Believe me, I would be the last person to crash our warm weather party, I really would... but I do think it's time for a reality check.
After a long and harsh winter, we've been treated to a full week of warmer-than-normal temperatures. The warm spell hit its climax Wednesday and Thursday of this week when the mercury jumped into the 70s. The high temperature Thursday, February 17th, came in at 76 degrees. That was just one degree shy of a 100-year-old record, and made Thursday the warmest day since November 11th of 2010 (more than three months ago).
The result was typical. Shorts came out of the dresser drawers, convertible tops dropped, and motorcycles suddenly reappeared on local highways. Windows were opened, furnaces were shut down. I half-expected to see neighbors skimming the leaves off their pools!
But wait. Isn't it still February? Still winter?
Mother Nature is about to poke us in the side and say, "Spring's not here yet, people!" We're tracking a storm system that will send a cold front across our area Monday. That front brings a good chance of rain, and a good shot of colder air. In fact, if the cold air can catch up to the moisture in time, Monday's rain could possibly end as a wintry mix or some snow, especially north and west of St. Louis. Check the latest forecast in the weather section of KMOV.com for updates.
Temperatures will rebound again later next week, but I mention this storm system just to shine a light on the fact that, as Yogi Berra would have us say it, winter ain't over 'til it's over! I learned a long time ago not to turn your back on late February and March. Consider these facts...
*5 of the top 10 24-hour snowfalls ever to hit St. Louis hit on calendar dates later than the date I'm writing this (February 18th).
*The biggest 24-hour snowfall on record in St. Louis was in late March: 20.4" on March 30-31.
*I came to work for KMOV in March of 2006. Since that time, the biggest 24-hour snowfall recorded at Lambert International Airport was from a March storm: 10" on March 4, 2008.
*The snowiest month on record in St. Louis: 28.8", March of 1912
I'm loving this spring preview as much as anyone, but I'm trying to remind myself that it is just that... a preview! I'm not ready to call a time of death on the winter season of 2010-2011 just yet. Talk to me around Easter.
-Matt Chambers, 4Warn Meteorologist