The heat wave and drought continue across much of the nation, with more than 55% of the land now in a drought. NOAA meteorologist says the weather effect known as La Nina is slowing weakening, which has been responsible for the heat and dry conditions. Experts say a mild El Nino will replace La Nina by mid-September.
With the arrival of an El Nino, it will bring more storms, “and hopefully meaningful rainfall” says Illinois Governor Pat Quinn who has already declared many Illinois counties a disaster, which clears the way for federal assistance.
Temperatures are expected to top 100 again in many parts of the Midwest and eastern states with no immediate relief coming as the high-pressure system that dominates the center of the U.S. remaining mainly in place, with a small shift west expected in a few days.
La Nina is a warming of Pacific equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean forcing the jet stream to stay north and storms to bypass much of the central and southern states.
El Nino is a cooling of the same waters, which allows the jet stream to move farther south, thereby bringing needed rains to the central and southern states and keeping temperatures down.
Experts at NOAA say despite the harsh conditions, this is still nothing close to the massive drought back in the early 1900’s called “The Great Dust Bowl.”