As we head into the final weekend of February I am reminded why this is a real benchmark month for me. First and foremost March is the start of the "Meteorological Spring". Huh? Typically we consider the Spring Equinox as the official start of the Spring. This year that occurs at 5:31 PM on March 20. The date and time of this equinox changes every year. So to be more consistent and ease record keeping Meteorologists and Climotologists just consider 3 full months per season:
March, April and May - Spring
June, July and August - Summer
September, October and November - Autumn
December, January and February - Winter
So happy Spring everybody! I'm sure you've heard us remind our viewers that the greatest 24 hour snowfall total on record in St. Louis was 20.4 inches on March 30 and 31, 1890. As the atmosphere over the United States starts to warm it's capacity for water vapor increases. If a potent southern track storm has access to Gulf of Mexico moisture it can dump serveral inches of heavy wet snow on our area. The difference between these late Winter/early Spring storms is that they are rarely followed by bitter cold air. As a result the snow usually melts pretty quickly.
No, Winter still isn't over yet. But the worst is probably behind us. Here in the Storm Center our concerns start to turn toward severe storm season and the threat of flooding. Although the first part of March is expeced to be a little on the cool side keep in mind that the normal highs for this period are in the mid 50s. The bad news is precipitation across the northern tier of states is expected to be above normal. That - combined with snow melt to the north and high soil mositure content here - will likely result in flooding here this Spring.
But it's almost Spring and that's a good thing. So get outside and enjoy when the weather permits and stay tuned to News 4 and KMOV.com and we'll keep you posted on any severe weather or flooding threats. - Kent