heat wave

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

If you're a Missourian and felt hot under the collar in 2012, there is good reason.

The National Weather Service says 2012 was the warmest year on record in St. Louis and Columbia and tied for the fourth-warmest in Joplin.

St. Louis recorded an average temperature of 61.2 degrees for last year, a full 1.1 degrees higher than the previous mark of 60.1 degrees set in 1921. St. Louis had 21 days reach triple-digit temperatures.

(via Flickr/Aka Hige)

This year may turn out to be the warmest on record in parts of Missouri, a continuation of a trend of warmer weather that is having an impact on flowers, plants and agricultural crops.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin says that 2012 through Nov. 24 is the warmest year on record in both St. Louis and Columbia, Mo., compared to other years through the same date. St. Louis records date back to 1874 and Columbia weather records date to 1890.

In fact, five of the 10 warmest years on record in St. Louis have occurred since 2005.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s fall foliage may not be a bust this year, after all.

Jim Low  with the Missouri Department of Conservation says things looked pretty grim until a cold front this week dumped several inches of rain in portions of Missouri.

“Trees were very stressed because of the lack of moisture," Low said.  "The photosynthesis going on in those leaves was minimal."

rcbodden / Flickr

Updated 9:15 a.m. August 9:

St. Louis County confirmed its fourth heat-related death of the summer today.

A son discovered the victim, a 76-year-old Lemay man, on July 10. The cause of death was certified on Wednesday.

The victim lived in the 700 block of Military Rd. The brick house had no central air conditioning, and a window unit was not working. The temperature inside the home was estimated to be between 90 and 95 degrees.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Malory Ensor)

Missouri businesses directly harmed by the summer heat and drought can get low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
Small nonfarm businesses, agricultural cooperatives and nonprofit organizations are eligible for up to $2 million for expenses caused by the drought.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared a disaster for 114 Missouri counties, making farmers eligible for low-interest loans and other assistance.
 

(via Flickr/Paulo Otavio)

St. Louis is getting hotter. With this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, that probably doesn’t sound like news.

But a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows our hot weather isn’t an anomaly — things have been heating up across the Midwest for the past six decades.

(flickr/Jack W. Reid)

As this year’s heat wave wears on, St. Louis city officials are stepping up their efforts to keep the death toll among the area’s homeless population from rising.

Department of Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff  says people living on the streets can be at greater risk for heat-related illness and death. 

(via Flickr/jetsandzepplins)

Gov. Jay Nixon has declared the entire state under a state of emergency, attributed to the effects of record high temperatures and record low levels of precipitation.

The declaration removes any procedural hurdles that would normally stand in the way of state agencies assisting local jurisdictions with their emergency response efforts. 

vxla / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging railroad companies to conduct frequent track inspections to prevent rail derailments resulting from heat-related track buckling.
 
The Illinois Democrat's remarks during a Sunday press conference come as investigators continue to examine the cause of a July 4 train derailment that killed two people.
 
A Glenview husband and wife were crushed by the wreckage of a Union Pacific freight train derailment that caused a suburban Chicago railroad bridge to collapse. It sent train cars crashing onto the couple's car on the road below.
 

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