Spring arrived this morning at 6:02 a.m., but you probably couldn't tell as you were scraping frost from your car and hunting around for gloves and a coat. It's hard to believe that just last year, we started Spring with a record-breaking 84 degrees, after setting a record high of 83 the day before, and setting another record high of 83 the day after. We actually had 5 days in a row of 80+ temps that week…little did we know, we were on the way to one of the hottest and driest years on record.
But, it could be much worse ! Many Tri-Staters remember the dramatic first day of Spring in 1996. That day brought a foot of snow to much of the Tri-State, with even heavier totals north of Interstate 64.
Kenny Offil of Otwell, Indiana sent these pictures of his house on the first day of spring. Notice the snow extending from the roof all the way down to the ground. It was a wet & heavy snow, perfect for building snowmen and making snowballs, but a bear to lift with a shovel.
It would take a day of digging just to get his truck out, let alone finding the daffodils or mailbox under all that snow ! Wind whipped the snow into drifts several feet high over northern Posey and southern Gibson counties, as well as Pike county where Kenny lives.
Speaking of cars, I was supposed to pick up this beauty on that day in Poseyville, but had to wait 4 days before I could make the trip out to pick up my first-ever brand-new car. The car is a memory now…I sold it last year with just over 140,000 miles on it. The spring snowstorm, however, is burned into my memory forever.
For those who have been around a little longer than me (more than 49 years), spring snows have created lasting impressions and stories that are passed on for generations. Here's a look at some big spring snow storms. Note that 1960 was the snowiest March in Tri-State history, with over 20" of snow for the month.
And now, we turn our attention to yet another spring snowstorm that is targeting the Ozarks. This morning's 12Z models are painting a bullseye of heavy snow over southern Missouri where a winter storm watch is in effect until Friday morning. The system will steer south of the Tri-State, but we may see some showers or flurries from it as it passes Thursday night and Friday.
Here is the current winter storm watch for southern Missouri and northern Arkansas:
The good news is that the Tri-State won't have to endure a snowy start to spring, just a cold one. Temps will perk up over the weekend, along with our chances for rain.