Wacky Weather: From Hot To Cold In The Blink Of An Eye


Alexis Smith, Editor

This past week has been absolutely insane. It went from getting a heat stroke by just standing outside to Jack Frost’s Winter Wonderland in a matter of days. Kentucky weather is normally crazy, but this year seems like an extreme compared to previous years. In the past, around this time, the weather gradually gets colder, leaves fall off trees, and fall greets you like an old friend. Today, the leaves are still green, the temperature dropped rapidly, since summer temperatures lasted longer, and the drop has caused many people to fall ill due to temperature change. This doesn’t seem like a gradual change due to the changing of extremes. But why did this happen? 

More and more extreme weather has been happening all over the world, such as devastating floods, droughts, and storms. This would be surprising for most, but climate scientists have already predicted that this would happen as more greenhouse gases accumulated in Earth’s atmosphere. Certain extreme weather events have long been anticipated, just like the pronounced warming in the Arctic. 

“Climate models have predicted amplified warming at high latitudes and increasing intensity of precipitation and flooding,” says Ken Davis, who studies Earth’s weather and atmosphere at Penn State University. In fact, says Davis, these extreme events have been predicted for decades.

Although they’ve seen it coming, why has it been happening so extremely in Kentucky? Through most of the summer, states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana, to name a few, have been going through a very long drought. This means that the longer the drought, the higher the temperatures get due to less water and humidity. The sun makes the ground hotter and the ground, in turn, projects the heat back into the atmosphere (Kaufman), making the air even hotter. 

When it rained, it took all the hot, dry air and humidified it. Water molecules were being transported to the ground, making the ground and air cooler. While this was good for the drought, it has made Kentucky immediately colder.

There’s no telling whether or not if short-shorts and tank tops should stay out of the closet, but one thing is for sure: Winter coats are definitely needed.