Dave Murray’s Long-Range Spring 2013 Forecast

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-It was a winter season full of interesting weather. We have had some snow situations. We had some real see-saw temperatures but also some very impressive arctic outbreaks. It was a real reminder that last winter was a freak of nature. This spring will not be an easy transition from winter to the warmer months. We can’t forget that some of our worst snowfalls have happened in March, with our heaviest snow on record at the end of the month. So lets see if this month is more spring or winter or we are just stuck. Here’s a look at March in St. Louis.

Data pix.

March 2013

This looks like an interesting month of weather over the region, not our typical month of March. Winter patterns try to break down and break-down quickly and it looks like the lamb rather than the lion will win out. There will be some temperature battles, but I don't see a lot of swings. Warmer weather takes control. I’m thinking temperatures will end up a little above average when we factor in the entire month. Looks like spring-time will flex its muscles. There will be some chilly to cold times in the first 10 days, but after that some rather pleasant weather should take hold. This will be a concern for an early start to the blooms on the trees, so we will focus on the apples and peach trees. Plus that means an early start for the pollen season. Like last March, the allergies will flare early and hard. Gardeners will really start to get the itch and heating bills will ease.

Limited temperature swings mean the storm patterns will go rather quiet. I see a shot at a cold rain and some snow early in the month, thinking in the first 10 days. Then after that any moisture we see will be in the form of rain. However, I don't see a lot of rain thunderstorm action. Though we have made some small in-roads into the drought, a dry March will bring drought talk back to the front page. Also, the lack of an active weather pattern will keep the rivers, both large and small, down. Flooding is not an issue this March.

Things to look for in March:

  • The red maples begin to bloom
  • The ticks start to appear
  • The purple martins arrive

March 2013 Highlights:

  • After a chilly start, spring will get a jump start
  • A shot of snow early but rain and snow will be below average
  • Limited thunderstorms and river flooding is not a concern

Data pix.

April 2013

In my book, April is one of the great months of the year when it comes to weather. Variety is king all month long as winter really lets go and the spring atmosphere takes hold. Even for St. Louis, it is typically a wild month where just about anything can happen. It can still snow. There could be big rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes and, for all that to happen, wild temperature swings. There is never a dull moment and that always means tough forecasting, short and long term. But that’s why it’s one of the great months. Here's a look at April in St. Louis

The month of April will be two steps forward and one step back. Temperatures will see-saw on us much of the month, especially in the first 15 to 20 days. Then spring will take solid control and lock in for the end of the month. The vegetation will already be thinking spring with the warmth I’m expecting in March. With a temperature roller-coaster setting back in, we have to be on the alert for a late season frost and freeze just when we’ve stopped thinking about cold weather. The last 10 days of the month will bring a fast warm up. As a result of that temperature surge, the temperatures this April should end up near to a little above average It looks like a mild to warm month.

Because the month will bring back the classic spring temperature swings, we should see an up-tick in rain and especially thunderstorms. I'm expecting the severe storm system to get going and be rather active. The rain will help the drought situation in the short term.  The strong thunderstorms will lead to flash flooding on the small rivers and creeks and result in a pop in the major rivers. I know it’s hard to think about in the overall drought weather pattern, but in April we will have to watch the rivers in times of strong thunderstorms, especially the small rivers. Even the big rivers can pop very quickly. Thinking we will see 3 to 4 severe weather events. That’s pretty active and, in turn, I’m thinking April will end up on the wet side.

Things to look for in April:

  • The tent caterpillars start to appear
  • The hummingbirds start to return
  • Robins and other birds start to build their nests

April 2013 Highlights:

  • Classic temperature swings return for much of the month
  • Concerns of a late season frost or freeze
  • An up-tick in rain and storms...flashing flooding a real watcher

Data pix.

May 2013

It is time to wrap up the last month of the spring forecast, the month of May. May is also a wild month, but it is a different kind of wild. Spring is in solid control and hints of summer will start to show up. So over the two months of April and May we swing through three seasons: winter, spring, and summer. As a result, May has a real bad-boy image. It can be a rock and roll month with the focus all on thunderstorms. But it’s also a month that brings some wonderful weather to get out and enjoy St. Louis.

This May it’s all about mild to warm temperatures from start to finish. Spring is in solid control and there are some signs that we could see some big May heat for the last quarter of the month. A run towards record highs, expecting to see some 90's get into the picture by the end of the month. So, I’m thinking May will bring above average temperatures with a shot at the month’s temperatures being well above average. Even in a warm month, I always keep one cool idea on the table and that’s what is known as the "Blackberry Winter". This happens many times in May. It is a strong cold snap, day and night around the 11th of May. It may be tough this month, but I just can't take it off the table. That cool snap will be the exception to the rule this May.

Looking at moisture patterns it is a fast jump back to dry weather and that would be very strange for a May in St. Louis. It is typically a rather wet month. I don't see it this May and the drought muscles its way back into control. Now it is May and you have to expect thunderstorms, but I think those outbreaks will be below average, only thinking 2 to 3 severe weather events. That would be really weird. However, when these limited events rear their heads they will bring some wicked weather: lightning, hail, wind, and possible tornadoes. Though I’m thinking drought, these thunderstorms will pop some fast, flash flooding. The big rivers will be okay.

Things to looks for in May:

  • Watch for lightning bugs on warm evenings
  • Chigger season begins
  • Coyote pups begin emerging from their dens

May 2013 Highlights:

  • Mild to warm temperatures...above average except for "Blackberry Winter" time
  • Rainfall below average...more drought in play
  • 2 to 3 severe weather events...below average

Spring 2013 Summary

So let’s sum-up this next spring season. This is not going to typical this year. There will be some wild temperature swings but overall we jump into spring early and stay there and as we reach into May and thoughts of summer will be dancing in our heads. Though there will be thunderstorm action in the month of May, it is limited. April will prove to be our active month for strong to severe storms. That is the time to really stay up to date on the short term forecast. But this spring will also bring some wonderful weather. So give yourself and family some extra time to get and about. It should be excellent for outside plans. Enjoy because summer will soon be knocking at the door, but that’s for my next long range forecast.

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