Deadly arctic storms, freezing rains and thunderstorms, Missouri has seen it all so far this past spring. As we enter into warmer months, local farmers are hopeful for a good planting season.
Crops like wheat are planted a week before or after the first frost. Come late-March, early-May, rain is needed for moisture as the crops come out of dormancy.
“Moist soil helps to activate herbicides, if they’re being used, and that way they will better control the weeds that they’re trying to target,” said Kelly Smith, director of marketing commodities for the Missouri Farm Bureau.
Mid-Missouri got a taste of tornado season Thursday as the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southern Boone County. To get some historical perspective on how twisters have ravaged the U.S., we've built a map showing all of the nation's tornadoes from 1950-2012. It uses data from TornadoHistoryProject.com, which in turn pulls its numbers from the weather service's Storm Prediction Center.
January in Columbia had no shortage of brutally cold days. But despite an abnormally icy stretch early in the month that closed schools as far south as Atlanta (some blamed it on the “polar vortex”), Columbia did not break its January record for low temperature.
Jon Carney, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, says while drivers were experiencing patchy ice on the roads throughout the morning, that isn’t expected to last much longer.
At around noon, temperatures at the Columbia Regional Airport ticked above freezing, and Carney says in Columbia, he expects temperatures will stay above freezing until the sun starts to set Friday night. He says drivers can expect wet roads for the afternoon commute. He says the sleet and freezing rain should turn in to rain before 1:00pm, and then turn to snow in central Missouri between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
Drought remains a threat to Missouri, despite the wet spring and improved rainfall this summer.
Right now, a large portion of northwest Missouri is experiencing moderate drought conditions, while the rest of the state is classified as either “abnormally dry” or normal.
“We are looking at abnormally wet conditions along the Mississippi River and points to the east, where things get progressively wetter across parts of south-central Illinois," said Mark Fuchs, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in St. Louis.