By any measure, this has been a mild winter in Missouri and the warm weather the state is enjoying in early February is beyond surprising. That's caused many to ask is winter really already over or is Missouri in for a shock back to reality? Spoiler alert - it's probably that second one.

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The weather this weekend has been spectacular in Missouri and the forecast for the next week looks even better as far as temperatures go. These are the temperatures compared to what's normal for Missouri this time of year.

Infographic, National Weather Service
Infographic, National Weather Service

I decided to do some digging and found that the NOAA Climate Prediction Center presents an optimistic picture for all of February.

NOAA Climate Prediction Center
NOAA Climate Prediction Center

This has many asking if winter is already over or should we expect a shock back to reality before the temperatures warm up for good. For the likely answer to that, let's look back at history.

The National Weather Service in St. Louis shared the following weather events that have happened in March. Here are some highlights that might give us a glimpse at what is potentially heading our way in the next few weeks.

  • March 2, 2002 - Vicious winter storm slammed central and northeast Missouri with sleet first and then 6 inches of snow and 20 to 30mph winds which brought travel to a standstill.
  • March 5, 1960 - The lowest temperatures on record were recorded in the history of March with St. Louis at -5 below, Columbia at -9 below and Quincy, Illinois a frigid -13 below.
  • March 4, 2003 - A wicked ice storm followed by up to 8 inches of snow in parts of Missouri made travel almost impossible.
  • March 8, 1999 - Late season winter storm pounds Lewis and Clark counties in Missouri with 8 inches of snow.
  • March 12, 1937 - Columbia, Missouri records an astounding 12.8 inches of snow in the middle of the state.
  • March 20, 2006 - A winter storm surprises much of Missouri and central Illinois with up to 8 inches of snow.
  • March 31, 1890 - Up to 20 inches of snow is dropped on the St. Louis, Missouri area marking the greatest ever snowfall in a 24-hour period.

My point is that it's fairly common for Missouri to have late season winter events that can include sleet, snow, ice and/or high winds. Perhaps we shouldn't claim victory over winter in Missouri just yet.

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Gallery Credit: Canva

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