With Spring arriving tomorrow, Meteorologist Scot Pilié dives into the Coronavirus Myth or Truth: Does hot and humid weather reduce the spread of the virus?
As of Wednesday evening, the Louisiana Department of Health is now reporting 280 coronavirus cases and 7 deaths within the state.
So, a big question residents begin to ask themselves, “will the spread of the virus slow as our temperatures get hotter?”
Here’s what we know:
1. Due to the new nature of the novel coronavirus, experts still have lots to learn about the transmission of the virus.
On the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, it specifically addresses whether warm weather help slow or stop the coronavirus outbreak stating,
It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.
2. The virus has been caught and spread in all parts of the globe including hot, cold, and temperate climates.
For example in Australia, where it is presently summer in the Southern Hemisphere, has recorded over 450 positive tests and five deaths, with a sharp rise in cases in the past week.
Australia presently has high temperatures in the 80-90 degree range, which is common for Louisiana in the summer months. And…they have not seen a drop in cases at this time.
3. It has already been abnormally warm already in Louisiana since the first detected case of coronavirus.
Louisiana had an abnormally hot month of February and start to March, with 8 days above 80 degrees in March alone in New Orleans.
4. Bottom line? It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread.
Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stated that it would be “premature” to assume warmer weather will slow the virus.
Messonier also stated a more optimistic outlook,
Influenza has a season … so, if this behaves similarly, it may be that as we head towards summer and, I guess, spring and summer, the cases would go down, but this is a new disease…”
I’m happy to hope that it goes down as the weather warms up, but I think it’s premature to assume that, and we’re certainly not using that to sit back and expect it to go away.”
The good news for those hoping that warmer weather will lead to a slow down in the spread of coronavirus in Louisiana?
Our forecast is looking WARM for the next 5-10+ days with temperatures trending 5-15 degrees above average.