Heat Wave | St. Louis Public Radio

Heat Wave

Flickr | Paul Downey

The “heat dome” has arrived in Missouri, in which high temperatures and high humidity have teamed up to unleash incredibly uncomfortable hot weather. According to the National Weather Service, the daytime heat index is expected to exceed 105 this week in the St. Louis area. City officials have warned the public how dangerous the heat can be, especially for children, the elderly and those without air conditioning.

This blowup hit Highway 54 in Callaway County during June's heat wave.
Provided by Missouri Department of Transportation

The recent heat wave has damaged several highways across Missouri, especially in the central part of the state.

At least a dozen incidents of buckling concrete, sometimes called "blow-ups," were called in to MoDOT during the recent heat wave. It occurs when the surface of a road expands at a crack or joint where water has seeped in.

picture of glaring sun
Flickr | Username psd

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat advisory for the St. Louis area until 7 p.m. Thursday. Temperatures are expected in the mid-to-upper 90's, with high humidity levels, on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Those who need relief from the heat can seek shelter at cooling stations across the area.

The Salvation Army routinely responds to heat advisories by opening cooling centers where people can rest in air conditioned rooms and receive cold water. The cooling centers will remain open during their individually posted hours until the heat advisory is lifted.

Why Complaining About Hot Weather In 2012 Made Sense

Jan 8, 2013
(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.

So Far, 2012 Warmest Year On Record In St. Louis

Nov 26, 2012
(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."

Extended heat takes its toll with deaths, illnesses

Aug 9, 2012
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.
 

New report: in St. Louis, higher temps are the new normal

Jul 31, 2012
(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. 

Durbin urges railroads to do more inspections

Jul 22, 2012
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.
 

Morning headlines- Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jul 12, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Heat wave death toll rises

The death toll from the recent heat wave in St. Louis is up to 14.

The city announced yesterday that four more individuals- three men and a woman- had succumbed to the triple-digit temperatures. The exact circumstances of their deaths were not provided.

The rising death toll has prompted Mayor Francis Slay to create a coordinated severe weather response program that will include the city's health, human services, public safety and building departments.

Hot tea on a hot day? Not for me, thank you. Not my idea of how to cool down.

Morning headlines - Monday, July 7, 2012

Jul 9, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Storms bring some relief to St. Louis

Strong thunderstorms that moved through the St. Louis area last night have brought some relief from the extreme heat that’s been pounding the region for the last two weeks.

The ten days of triple digit temperatures fell just three days short of the 1934 record, when high temperatures hit 100 degrees or more for 13 days straight. The summer of 2012 is only three weeks old, but eight record high temperatures have already fallen.

Morning headlines: Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jul 8, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Early drought exacting a toll on regional corn farmers

Extreme heat and drought are driving down what many farmers expected to be a bumper corn crop.  

Back in March and April, warm weather had Midwestern farmers planting corn at a record setting pace.

In Illinois alone, an estimated more than 13 million acres of corn were planted this year.  

Now, many growers are in full on damage control as record setting heat continues to drive down expected yields.

We all know it's been tremendously hot outside lately here in the St. Louis region, but how widespread is the heat? NPR's "The Two-Way" says "in the seven days ended Thursday, 2,155 daily high temperature records were set in communities across the nation." Check out the maps from the National Climatic Data Center in their post via the link.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis city officials are going door to door to check on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents as high temperatures persist across the region.

About 60 city staff members are following up with nearly one thousand residents who haven’t responded to robo-calls from the Mayor’s office.The elderly and disabled residents are listed on the city’s Functional Needs Registry.

The house-to-house effort even included Mayor Francis Slay, who was out knocking on doors Tuesday.

Morning headlines - Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jul 3, 2012
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Nixon seeks permission to ease land restrictions during drought

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has asked the federal government to allow farmers to graze cattle on land that's been taken out of crop production as part of a federal conservation effort.

Farmers in the state have about 1.4 million acres of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays them to plant other vegetation instead of cash crops like corn or soybeans. Livestock grazing is allowed on the land when there's a 40 percent shortage of hay and precipitation.

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