La Nina Heats Up Mid-Missouri
MID-MISSOURI - Unusually high temperatures caused lots of problems this summer. Heat advisories and more rainfall than normal characterize the summer 2010 Midwest region. But Missouri and its surrounding states aren’t the only ones that experienced these extra hot conditions.
According to Meteorologist Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, at least 14 countries have broken all-time extreme heat records. That ranks 2010 in second place for the year when the largest number of countries broke extreme heat records.
The Weather Underground list of countries that broke extreme heat records so far this year is as follows:
Colombia – 108 degrees F on January 24
Solomon Islands – 97 degrees F on February 1
Ascension Island – 94.8 degrees F on March 25
Myanmar – 116.6 degrees F on May 12
Pakistan – 128.3 degrees F on May 26
Iraq – 125.6 degrees F on June 14
Kuwait – 126.7 degrees F on June 15
Chad – 117.7 degrees F on June 22
Saudi Arabia – 125.6 degrees F on June 22
Niger – 116.8 degrees F on June 25
Sudan – 121.3 degrees F on June 25
Russia – 111.2 degrees F on July 11
Qatar – 122.7 degrees F on July 14
Finland – 99 degrees F on July 29
So what is the cause for all of this extreme heat? Rapid global warming is currently a hot topic in the media and many say these hot temperatures are proof of it.
In an interview with USA Today, National Wildlife Federation climate scientist Amanda Staudt told reporters, “We all think this summer is miserable, but it’s nothing compared to what’s in store for us.”
But other scientists think the reason for such hot temperatures is part of a natural cycle. This summer we entered a La Nina cycle.
MU meteorologist Tony Lupo said, “We had a very cold winter and an El Nino event, and as El Nino events die and we go into La Nina, what typically happens is that sets up a ridge over the eastern US and central US for the summer. And when we do that, it’s going to be hot.”
Generally when people think of La Nina and El Nino they associate La Nina with cooler than normal Missouri temperatures and El Nino with warmer than normal Missouri temperatures.
But Lupo says this is not the case for the Midwest this year. “For winter weather, the importance is whether we are in an El Nino or La Nina. For the summer months, the importance is – which direction are we going? Are we transitioning from one to the other or are we staying the same. That’s what will help predict in the future what our summers will be like.”
The hot summer of 2010 is predicted to carry through September where temperatures are expected to be higher than normal.