Despite extremes, last year's weather was just about average, officials say

Thursday, December 27, 2007

SIKESTON -- Extreme temperatures and sporadic rainfall, usually in large amounts, seemed to be the trend for 2007, but overall, the climate wasn't too out of the ordinary for Southeast Missouri.

"It looks like this year was normal, but as far as the times that things happened, that was unusual," said Dave Purdy, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky. "There were dry months and wet months, and some were a lot more wet than normal but each month averaged the same."

February was really cold and April was normal except for the freeze, Purdy said. "We had a hot spell in August and 100-degree weather. This year isn't really going to be a record-breaker as far as those statistics."

Purdy, who used information compiled by the Sikeston Power Station for the National Weather Service, said the mean temperature for 2007 was 59.8 degrees per month compared to the average of 58 degrees per month.

August had six 100-degree days, and the hottest day of year was Aug. 16 at 102 degrees, Purdy said.

"That's pretty unusual, and we had a few low (temperature) days to make up for it," Purdy said.

The lowest temperature was 5 degrees and that occurred on Feb. 5. The day before was the second lowest temperature day with 8 degrees on Feb. 4 Snowfall occurred on only two days -- Feb. 1 and Feb. 4 -- with an inch recorded for each of those days. The wettest day of the year was on Oct. 18 when 4.4 inches of rainfall was measured. The wettest month was October which had a total of 7.70 inches rain.

"Normally the average is 2.91 inches for October which is the lowest normal month of the year and actually this year it was the highest for the year.

The warmest month relative to the normal temperature was March, and that was 56.4 degrees -- or 8.7 degrees above the normal temperature of 47.7.

The coolest month was February, which was 6.1 degrees below normal with the normal being 38.5 degrees.

David Reinbott, agriculture business director for Scott County University of Missouri Extension, said Southeast Missouri's climate varied quite a bit in 2007.

"That Easter freeze injured the wheat (and the local fruit crop), and a large percentage of corn had to replanted. We had an excellent June growing season and ended up with good corn crop," Reinbott said.

"Then starting at the end of July through September, it was hot and dry. There was a lot of irrigation," Reinbott said, adding there was a low soybean yield.

Overall, the irrigated cotton was a good crop but the no-irrigated crop suffered, Reinbott said.

"I guess you always have hot and dry parts of the year," Reinbott said. "We had three or four unusually cold days with the April freeze, and that is what I remember about the year -- it's amazing how we bounced back from that."

Meanwhile, forecasters say the region will still be in a drought cycle in 2008, Reinbott said.

"But who knows?" Reinbott added.

Sikeston resident George Stevens -- who has been a local weather watcher since the late 1980s -- said when it comes to weather, one never knows what the future holds. "It's always different. You can't bank on anything. The only thing you can bank on is you don't know what will happen. "

Weather affects everyone, Stevens said. A lot of people -- from farmers worrying about their crops to someone just wanting to know how to dress for the day -- depend on knowing what the weather will be each day, he said.

And that's something that will never change.

"It's been a popular subject for a long time," Stevens said. "Weather has always played an important role in history."

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