Travis Zimpfer

St. Louis (KMOX) – If you’re performing a rain dance right now to give us some relief from the heat, dance faster. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

And times don’t get much more desperate. With scorching temperatures afflicting much of the nation, dozens of people have died in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and across the country.

Not even cows are safe.

Meteorologist Laura Kanofsky with the National Weather Service says the culprit is a lingering dome of high pressure acting like a blanket, covering the Midwest with heat and humidity.

“What we have is a very stable pattern right now,” she says. “We have a ridge of high pressure across most of the central part of the country, and with the favorable wind direction coming from the South-Southwest, that’s bringing warm, moist air . . . into the St. Louis region.

“Meanwhile, we have this high pressure center that’s sitting here and that’s preventing, for the most part, thunderstorms from developing over that area. So, what we get is day after day of very hot and very humid weather.”

And those conditions have created an oven that’s been baking at over a hundred degrees for the last few days. Without a break in the weather, Kanofsky says we’ll see more people fall victim to the sweltering temperatures.

“The longer that these heat events go on, the more dangerous it is, because the cumulative effects of the heat are very dangerous especially for the elderly, the disabled or those with health problems,” Kanofsky says.

Luckily, the forecast is calling for some relief over the next few days. Kanofsky believes we could be seeing cooler temperatures early next week.

“”The good news is that the ridge is going to retrograde, which means it’s gonna move a little bit off to the West,” she says. “When it does, that’ll give an opportunity for a cold front to move down into the area.

“It looks like Monday is the first day that you’ll see some cooler temperatures,” However, she added ominously, “Cooler . . . is relative, of course.”

In fact, we’re still not going to see highs dip into the 80’s in the forseeable forecast; we’ll stay above 90 degrees even with the cool front moving in next week.

But maybe it will be cool enough that this biker can put his clothes back on.

Copyright KMOX 2011


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