of years. However, there has been no measurable increase in the last 12 years. It’s settled science for those who care to do accurate research. For those who believe the globe is warming, beyond normal ” weather” fluctuations, you wouldn’t believe the science anyway.

We are in a virtual absence of sun spots, which means the sun is actually putting out less radiation (Sun’s heat). So, guess what’s coming boys and girls, you guessed it, cooler temperatures. But, it will take time for the nay sayers to turn the truck around, because too much has been spent on the scare of global warming.

I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Thomas
29 days ago

Last 2years in casa grande az were cool. Happy hour with jackets and sometimes breezy. A couple of degrees would be nice

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

Oh good, the snowbirds will stay home and folks who live in the southern states will be able to get a campsite.

Paul
1 month ago

Please remember the research was on future impact IF the temperature keep rising. When that will be who knows. For the time being, enjoy the southern States in the winter.

Mark B
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul

You capitalized “IF”. Temperature rise has continued unabated for 110 years.

Seeing as we can’t deny ourselves many of our cheap carbon releasing pleasures, we’ll have to crank up the technology to slow temp rise.

A sunshade device was first proposed in 1898.

Geoengineering includes 6 proposed directions:
Aerosol injection
Marine cloud brightening
High-albedo crops and buildings
Ocean mirror
Cloud thinning
Space sunshades

I think satellites could weave a sunshade with 3D-like spider web printers. I am surprised Elon Musk did not already patent the whole delivery method and start a “SpiderX” subsidiary.

David Hagen
1 month ago

I have been snowbirding for 19 years, and have noticed only a very slight increase in winter temperatures so I would not call it “rising rapidly.”

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hagen

Compared to geological time of rises and falls of average global temperatures, it’s screaming.

Mark B
29 days ago
Reply to  David Hagen

Given who reads this newsletter, on average we have less than 15 years left to live. Our snowbirding may not have to change. Our children will have to deal with what we deny. Glacier National Park no longer has glaciers to any significant extent.

Parts of the world saw temperature change effects earlier. The movie “Chasing Ice” shows in just a few years, how this “very slight” increase melted glaciers.

If a coronary artery is blocked, say 80, 90, maybe even 97%, some people will just think they are slowing down. A ‘very slight” increase in the blockage, and they suffer massive heart damage or die.

CTK
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Good analogy. There is always a tipping point. People tend to ignore signs, whether a possible cardiac condition or possible climatic condition, until that point of no return occurs. Then, it’s too late.

BILLY Bob Thronton
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Mark, news flash, Glacier was forced to take down their global scare signs this year, that the glaciers will be gone. Funny thing, the glaciers in the park have not changed in years. Google it dude.

Mark B
28 days ago

I have visited Glacier Park regularly over the years. Like glacial areas across Europe and South America, the ice loss is running about 80%. Google it dude.

chris
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Billy’s science is different from ours.

Matt
1 month ago

It depends on where you go. We have rented our house out throughout the “hot season” in Florida. The reason why we can do this is because we have a house on an island and it’s water front. With the gulf coast breeze it only got up to the high 80’S for about two weeks. The average high is between 75 and 82, and in the high 60s at night. Between the caged pool and the water breeze, we have had a waiting list of renters. So don’t go to Arizona in july, head to the coast of Florida.

Jim Backus
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Well, the smart money is going with larger yachts. I sold my place in Cocoa Beach. It is more prudent to be able to avoid hurricane seasons, changing shorelines and temperatures by moving the home.

Wayne
1 month ago

I give little credence to a “study” by a student leading a team of students. They are basically making up a what-if scenario in a paper with “ifs” and “may” interspersed throughout. For them to make a point about the Coachella Music Festival possibly being too hot makes it hard to take them seriously.

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne

That festival is in April, not January. It was almost 100° last year.

Wayne
1 month ago

Maybe they should not hold the event in the middle of one of the hottest deserts in North America

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne

Well ok, but that wasn’t the point.

Bob P
1 month ago

I’m 77 and reasonably in good health, I can remember back in 1948 how cold and snowy it was in northern Illinois. By the 1980s it wasn’t as cold and only a few major snow storms each winter. All this goes along with an old climatologists response to the panic about climate change, he said the earth goes through a 100 year cycle of heating and cooling where it heats up over a 50 year period then stars cooling off for 50 years. When I was a child it apparently was ending its cooling off cycle and began its heating cycle during my younger adult years. I would venture a guess because I’m not a scientist that within the next 20 years the “experts” will be talking about global cooling and how the oceans are going to be freezing over. The thing we have to look at with these scientists is how old are they? Since the education systems don’t teach real history nor geography I don’t have much confidence in what these “scientists” have to say, they remind me of Chicken Little and the sky is falling.

