Brian Kelly

(KMOX)-NASA scientists now have an idea of what caused our unusually hot summer.

Dr. Jim Acker, Senior Support Scientist at the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center, says the first thing they noticed were unusually high temperatures over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in early July.

He says after looking at the data  from the satellite-mounted Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument (AIRS), they could see  that those were also unusually high pressure systems, “And that’s what’s been forcing all the humidity toward the center of the country, with the circulation around those centers coming straight over the Gulf of Mexico.”

Acker says those heat domes are usually there in the summer, but this year’s were abnormally strong.

Why the unusually high temperature domes were perched over the oceans, he says, is a question for meteorologists, but he says they will likely compare the anomaly to the dust bowl years in the 1930’s.

Acker says the information fits the pattern of increasing humidity seen over the past 30 years and models indicate the pattern will continue, “AIRS is telling us we are seeing an increase in the humidity, especially under conditions like these…and we can expect more summers like this than cool summers in the future.”

Click here to read the entire report.

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