St. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX/IRN) – The heat wave that’s been pounding the Midwest continues and there may be more on the way according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says more heat waves will likely follow the current one that has left the Midwest parched.

“We’ll see some short-term relief, a fairly short-lived phenomenon where we’ll see some cooler, drier air pushing into the Midwest,” Rippey says. “However, as we move ahead into next week and the latter part of July it does appear that the heat wave will reload across the south central U.S. and we may see a second or even a third push of these hot, humid conditions across the Midwest in late July and early August.”

And Rippey says conditions are not exactly ideal for corn, and blooming soybeans.

“We’re seeing the impact now beginning on corn and soybeans due to the heat, the humidity and the lack of overnight cooling not giving the plants a chance to rest at night and that does affect the yield potential,” Rippey said.

Rippey says current conditions are like those of 1995 which took a bite out of potential crop yields and killed a number of people in Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  According to the National Weather Service, Chicago experienced its worst weather-related disaster, with 465 heat-related deaths recorded during the period from July 11-27, 1995.   The temperature hit 106 degrees on July 13.  The heat index reached 119 °F ° at O’Hare airport, and 125 °F  at Midway Airport.

During the summer of 1995, there were 27 heat-related deaths in St. Louis City and 4 in St. Louis County. Of these 31 deaths, 22 occurred between July 14 and July 19. The victims ranged in age from 36 to 89 years.

There is one chance the Midwest may get a break from the extreme temperatures we are experiencing.

Rippey says well-placed tropical storms could possibly bring relief to parts of the nation affected by extreme heat and dry weather. 

“If those storms do make their way into the Gulf, that we expect to form in the tropics, sometimes that moisture can end up in the Midwest and that could help to ease the effects of this hot dry weather that we’ve seen develop here in mid-July.”

Copyright KMOX/IRN


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