Friday, June 5, 2009

Exploring Missouri's Climate

Missouri is an interesting state to live in if you like weather because there is a pretty high variability in the climate depending on where you live.

This is something I didn't know until I started researching this morning, but if you take a line and draw it diagonally (southwest to northeast) and cut the state in two -- you will find some of the largest diversity of climate characteristics along this line.

And this really makes sense since Missouri lies center of the nation. Think of the size of the state alone. The northern end often catches cold fronts that move out of Canada but don't have enough dynamics to move all the way across the nation.

And the southern end of the state can catch warm fronts moving up from the Gulf of Mexico, but are blocked by other weather features and so they don't make it all the way across the state.

There are no geographical barriers in Missouri that impact weather systems moving through. (i.e. something like the Rocky Mountains)

Spring and fall are transition months for the state of Missouri, sometimes bringing rapid changes in the weather with large temperature and precipitation swings.

Summers can become hot and dry if high pressure builds over the middle of the country.

In the next blog we will dive in and explore temperature patterns across Missouri.


  1. My wife is born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She moved to Oshkosh, WI in 2000.

    In my time spent in MO, mainly the STL area, I've experienced a major snowstorm, an icestorm or two, and what I would consider a heatwave. I recall a year or two when WI was threatened with a brown Christmas... I'd get my white Christmas in STL.

    From my point of view, it's an extreme climate with extreme heat during the months of June thru September with lawns drying up real quick. We decided to get married there in the early part of April in 2005... it was a treat. Sunny with temps in the 70's. The trees and flowers were blooming, couldn't ask for anything better.

    Coming from a Wisconsinite... it's a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. ;)

  2. We live in NW Missouri in Nodaway County.

    It seems like the really bad weather runs from the SW over Kansas City NE to St. Louis or from the NW over Omaha, NE across Southern Iowa below Des Moines. Some MO counties had grapefruit and baseball size hail last night, but we only got 1/4" size hail sometime during the night. Amount and time is known. Should we try to file an incomplete hail report or just make comments, as above, in our regular percipitation report?