Southeast Missouri spring was wetter, warmer than normal

Friday, June 9, 2017

SIKESTON -- As Southeast Missouri transitions into summer, meteorologists have determined spring was warmer and wetter than normal this year.

The National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., this week released data for this past "meteorological spring," which is from March 1 through May 31.

Temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees above normal, with all three of the Weather Services's official climate stations -- located in Paducah; Evansville, Ind.; and Cape Girardeau -- placing in the top 10 warmest springs.

This was the ninth warmest spring on record -- the warmest since 2012 -- for the Cape Girardeau area. Evansville had its fifth warmest spring while Paducah had its seventh warmest spring on record, also their warmest since 2012, according to the Weather Service.

The greatest temperature deviations compared to normal occurred in April, while May was the coolest month (compared to normal), finishing near or just slightly above normal.

The highest temperature during the three-month period was 87 on May 27 and 31, and the lowest temperature was 17 on March 15, the Weather Service said. The record high is 97 degrees, which occurred on May 24, 1996, and the record low was -8 on March 6, 2015.

The average temperature over the three-month period in the Cape Girardeau area was 59.2 degrees with an average high of 69.9 and low of 48.5 degrees.

This spring was wetter than normal for a large portion of the region, with some areas experiencing an excessively wet to near record wet spring, the Weather Service said. The highest amounts were focused over much of southeast Missouri into southwest Illinois, where totals were anywhere from 20 to 30 inches, with some isolated higher amounts. These amounts were anywhere from 6 to 12 inches and more above seasonal normals.

However, the highest amount received in the region was 32.79 inches at Lake Wappapello.

Other rainfall totals in Southeast Missouri included: Poplar Bluff, 30.46 inches; Van Buren, 27.37 inches; Marble Hill, 27.14 inches; Perryville, 22.95 inches; Scott City, 22.50 inches; Jackson, 22.07 inches; Lambert, 21.53 inches; Fisk, 20.79 inches; and Sikeston, 19.70 inches; and New Madrid, 18.62 inches.

It was a different story across a good chunk of western Kentucky and even some far northern counties like Edwards and Wabash, Ill., where spring rainfall averaged near or even somewhat below normal, the Weather Service said.

Normal rainfall for a spring season is around 13 to 15 inches for the area. The region had several episodes of severe weather, with the most notable events occurring on March 1, March 9 and May 27.

Since the beginning of the year, the forecast area for the Weather Service in Paducah has had 23 confirmed tornadoes, with 18 of those occurring between the March 9 event and the Feb. 28 into early March 1 event.

The most impactful heavy rain/flooding event occurred during the April 28-30 timeframe, which led to water levels on many area rivers rising into major to record flood levels, the Weather Service said. This included the Current River at Van Buren which crested 8 feet above their previous record crest set back in 1904.

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