This year, areas in Ohio are getting ready for the emergence of the Brood X cicada. This is one of the larger broods that only emerges from its underground home every 17 years.
While the timing for their appearance is generally in the late spring, it is based more on temperature, rather than a particular.
Cicadas generally wait to emerge until ground temperatures reach approximately 64°F, and often after a steady rain.
According to Climate Central, some areas with Brood X cicada concentrations have already reached that temperature threshold. Climate Central found that the 10-day average temperature across the Brood X region is running 8°F warmer than at this time in 1970, and 1.1°F warmer than in 2004, which is means conditions are favoring a much earlier appearance for cicadas.
Based on this information, states like Tennessee have been on track to see cicadas emerge more than a month earlier than normal. According to Climate Central’s data, from 1970 to 2020, warming temperatures have resulted in the conditions to be ripe for areas like Chattanooga to see cicadas about 36 days earlier.
Even here in Ohio, warming temperatures over the last 30 years have shown a trend of an earlier emergence in areas like Dayton Cleveland and Zanesville.
Meanwhile in Columbus, the trend for conditions for cicadas to emerge has been about 3 days later.
Ohio State University’s CFAES Weather System keeps track of current conditions, including soil temperature. Last year, we didn’t achieve an average soil temperature of 64°F consistently until the the middle of May. Click here for the latest reading from their Columbus station.
Depending on the species/brood cicadas will live 2-17 years under ground. After emerging, male cicadas fill the night with the songs of their mating call. Once above ground. cicadas only live for 5 to 6 weeks.