...Cold Start to Spring...


Spring officially started last Thursday morning, March 21, at 6:03 AM, but it sure hasn`t felt like spring across the Missouri Ozarks and southeastern Kansas. Since that first day of spring, here are the high temperatures observed at Springfield:

MARCH 21:  36
MARCH 22:  38
MARCH 23:  41
MARCH 24:  40
MARCH 25:  32
MARCH 26:  40

Given that the first full day of spring is generally March 21st, a look back in the record books shows that this is the first time since record keeping began that the first 6 days of spring have seen temperatures at or below 41 degrees in Springfield. 

Historically, there are only a few other years that even begin to compare to spring 2013`s cold start. The spring of 1912 featured similar conditions, though only for 4 days from March 21-March 24. March 25-30 1937 (6 days) saw temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s, but the first few days of spring that year (March 21-24) brought temperatures well into the 50s and 60s.

Below are the top 5 coldest starts to spring for Springfield and Joplin based on average temperature (average of high and low):



1 - 1955 average Temp 36.1 for Mar 21-31

1 - 1955 average Temp 38.3 for Mar 21-31

2 - 1915 average Temp 37.2 for Mar 21-31

2 - 1964 average Temp 39.1 for Mar 21-31

3 - 1964 average Temp 38.2 for Mar 21-31

3 - 2013 average Temp 40.4 for Mar 21-31 *

4 - 2013 average Temp 38.6 for Mar 21-31 *

4 - 1965 average Temp 40.6 for Mar 21-31

5 - 1937 average Temp 38.9 for Mar 21-31

5 - 1958 average Temp 42.6 for Mar 21-31

* The above numbers for 2013 are based on forecast values for the 26th-31st.  Assuming these forecast temperatures verify, this will be the 4th coldest start to spring on record for Springfield over the past 118 years and the 3rd coldest for Joplin since 1902, based on average temperature.

Just looking at the chart of the normal distribution of temperatures for Springfield and Joplin compared to the actual highs and lows for March 2013, is evident that temperatures have been colder than normal since spring started. 

Finally, March 2013 has seen 4.3 inches of snow so far, which is the snowiest March since March 2008, when 6.7 inches of snow fell. The snowiest March of record was 1970, when 15.7 inches of snow was observed.


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