1980 United States heat wave
The 1980 United States heat wave was a period of strong heat and drought. It caused serious havoc and damage in the Southern Great Plains and much of the Midwestern United States during the summer of 1980. It was one of the most devastating and damaging natural disasters in terms of deaths.
The heat wave first got started in June 1980. A strong high pressure area began building in the central and Southern United States. That allowed the temperatures to soar to 90 °F (32 °C) almost every day from June to September. This high pressure system acted as a cap on the atmosphere. That prevented thunderstorm development and caused severe drought conditions. But the heat wave broke when the dying Hurricane Allen stopped the weather pattern.
The heat wave and drought led a number of cities in the Midwest and South to have record heat. In Kansas City, Missouri, the high temperature was only below 90 °F (32 °C) twice. In the same city, the high temperature hit 100 °F (38 °C) 17 days in a row. In Memphis, Tennessee, the high temperature reached 108 °F (42 °C) on Sunday, July 13. It was part of a 15-day stretch of 100 °F (38 °C) temperatures that lasted from July 6 to July 20.
The agricultural damage by the 1980 heat wave and drought was over $20 billion (1980 USD). That allowed the temperatures to soar to 90 °F (32 °C) almost every day from June to September. This high pressure system acted as a cap on the atmosphere.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, high temperatures exceeded 100 °F (38 °C) a total of 69 times. Forty-two of those were consecutive days. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the high temperature hit 113 °F (45 °C) on two days: June 26 and 27.
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