KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: How the weather impacts the cicadas’ song

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Annual cicadas are no stranger to Kansas. They typically emerge between July and September. It is the warm weather this time of year that makes them come out of hiding. When you start to see and hear them, you know that the soil is warm enough for them to emerge. A soil temperature of around 64-degrees is preferred.

Most of us have heard the cicadas singing, or what some might call that loud annoying buzz. Hot and humid weather is when their mating call seems constant because that is the weather they like during the mating stage. If it is too hot or too cold, the cicadas either will not sing or will just add some pauses to their song.

Just like any other insect, cicadas will seek shelter if it is raining. The rain does not hurt nor kill them. Their wings can shed rain, but it is difficult to fly. Light rain will not bother them much but heavy rain from a thunderstorm is usually accompanied by stronger winds which they do not appreciate. Strong winds can blow them out of trees to the ground, potentially damaging them and making them vulnerable to predators.

Fun fact: While annual cicadas show up every year, there are also periodical cicadas that emerge once every 13 to 17 years. There are different broods that emerge in different parts of the country. Brood IV is what resides in Kansas. The last time we saw them was in 2015, so mark your calendars for 2032!

-Meteorologist Ronelle Williams

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