“It has a lot to do with the weather pattern we have been stuck in,” said Gene Hatch, climate specialist with the weather service station in Springfield. “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.
“It’s not a conducive pattern for significant severe weather.”
Hatch said the 30-day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center calls for a slight shift to above-normal rainfall and below-normal temperatures in April.
Last winter was a bit rough on Joplin’s severe-weather sirens. Tests this spring showed that three sirens had bad batteries, one had a blown fuse and one had a bad wire. Joplin controls 22 sirens within the city, two in Airport Drive and one in Duquesne, according to Keith Stammer, Joplin’s director of emergency management.