Report shows Midwest is heating up

Aug 1, 2012

According to a new study, the Midwest 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.

The study found that on average, some Midwestern cities like St. Louis now have twice the number of very hot, humid, summer days as it did in the 1940s. Nighttime temperatures are also on the rise, and heat waves of three or more days are becoming more common.

In a conference call with reporters, report co-author, climate scientist Todd Sanford, said these changes aren't limited to large urban centers - smaller towns like Columbia, Missouri, show similar trends.

"The changes for St. Louis aren't simply due to an urban heat island effect, but seem to indicate longer term changes in the background climate," said Sanford.

Some St. Louis leaders on the call said more needs to be done to prepare for extreme heat in our region, including redirecting funds to help residents pay for higher summer utility bills.