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob P

If you’re 77 you don’t have much to worry about. If you’re 7 you do.

Rosy
1 month ago

Hmm. Not so nice Mr. Hemstead!

H. Penney
29 days ago
Reply to  Rosy

Actually it is spot on. Truthfully some days my biggest concerns are when I’ll have to deal with incontinence, memory/cognitive issues, cancer and more including how long will I live. But ignoring the statistical realities and thinking I am Lazarus and all these doctors are quacks is not prudent. To what degree (pun) and how much humans have contributed to climate change is debatable, but complete denial is not a luxury even a 77 year old should be allowed.

Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob P

when I was in high school in the 70’s we had all the scientific “facts” that we would have a full-blown ice age again by the year 2000. Imagine that, the hypothetical “models” they used then, and now, still are nowhere near accurate. Hence there hypothetical (guessing).

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

You likely got that from a Newsweek article, written by their science editor, who got that from a niche of scientsts, not a consensus. It still lives today and is widely cited by climate deniers. Things are getting warmer, and that is a consensus.

tim palmer
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt

I was in high school at the same time.
That was when they hypothesized about the effects of nuclear war.
The “Nuclear Winter”. Sun blocked by all the ash in the atmosphere causing dramatic drop in temperature.
Nothing to do with climate change back then.

Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  tim palmer

And we didn’t worry about it. I was worried about walking in a rice paddy and where to buy beer. I remember drills where we practiced hiding under our desks. Fallout shelters and radiation – There is always something. Remember at sometime in the past – AZ was tropical and South Carolina was a shallow ocean.

H Penney
28 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Concerned_Scientists

There are “scientists” which have spoken out for more than 50 years including the majority of Nobel awarded scientists, along with leaders and students from every walk of life.

I have 3 students, a senior in high school and two in college. I went to grad school for multiple disciplines and these children are educated and immersed at a much younger age than you or I ever were.

At 77, people often forget how to learn. Hopefully others reading may be curious enough to explore what the experts and thought leaders are resoundingly telling us.

Gary
1 month ago

This article is about Snowbirds. Snowbirds head south for warmer weather in the WINTER.
Where in this country is it 110-120 degrees in the winter?

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary

Who can be a snowbird at the age of 18? oops… 18 year traveler.. my mistake

Last edited 1 month ago by chris p hemstead
Bobkat
1 month ago

He’s not 18 years old, he’s traveled for 18 years.

Ray Zimmermann
1 month ago

It said 18-year snowbird, not 18-year-old snowbird.

chris p hemstead
1 month ago

my mistake… thanks.

William Robbins
1 month ago

Chris, you shouldn’t be so quick on the trigger.

Mark B
28 days ago
Reply to  Gary

When in Sept has LA hit 120 degrees? Not b4 this year.

That record heat, by itself, is weather. Highs, lows, even the extremes are just weather. When the weather trends to new patterns (wetter, drier, hotter, cooler, longer growing seasons, more hurricanes & typhoons) that is climate change.

When those weather trends exceed 100 years, it is definitely climate change. The difficulty is determining what is causing the climate change. Is it extraterrestrial (solar, comets, gamma rays) , magnetic, volcanic, oceanic, land based, atmospheric, human influenced or multiple causes? That is climatology. Generally, climatologists acknowledge mans’ footprint is impacting our atmosphere, oceans and lands. Reducing our impact on those areas will reduce any climate change that could be attributed to man.

Gerald Lofstead
23 days ago
Reply to  Gary

To the moon and beyond..

Cheryl
1 month ago

I am 68 and live in the High Desert in California. This is my theory, climate change has always be around, weather patterns ebb and flow. I have seen the weather patterns change from extremely hot to cooler summers. When we first moved to the desert in 1979, it was common for the temperature to reach 114, by July 4th. However in the last 10 years or so it is rarely that hot by July 4th. We went through a few years of constant monsoon conditions in July and August, it was miserable, too humid, we usually have dryer weather. I have noticed in the last 2 or 3 years the monsoons have not occurred, a big relief for me. Another change was in the winter, we use to get a few good snows, where it actually stuck to the ground. Then for about 6 years, no snow, until winter before last. We got snow days, again. Weather patterns change for several years at a time, then shift back. Add that to the fact, as we age we are less likely to want, to tolerate extreme weather conditions.

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheryl

I’ll stick with scientific consensus theory.

Steve
27 days ago

I will watch the woolly caterpillar for accurate winter prediction for Wis.

