Patt Morrison for August 2, 2011

A change in the weather - West Coast stays cool while East and South bake

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A corn crop dries up in a field July 28, 2011 near Perryton, Texas. A severe drought has caused most dry-land (non-irrigated) crops in the area to fail and forced farmers to abandon some fields in order to conserve their limited resources.

Turned on your air conditioner yet? Normally by August 2nd, Southern Californians have been baking in 95-100+ degree heat for a couple of weeks or more already, but this year is different. While the Mid-west, South, and East Coast are struggling with record breaking temperatures lasting a record breaking number of days, the West Coast is relatively and unusually cool. Indeed for much of the rest of the country July was truly a scorcher, with high temperatures breaking or tying records 2676 times, nearly double the number of 2010. Does this weather pattern signal a major change for us, who have grown to expect hot, hot beach weather all summer long, or is it just an anomaly? We check in with weather expert Bill Patzert at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the forecast.


Bill Patzert, research oceanographer and climatologist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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