By Wally Kennedy
The winter of 2009-2010 could go down in the record books as one of the coldest in 30 years.
“An unusually persistent weather pattern contributed to this long cold spell,” said Pat Guinan, a climatologist with the University of Missouri Extension service. “One of the strongest cold snaps in more than a decade occurred during the first 10 days of January.”
Preliminary numbers rank this winter as the coldest since the severe winters of 1978-79 and 1979-80. Those ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on the coldness record.
This winter is the first since 1981-82 that below-normal temperatures were reported in December, January and February, the primary months for cold weather in Missouri.
Gene Hatch, a climatologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in Springfield, said: “We have experienced an exceedingly long period of below-normal temperatures in the Joplin area.
“The normal average daily temperature for December through January is 39 degrees. The average this winter was below freezing at 31.9 degrees.”
The average daily temperature was 4.3 degrees below normal in December, 4.1 degrees below normal in January and 7 degrees below normal in February.
“It has a lot to do with the weather pattern we have been stuck in,” Hatch said. “We have been experiencing that since last July. It’s a semi-permanent pattern in which a ridge develops over the western United States, and that creates a trough for cold Canadian air to spill into the Midwest.”
The low temperatures ensured that snow would stay on the ground longer than normal.
“It’s been quite a few years since we have had snow on the ground for a week or more at a time,” Hatch said. “It usually disappears in two to three days.”
Hatch said some parts of Southwest Missouri had at least an inch of snow on the ground from Christmas to Jan. 19. Portions of northwest Missouri reported snow totals of nearly 50 inches. Southwest Missouri received about 20 inches.
The coldest period this winter occurred in the first week of January, when the mercury dipped below zero on Jan. 8-10. On Jan. 8, the high was 8 degrees.
Hatch said the 30-day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center calls for below-normal temperatures for much of Missouri in March. He said warmer weather could arrive over the weekend into early next week.
Guinan said the weather this winter has contributed to a surplus in soil moisture, which could affect spring planting. Snow cover reduced winter grazing of stockpiled pastures. As a result, cattle ranchers were forced to use more hay than normal.
By Wally Kennedy
- Carthage, Jasper County
Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies
James R. Spradling, a Carthage attorney who was noted for his reform of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the 1970s, died at 5:50 a.m. Monday at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital.
Suspect held on gun and immigration charges
A 25-year-old man is being held on weapon charges after allegedly threatening another Carthage resident with a handgun.
Suspect in custody in robbery of restaurant customer
A 20-year-old suspect is in custody at the Jasper County Jail in connection with the robbery of a customer Friday morning at the Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Carthage.
Jasper schools locked down after liquor store robbery
Schools in the Jasper R-5 School District were locked down Tuesday at the request of the Jasper County Sheriff's Department in response to a robbery in Jasper.
Jo Ellis: Cool off with free summer concert in Carthage
The Carthage Council on the Arts is offering a concert in Central Park by the Route 66 Swing Band on Saturday, July 20. Made up of area musicians, the band will start playing at 7 p.m.
Arrests at Carthage motel linked to car dealership burglaries
Authorities believe they have solved a series of break-ins at car dealerships in Southwest Missouri and other burglaries with the arrest of a man and woman at a Carthage motel.
Special session set for contract work moving sheriff's office
The Jasper County Commission will meet in special session Wednesday to award a contract for financing work in order to remodel part of a county-owned building as the new headquarters for the Jasper County Sheriff's office.
Steadley trust planning session attracts 40-plus Carthage leaders
Carthage officials and representatives of organizations in the community gathered Friday to start a process aimed at identifying future needs that can be addressed by funding from the Steadley Memorial Trust. Discussions were led by Ralph Ochsner, a Kansas City-based consultant hired by Steadley directors to oversee the effort.
Bondswoman charged with false imprisonment
A bail bondswoman from Carthage is facing a charge of false imprisonment for allegedly attempting to put a man in jail without a judge’s order, then taking him home and handcuffing him to the banister of a staircase until a friend of the man paid her his bond money.
Man’s last statement to be given to defendant
A judge ruled Monday that the Jasper County prosecutor must provide attorneys for Darren J. Winans with a videotaped statement co-defendant Matthew D. Laurin made about the Sheldon murders shortly before killing himself.
- More Carthage, Jasper County Headlines
- Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies