Climatologist Cliff Harris has informing his clients of a new Midwestern heat and drought pattern developing later this spring and summer that may be similar to the one back in 2012. During that year, extreme heat and dryness killed 123 people. It practically destroyed crops in the Corn Belt states in the nation’s midsection and caused over $31 billion in damages. This pattern was one of the worst since the infamous “Dust Bowl Days” of the 1930s.
Scientists are using long-term climate patterns and computer models to help predict conditions in the coming months across this country. Some of these forecasts are expecting one of the hottest summers in recent history, especially in the central portions of the country. However, another study points to a more moderate summer in the center portions of the country.
The possible heat and drought pattern in the Midwest this summer would be caused an expanding ridge of high pressure. This system has been responsible for the abnormally warm weather in the Far West since early April. Despite the clouds and much above normal rainfall in March, average temperatures in Northwest were about 2-3 degrees warmer than normal. For April, the mean temperature is about 7-8 degrees above normal levels as there were a number of afternoons with highs around 20 to 25 degrees warmer than average.
The high pressure system in the West is expected to expand and move to the east by the late spring and summer season. If history manages to repeat itself, the Midwest is expected to turn much drier and hotter, which would likely damage corn and soybean crops. Commodity prices would go much higher if this pattern develops.