Home / News / March, April temps reach extremes in Missouri

March, April temps reach extremes in Missouri

Agriculture.com Staff 04/16/2007 @ 9:34am

It was a marvelously balmy March, followed by a chilling April encore that hit unsuspecting Missouri and its agriculture like a sledgehammer.

"What we have witnessed in Missouri in the past three weeks is nothing short of incredible," says Pat Guinan, University of Missouri (MU) climatologist.

"The two-week period from March 21 through April 3 was the warmest for those 14 days in 118 years. Temperatures across Missouri were 14 to 16 degrees above normal," Guinan said.

Due to an artic cold front April 3, the next six days were the coldest Guinan can find in the record books during those 118 years. "So in three weeks we go from a very unusual mild period to an unprecedented cold period," he says in an MU report.

Bill Wiebold, MU agronomist, says, "The soil temperature will be most critical to the state's corn crop that has been planted and sprouted."

As soon as the corn plant is visible above the soil surface, the growing point is about three-quarters of an inch below the surface. If temperatures go to freezing at that level, there is likelihood of damage, Wiebold says.

Guinan says the combination of temperature extremes is "nothing short of remarkable."

"It goes down in the books as an unprecedented three-week climatic event with two temperature extremes experienced statewide," he says.

Record lows were recorded across the state on April 7 with temperatures in St. Joseph dipping to 17 degrees. Joplin recorded 19 degrees, 11 degrees below the old record. In Columbia, the low was 19 degrees, beating the old record of 25 degrees set in 1898.

Indications are that temperatures will not return to near normal until sometime next week. Generally, temperatures around mid-Missouri this time of year are in the mid-60s, but they are now in the upper 40s, he says.

It was a marvelously balmy March, followed by a chilling April encore that hit unsuspecting Missouri and its agriculture like a sledgehammer.

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
Cool Tools Christmas Edition: Part 2