Diane Mc
1 month ago

They tried this in the 70’s. Coming Ice Age from global cooling spelled “catastrophic” consequences. Cover of Time magazine announcing the impending disaster. Glaciers on the move south. Would reach the US/Canada border by 2000’s. Oh wait, it’s already 2020. Where are they? These people use models to predict. Worked in high tech all my life. Remember first thing I learned about computers….GIGO. “Garbage in, garbage out”. When cooling didn’t come, switched to warming. When that wasn’t really happening, they changed to the generic “climate change’. Interesting, yes climate changes. Earth goes thru cycles. We’ve had ice ages when there were no people, no cars. Same with warming cycles. Greenland used to be green!. The US contributes very little to the earth pollution due to all the changes we’ve made. It’s China & India that are the culprits. Do we need to be good stewards of this earth? Of course. We can control and reduce/eliminate pollution. Control climate. Sorry. No.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

I have worked on models for years. Models need years of actual data to come close to being accurate. Even then there are still a few unkowns which still take more data become reliable. Then there is all the testing to prove the model does what it was intended. Climate models base there predictions on lots of unkown data and not very reliable and moving data and no way to verify or validate the predictions. The UN report from 2012 showed the models predicted nothing and missed a few unkowns. So I would never believe any climate models.

Edward Wullschleger
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Much the same for me, Mike.

chris p hemstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Someone from the current administration told California officials it will cool down.

Last edited 1 month ago by chris p hemstead
Matt
1 month ago

yes it will, if they ever get the local government caused fires under control. 😄😄

tim palmer
29 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Back in the ’70’s the talk was about the effects of nuclear war and how that would drop temperatures globally from all the ash blocking the sunlight.
Nuclear Winter.

Dennis
1 month ago

Yep, Ken is correct.

Ann
1 month ago

We’re not snowbirds because we already live in coastal Southern California. But the fact is, it’s already hotter. 20 or 30 years ago, we didn’t need air conditioning, because it was rarely hot enough to make it worth paying for. Now we have central air, use it for long stretches in the summer, and wouldn’t consider going without.

Will snowbirds stop going to Florida or the desert southwest? No, there are still and always will be periods where the weather in those places is great. But the time while it’s not too hot is already shorter, and the Arizona/Florida snowbird season is already getting shorter.

I think the bigger economic impact will be that fewer retirees will move to those hot places. I mean, I’m all for getting out of the snow, but who wants to live someplace where it’s 105 before breakfast 9 months of the year? If I were a retiree looking for a place to live, the traditional places aren’t where I’d be looking anymore.

Ken
1 month ago

Yep Tommy, a scare article. Even if 10% paid attention to this “research paper” and stopped migrating , I believe, we RVers would have absolutely no effect on the climate. The earth is going through cycles of temperature change. We just don’t live long enough to experience the whole temperature cycle. Five-hundred to five-thousand years is a cycle. If we could go back to caveman days and see what Uncle Joe and Aunt Karrie we’re talking about while sitting in their cave, I bet it would be the weather. At leisure. Their survival was gathering food, community, exploring, migrating and growing food. They lived a life cycle (maybe 40-50 yrs) that they too may have seen a bump or fall in temperatures. Could they do anything about it? Naw. Just like me, I can’t do anything about it. My 60-70 life cycle will see cold and hot temps. (And.a 24 hour news cycle to talk about it!). Migrate with the climate if that’s what you need to do to survive.

Denny
1 month ago

Couldn’t leave Last winter because of health, now with Covid traveling across the nation and back is our concern. Doc said if either contract it chances are slim for survival. Pretty much decided to stay home now…but the urge to be “on the road again” is so strong. Then there is also (supposedly) the issue of finding places to stay each night as we travel to our destination 2700-3000 miles away. (Sold our backup RV lot in So CA for when the time came and we couldn’t travel we would have a place to winter) but decided it was way to crowded, too windy, lot spaces to small and it was like ants crawling on top of each other. Oh well…..

Cheryl
1 month ago
Reply to  Denny

I don’t know your health conditions or age but, my neighbors in their 60’s, went on vacation to visit family and they caught Covid. They came home straight away in case it got bad. However they said it wasn’t any worse than the regular flu. People die from the flu by the thousands every year. It all depends on your health condition when you contract it. Work on building up your immune system and you will survive this too. They are using this to scare us and control us. I’m not telling anyone to be careless just know that they have been lying to us. The CDC admitted as much( in so many words) just recently. They admitted that instead of the hundreds of thousands they claimed before had died. It was more like 10,000 and most of those were over 75.

tim palmer
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

200,000 souls would beg to differ.

Mark B
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Just so I understand:

  • the doctors who sign death certificates are lying?
  • the coroners and medical examiners are allowing these false reports?
  • the hospitals’ recording of the deaths are lies?
  • the state, county and local health offices and dept are in on these lies?
  • the families that mourn their loss are lying?
  • the media that lists the people (famous and regular) who have died are lying to us?

This is just like that fake walk on the moon in 1969.