KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Newly released research shows it’s possible St. Louis and Kansas City could be experiencing their coolest summers for years if changes aren’t made.
The First Street Foundation released a new report Monday. The group says it uses peer-reviewed research to create a comprehensive climate risk.
According to the report, the outlook isn’t good, and Kansas City could be right in the middle of what’s being referred to as a new “Hazardous Heat Zone.”
The foundation said it came to the conclusion by using data from the US Federal Government and third-party data.
It determined the middle of the country is at greatest risk of dangerous heat waves and extreme temperatures. First Street Foundation defines “Extreme Danger Heat” as forecasts where a Heat Index is above 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The group’s data predicts the extreme heat will increase 13 times over the next 30 years and eventually impact about 107 million people in 2053.
One of the reasons the middle of the country is impacted so greatly is because it is landlocked and doesn’t have large coastal areas to help lower temperatures.
In addition to record temperatures, First Street Foundation’s model also shows Kansas City will likely have longer heatwaves and more 100-degree days every year.
If there is any good news for the Kanas City area in this report, it is that the metro isn’t expected to be the most impacted area of the state.
That being said, the First Street Foundation predicts the entire state will see temperature increases over the next three decades.
In St. Louis County, temperatures are expected to increase to 108 degrees. In 2021, St. Louis County is predicted to have a week where temperatures are at, or above, 108 degrees.
The foundation predicts the number of high heat days will triple, to 21 days of 108-degree weather by 2053.
The Kansas City area will follow the same trend, but the number of high heat days is expected to be around 14 by 2053, and heatwaves aren’t expected to last quite as long as the St. Louis area.
In Kansas, Greeley County in the western part of the state is predicted to see the largest increase in the number of hot days over the next 30 years.
In 2022, the First Street Foundation expects the county to experience seven days where temperatures are at or above 98.5 degrees. The group predicts that to jump to 20 days a year in 2053.
The report is also concerned about the lengthening of heatwaves across the state. On the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro, the First Street Foundation predicts heatwaves of 100 degrees or more that last about six days. That doubles to heatwaves that last around 12 days over that same time period.
The West Coast has the highest probability of experiencing record high temperatures, while the Gulf and Southeastern Atlantic areas will have the longest heatwaves, according to the First Street Foundation.
The foundation points to the area from Texas to Chicago at greatest risk for temperatures with a heat index above 125 degrees.
The full National Risk assessment for Hazardous Heat is available on First Street Foundation’s website.