Warmer weather unlikely to reduce the COVID-19 transmission: An ecological study in 202 locations in 8 countries.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To examine the association between meteorological factors (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and UV radiation) and transmission capacity of COVID-19.


We collected daily numbers of COVID-19 cases in 202 locations in 8 countries. We matched meteorological data from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. We used a time-frequency approach to examine the possible association between meteorological conditions and basic reproductive number (R0 ) of COVID-19. We determined the correlations between meteorological factors and R0 of COVID-19 using multiple linear regression models and meta-analysis. We further validated our results using a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) metapopulation model to simulate the changes of daily cases of COVID-19 in China under different temperatures and relative humidity conditions.

Principal results

Temperature did not exhibit significant association with R0 of COVID-19 (meta p = 0.446). Also, relative humidity (meta p = 0.215), wind speed (meta p = 0.986), and ultraviolet (UV) radiation (meta p = 0.491) were not significantly associated with R0 either. The SEIR model in China showed that with a wide range of meteorological conditions, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases would not change substantially.


Meteorological conditions did not have statistically significant associations with the R0 of COVID-19. Warmer weather alone seems unlikely to reduce the COVID-19 transmission.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pan, J; Yao, Y; Liu, Z; Meng, X; Ji, JS; Qiu, Y; Wang, W; Zhang, L; Wang, W; Kan, H

Published Date

  • January 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 753 /

Start / End Page

  • 142272 -

PubMed ID

  • 33207446

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7480263

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1026

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0048-9697

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142272


  • eng