March 2012 will likely become one of the top 5 warmest on record. The current average monthly temperatures across the region are already in the top 4 with more warm weather anticipated for much of the remainder of the month. The following is a list of the current average monthly temperatures and where they stand historically for some locations across the Ozarks...
|March 2012||Avg Temp||Departure||Rank|
|Joplin||57.6||+9.9||Tied 3rd Warmest|
|West Plains||57.3||+11.3||1st Warmest|
An interesting note is that for nearly all locations...the current average monthly temperatures for March matches another recent year with a warm march. Both Vichy/Rolla and west plains exceeded March 2007 which was previously the warmest march on record for those Locations. For Joplin march 2007 was the 4th warmest...exceeded by only this march and 1907 at 59.6 and 1910 at 62.4 degrees respectively. Springfield is closing in on 1907 which had an average monthly temperature of 56.1 followed closely by 2007 at 56.3 and 1910 at 57.0 degrees.
While the current warm trend looks as though it will continue based on the latest model trends...the average date the Ozarks region experiences its final spring freeze is around April 16th. If the region were to see a period of cold temperatures after such a warm period...the effects on area vegetation would be similar to those experienced in the spring of 2007. The national weather service in Springfield will continue to monitor the latest model information as the region moves into the spring season.
Here is a map which will update daily showing the latest freeze information across the state as we head into Spring.
And...here is the average last freeze date