As waves of "Brood X" cicadas emerge this spring after 17 years underground, chances are they’re arriving earlier than their parents. Because ground temperature provides an important cue for cicadas' emergence, and spring temperatures have trended higher since the great-great-grandparents of this year’s Brood X cicadas emerged in 1970, Climate Central analysis shows that cue is arriving sooner.
Cicadas typically emerge in force when ground temperatures reach approximately 64°F degrees (often after a steady rain). Some places with Brood X cicada concentrations have already reached that threshold. The 10-day average temperature across the impacted region is running 8.0°F warmer than at this time in 1970, and 1.1°F warmer than when Brood X last emerged in 2004.
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