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Climate | Weather or Not!

Climate


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Aug 012012
 

July 2012 Temperature Departure

August is here, July is behind us and of course, it was very hot and very dry!

Most of the Ozarks came in 5-6 degrees above normal.  Springfield Missouri recorded nine record high temperatures and and few record high low temperatures as well.  All of the major reporting stations in the area reported similar stats.  Springfield’s hottest day was 106°. West Plains reached 107°, Joplin hit 109° and Rolla topped out at 104°

Clouds and sprinkles on the last day of the month almost kept temperatures “cool” enough to change our average temperature ranking but with a high of 95°, our average temperature climbed to 84.3°.  The chart included shows the ranking of this July and it looks like fourth (preliminary numbers).  July of last year was just a touch hotter.

Temperature
Year
85.5 1934
84.8 1954
84.6 2011
84.2 1936
83.9 1901
83.7 1980
82.0 1986
81.6 1966
81.3 1978
80.9 2006

July 2012 Temperatures

It was a dry month. Ironically, the most rain fell in the driest areas of the Ozarks but of course this was still way below normal and barely put a dent in the extreme drought conditions.  Rainfall was spotty and generous to a select few area. Rolla (Vichy Airport) had a total of 4. 85″, most of that falling in two rain episodes early in the month. In striking contrast, Joplin had on a trace of rain!!  Springfield only recorded about a third of an inch of rain. making it the driest July on record.

The Springfield National Weather Service has another July 2012 summary here.

May 012012
 

April 2012

April 2012 was another warm month for Springfield. The average temperature was nearly four degrees above the 30 year normal. It was the sixth month in a row of above normal temperatures. Nine of the past twelve months have seen above normal temperatures.

Springfield saw near normal rainfall for the month. However the Ozarks was divided in half overall with more generous rains to the north and less to the south. Areas northwest of Springfield saw rain totals more than 3″ above normal while areas of south-central Missouri and northern Arkansas experienced much drier conditions, as much as 4″ below the norm. West Plains had their sixth driest April on record.

April 2012 Precipitation

We had two wet periods in the month. The first was the 13-15th when 3.21″ inches of rain was recorded. The last occurred in the last days of the month, a rainy period which put down .77″ (storm total into early May was .90″)

Rainfall Departure from Normal

Severe weather pretty much left us alone during the month. Aside from an anomalous weak tornado in the wee hours of the 30th in Hickory County, we had very little in the way of severe wind or hail in the area. Much of the area was under a tornado watch on the 15th, the day after the tornado outbreak in the Great Plains but we had virtually no reports of any severe weather.

We did have a rare “heat burst” occur in the pre-dawn hours of the 25th. The Springfield National Weather Service has an excellent explanation of this atmospheric phenomenon.

The National Weather Service also has a review of the month of April on their web site.

 

Apr 012012
 

March 2012 was the warmest on record! With an average temperature of 58.1, we beat out the old warmest March in 2010 by a half of a degree.

Just looking at the temperature graph, it was pretty incredible. We had 4 days eighty and above. 15 days in the 70′s It only dropped to freezing or lower 8 times, all in the first 10 days of the month.

A record high was tied on March 13th at 82 degrees. It was a very warm week. Humidity flowed freely from the Gulf of Mexico but a lack of fronts or strong weather systems aloft meant rain and storms were rare and random. There was a pocket of rain and hail to the east of Springfield on the 13th.

The “wet week” started as a push of powerful jet stream winds made its way into the central U.S. I took advantage of the Gulf humidity and the fast jet stream winds to go on a storm chase to Oklahoma on Sunday the 18th. Eventually, this system would “cut-off” and slowly move over the south central U.S. and in fact track right over the Ozarks. We were for the most part spared of any severe weather (there were a few isolated wind reports) as this system first started affecting the area. It was mostly a heavy rain producer.

Precipitation fell as all rain expect for a trace of snow on the 8th. Most of the Ozarks had above normal precipitation (insert), thanks mostly to the mid-month low mentioned above. Areas of northern Arkansas, and extreme southern and southwestern Missouri had between 6-8 inches of rain for the month on average with locally much more.

The Springfield National Weather Service review for much of the Ozarks can be found here.

Precipitation Departure from Normal March 1-30 2012

Mar 092012
 

Springfield Temperatures Winter 2011-2012

As you already know, no snow! Or very little this winter 2011-2012.  Can it snow in March? Yes. Will it? Not likely!  The pattern into the middle of March looks quite warm.

Temperatures

Winter goes in the record books as the period of December, January and February.  In Springfield, all three winter months recorded above normal temperatures.

There were a total of 14 sixty-degree high temperature days over our winter months with the highest reading of 69 occurring in January.

Our coldest mornings, 10 degrees on both days, came to us on the weekend of February 11/12 (right before the “snowstorm”)

Missouri as a whole recorded its third warmest winter on record going back 117 winters.  Most of the country was above normal with many states in the northern and northeastern U.S. within the top five warmest on record.

The lower 48 states recorded the 4th warmest winter on record and the warmest since the year 2000.

Precipitation

The snow total stands at 2.8″ which is in a tie for second on the least snowiest winter list with winter 1931-1932. Nearly all of the Springfield snowfall came on two “events”: a post cold front on January 11/12 and what I would classify as the only storm of the season on February 13th.  The February system dumped over 5 inches of snow to locations east of Springfield but only officially accumulated to 1.7″

In terms of precipitation, Springfield came in at 6.15″ which is on the dry side of normal by 1.88″

NOAA’s Report on Winter

NOAA Review of Winter for the Lower 48 States

Lots of States Above Normal Winter 2011-2012