Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  The end of July brings more evidence that the Drought of 2012 is getting to be a long-term worry.

“The concern now is whether this is going to be a multi-year drought like we had in the 1930’s,” confesses Jayson Gosselin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, St. Louis office.

He says the problem continues to be a persistent area of high pressure camped out right over the central United States.

That pattern prevents the normal progression of storm systems moving across Missouri and Illinois that bring the rainfall that we typically see during the spring and early summer, and also creates the excessively hot weather we’ve been experiencing this summer.

Just how hot has it been this summer?

As of Sunday the summer of 2012 had already broken the number of days with a high measuring at least 105-degrees…11 compared to 10 back in 1934.

And that’s with the entire month of August to go and more high temperatures in the forecast.

Gosselin says it’s getting to where we need an “extreme” weather event just to catch up.

“Something like we had several years ago where a tropical system comes through the Gulf of Mexico, like an Ike or a Gustav,” he explains. “The remnants of those tropical systems tracked through our area and dumped a lot of rain real quick.”

Another possibility, however unlikely at this point, is if a front would stall out and drop repeated showers and thunderstorms over multiple days.

Most places across the St. Louis region would now need an extra 5-to-15 inches — on top of normal rainfall amounts — just to return to “near normal” on the Palmer Drought Index.


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