11 Aug '11, 6pm

Why was July 2011 so hot across the US? Here's a great #explainer by @matmcdermott that lays it all out.

Why was July 2011 so hot across the US? Here's a great #explainer by @matmcdermott that lays it all out.

In the southern states, particularly the southern Plains, afternoon high temperatures have consistently been particularly extreme, assisted by how dry the soil is. Rather than some of the sun's energy going into evaporating soil moisture, it gets efficiently converted into quickly-rising temperatures each day. And in turn, the soil dries out even more, worsening the drought. Immediately adjacent, it's been the opposite, with exceptionally wet conditions including record flooding. Soil and crop moisture evaporating will boost the dewpoint, which translates to how humid the air feels. Dewpoints and heat indices are expected to rise to exceptionally high levels as far north as parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota this weekend into early next week.

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/08/why-was-july-2011...

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