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Weather

Longtime St. Louis meteorologist Cindy Preszler now runs WeatherSTL.com.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Despite a warming world, there’s little chance of weather becoming unpredictable – or at least less predictable than it already is. That’s according to new research from the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with local meteorologist Cindy Preszler about the findings – along with Anthony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science who helped lead the study.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri corn and soybean farmers may see higher yields this year, as scientists from the University of Missouri-Columbia forecast mild weather and moderate rainfall this summer. 

Meteorological records show that dry, mild winters typically are followed by average to slightly more than average rainfall in the spring and summer. 

"The reason why that would be is just a switch in the jet stream pattern and now is the time of the year when we expect there to be wetter conditions in April and May," said Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at Mizzou. 

A magnolia tree in full bloom at Tower Grove Park in March 2017.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The unusually warm winter in and around St. Louis has caused many flowering plants and trees, such as magnolias and peach blossoms, to bloom early this year.

But with temperatures expected to fall below freezing this weekend, experts are concerned it will affect the growing things that already seem to think it's spring.

Ameren Missouri employees work in the utility's emergency operations center Saturday, January 14, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region went into high alert Thursday ahead of forecasted ice storms.

Many schools and government offices were closed Friday, and grocery stores shut down in the early evening hours.

But in the end, the ice storm was less dangerous and disruptive than expected.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Founded in 1792, the Old Farmer’s Almanac (repository of quirky information that it is) turns 225 this year. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the latest edition of the tome and learned about what to expect in the coming year.

Naturally, we asked the question on one Curious Louis listener’s mind: “Will our winters continue to be mild in the Midwest?” Tim Clark, a contributing editor to the publication, had this to say:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time this week, when severe weather rolled through the St. Louis metropolitan area, neither Cindy Preszler nor Mike Roberts had a newsroom to check in with or viewers to inform about breaking weather alerts.

“Sitting home and watching it on TV was tough,” Preszler told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I wanted to be there.”

Weather is still top-of-mind for both meteorologists, who are also personal friends.

Water had already gathered along the curb of Olive Street outside St. Louis Public Radio by noon on Sat. Dec 26, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A three-day forecast of heavy rain and out-of-season thunderstorms has placed the St. Louis area under a flash flood watch through Monday afternoon. The flood watch began Saturday at noon.

“Even though the calendar says December, Mother Nature doesn’t think so,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Miller. “This is a system more typical of fall or actually spring.  There’s going to be some scattered thunderstorms that are going to produce some heavy rain fall.”

Rainy June leaves spotty crops in Illinois

Jul 24, 2015
Flickr/Shane McGraw

Some crops in Illinois are under water. Some have yet to be planted.

After the wettest June on record, officials in Illinois with the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week they’re seeking a federal disaster declaration to help farmers with flood-damaged crops.

"This has been the absolute worst spring for getting anything done that I’ve seen in 40 years of farming. It seemed like just as the ground was drying up, it’d rain again," said Greg Guenther, who farms east of Belleville.

St. Louis Prepares For First Substantial Snow Of 2015

Feb 15, 2015
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis area road crews are preparing for the first real snow storm of the year. The forecast is calling for four to eight inches to fall overnight, with another one to three inches expected on Monday.

According to Maggie Crane, spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, the St. Louis Streets Department began treating roads with brine Saturday and they were putting down another layer Sunday. Crane said snow plow crews are working 12-hour shifts.

July 2014 Was One Of Missouri’s Coolest On Record

Aug 1, 2014
via Flickr/Per-Olof Forsberg

Last month was one of the coolest Julys in Missouri since recordkeeping began 120 years ago.

According to State Climatologist Pat Guinan, preliminary numbers indicate that Missouri’s average temperature was just below 73 degrees, about 5 degrees below normal for July.

Guinan said that definitely ranks 2014 in the top 5 coolest Julys, and may even tie the month for second place.

Missouri also had about an inch and a half less rain than normal for July. But Guinan said that didn’t cause too much of a problem for the region because it wasn’t as hot as usual.

unshoveled walk
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Despite a persistent myth that seems to surface every time it snows, homeowners don’t increase their liability in "slip and fall" cases because they cleared the snow and ice from their sidewalks, say local attorneys.

Snow and ice are considered a normal hazard of living -- and clearing off your sidewalk is the right thing to do, said Stephen Ringkamp of the Hullverson Law Firm.

It's not often St. Louis sees nearly a foot of snow in a 24-hour period, but it has happened a handful of times since records have been kept. The National Weather Service reported 10.8 inches Sunday at Lambert Airport.

The record — unofficial because of some missing data — is 20.4 inches between March 30 and 31 back in 1890. And just last year, we saw 12.7 inches between March 24 and 25. Here's how the most recent storm compares with the top ten 24-hour snowfalls in St. Louis history:

Officials Urge Caution During Cold Weather

Jan 4, 2014
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 5:50 p.m. Monday with information from latest city briefing

Flickr/Juliancolton2

Updated January 7, 2014 with century record graphs.

The National Weather Service says the temperature reached 8 degrees below zero Monday,  this cold snap marks first time Lambert Airport has recorded a negative air temperature since 1999.

Here's a visualization of daily minimum temperatures in St. Louis for the past 30 years. Scroll down over the calendar to see later years, and hover over an individual day to see the minimum temperature recorded that day at Lambert Airport.

(via Flickr/Christian Haugen)

Updated at 4:15 p.m.

A 65-year-old Ferguson woman is the first confirmed death from heat-related causes this summer. Her body was found yesterday in her home, where the air conditioning was not working. Her name has not yet been released. 

During the current heat wave, nine people have been treated with heat-related symptoms in St. Louis County, including one patient who was hospitalized.  Six people have been treated with heat-related symptoms in St. Louis City. 

(via YouTube/NOAA)

Don't worry, no mittens, coats or hats are required to read this post.

The deep freeze much of the country has experienced this past week (along with some areas in the rest of the world) is visualized by the NOAA in this new video. It's like seeing your breath on a freezing day, but on a massive scale:

The St. Louis area may have missed out on a white Christmas – but a white New Year’s Eve looks likely.   National Weather Service meteorologist Butch Dye says a storm system will bring an inch or two of rain and snow to the area. A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 9:00 this morning until 6:00 a.m. New Year’s Day.

United Way Offers Services For Cold Weather

Dec 26, 2012
Flickr/AMagill

With the cold weather moving through the St. Louis area, the United Way of St. Louis is urging people to take advantage of its free help line.

United Way spokeswoman Carrie Zukoski  says people in need of temporary shelter from the cold, a warm meal, or even a place to stay should call 2-1-1 for help.

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can charge for stormwater service based on how much water a property absorbs.  

The decision extends a nearly four-year-old legal battle over the agency’s so-called "impervious fee." Two lower courts have ruled that it was not a fee at all, but a tax – and therefore had to be approved by voters under the Hancock Amednment.

(photo courtesy of Ron Cox)

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac ended a summer-long dry spell. But for some customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, it meant flooded backyards and basements.

For decades, MSD funded its stormwater service with a patchwork of different taxes, which allowed the agency to meet its regulatory requirements. But repairs were a different story.

Some parts of the region were flush with cash for capital projects. It took others months or years to accumulate enough funds for even basic repairs.

Earlier this year, a state appeals court struck down a potential solution - a fee based on how much water a property could absorb. An appeal to the state Supreme Court is pending.

For now, MSD has gone back to its old taxing districts - allowing the lingering problems to get worse.

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