The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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May 1, 2013

Snow? In May?

No snow this late in May since 1929

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — April showers bring, uh, snow in May?

Don’t be surprised if you look outside Thursday night or Friday morning and see snow falling.

Winter just will not let go.

“Looking at the model, it does appear that we could see a period of where we have snow and rain, and then all snow Thursday night,’’ Gene Hatch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in Springfield, said Wednesday.

“It will cover grassy surfaces. It won’t be much and it won’t last long because the ground is too warm now for it to stick.’’

If it snows on Friday, it could be the latest snowfall on record in Southwest Missouri.

The Springfield weather office does not have records for late snowfalls in Joplin, but it does for Springfield.

“The latest measurable snow for Springfield occurred on May 2, 1929. This is unusual,’’ said Hatch. “We could push the record by one day if it snows on Friday.’’

The precipitation will be generated by a cold front that will arrive in the Joplin area late Wednesday night. Temperatures will begin falling after midnight and continue to fall in the morning as the cold air pushes into the area.

“Temperatures, right now, could be fairly cold Friday morning at about 33 degrees,’’ said Hatch. “But, we will have significant cloud cover with this and a chance of precipitation. With temperatures at or above freezing, cloud cover and a chance of precipitation, there is no chance of frost.’’

If you were under the impression that this spring was colder than normal, you would be correct. The average temperature for March and April was 49 degrees. That compares to an average temperature of 61 degrees for the same period of 2012.

Hatch said the March/April period for Joplin was the sixth coolest on record.

Drought over

The rain last week has virtually ended the drought in Southwest Missouri, said Gene Hatch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in Springfield,

“Joplin is back to where it needs to be. The precipitation this weekend, which could measure 1.5 inches, should take care of any residual drought,’’ he said.

The forecast heading into next week is uncertain with models depicting a general warming trend with the potential for unsettled conditions.

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