HONOLULU (KHON2) — The summer is here and so is the heat. While we haven’t see the triple-digits some parts of the mainland are dealing with, lots of folks are still fighting to keep cool.

High-pressure systems and drought have led to record temperatures and the hottest June on record in the United States. The high-pressure systems are called blocking high-pressure systems. Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Alison Nugent says they’ve supercharged a two-year drought in the western United States.

“The sun shines down heats up the soil and heats up the soil which is already dry, and comes right back into the atmosphere right where we live,” Dr. Nugent said. “That heat has been adding up accumulating over days and weeks, that’s why we’re seeing the super high temperatures in the western US.”

“This type of warming pattern has been witnessed globally,” Dr. Nugent said. “Every single continent every single year we’re seeing record high temperatures set year after year. So this type of pattern is expected to continue because climate change effects that are causing it are not changing.”

Locally we have been fortunate to have a mild summer with temperatures mostly in the 80’s.

“Our temperatures are primarily controlled by the sea surface temperatures near us.” Dr. Nugent said. “Right now we are headed towards or are in a La Nina pattern where we have cooler than usual sea surface temperatures.”

With more expected heat in August and September, HECO says you’re likely to see a bump in your electric bill.

Rising prices of oil are one reason, but another is usage increases 10% from June-October. Even if your usage is the same it might still cost a bit more.

“What happens is you may not be changing any of your habits,” HECO Spokesperson Shannon Tangonan said. “You may be using the same temperature or setting on your air conditioner. You may not even be using your air conditioner but you have other appliances that have to work harder in the heat.”

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