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Insider Blog: The science behind extreme heat on the West Coast and its link to mid-Missouri’s forecast

Heat Advisories are in place for potentially record breaking heat in southern California.

Los Angeles International airport has the potential to break a record every day between now and Sunday.

Of course, making the situation more complex is the large influx of likely non-acclimated people to the area for Sunday's big game, where temperatures will likely still be in the 80's at kickoff.

This heat wave is due in part to something we call a Foehn wind, or a warm downslope wind. Locally, this is better known as the Santa Ana winds.

These push dry air over the San Bernardino Mountains, causing it to fall and compress on the leeward side. This air warms as it compresses, raising temperatures by several degrees at the surface.

Also influencing this warmth is a ridge of high pressure acting as a heat dome over the West Coast. This allows for the combination of even more compressing air and abundant sunshine.

This ridge is a large feature on the west coast; large enough that it's impacting our weather in mid-Missouri.

This will continue to keep mild conditions around until the ridge collapses and allows for a much larger wave to move in from the northwest. This brings the possibility of another disturbance and a shot at some colder air by the middle of next week.

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John Ross


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