What makes this recent Midwest heat wave so “out of whack”, says National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Keeney, is that so much of the Mid west has been hit so early in the summer with such a long, dry and hot one, reports Amy Hubbard at the Los Angeles Times. A good chunk of the eastern half of the US, from Kansas to the east coast, shattered heat records for temperatures above 100 for a record number of days. An extreme heat corridor extended from Nebraska to western Kentucky. As hot air rises, it creates greater pressure higher in the atmosphere, and the resulting high pressure dome keeps moisture laden weather systems from entering the hot dry areas. Over half the country is experiencing drought, which has damaged crops that especially need moisture right now. Keeney notes that as the heat wave moves east, a cold front will fill its wake, but the rain will be too limited to break the drought. Once again the US is experiencing the kind of extreme weather predicted to occur under climate change, and to get even worse, as climate change continues.
Heat wave: Midwest plain ‘out of whack’ as records shatter. It’s not that the Midwest hasn’t been extremely hot before, and it’s not that it hasn’t been incredibly dry. But it’s unusual for a vast swath of the Midwest to be so very hot and so very dry for so very long — particularly this early in the summer. Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-midwest-heat-relief-20120706,0,5668282.story