Spring in October

The southerly flow ahead of an approaching cold front has brought the feel of spring to the October landscape of central Missouri.  Were it not for the colorful leaves, browning lawns, Halloween decorations and subdued birdsong, one would think that it is May.

High pressure to our east, in combination with the storm's central low, is sweeping warm air and Gulf of Mexico moisture into the Heartland; our afternoon high is expected to reach 70 degrees F and the unstable atmosphere will ignite bands of thunderstorms, some of which may be severe.  Indeed, large hail fell in northwest Missouri this morning and, over the next 24 hours, we may receive 2 to 3 inches of rain.  Further south, where the air temperature and humidity are higher, tornados are expected across eastern Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

On the positive side, this latest storm, which is bringing heavy snow to the higher elevations of the Wasatch and Rocky Mountains, is not expected to produce blizzards on the Northern Plains; in addition, along its southern margin, it will sweep plenty of moisture across drought-plagued Texas.  Here in Missouri, where the rain is also welcomed, this bout of spring should ensure one more round of mowing before winter sets in.