A heavy dose of severe weather is likely this spring for the metro-east.
The AccuWeather meteorological service predicts rapidly-rising temperatures in April that will fuel waves of strong thunderstorms throughout the month.
Stable air in place across the central plains and the Mississippi Valley during March and early April will help to hold back severe weather, according to AccuWeather long-range meteorologist Paul Pastelok. But that will change as we move into April and storms from the Southwest lead to severe weather in the Midwest and Mississippi Valley regions.
“Intense warmth ahead of these storms coming out of the west is going to promote severe weather,” Pastelok said. “Those are the ingredients you need.
“The thing that worries me the most is that it could turn into heavy rain producers that could lead to flooding,” Pastelok said. “And we’ve seen lots of flooding already over this past winter season in the Mississippi Valley.”
The early summer-like heat is expected to potentially lead to drought conditions in the upper Midwest, potentially stretching down across the entire state of Illinois.
The National Weather Service’s three-month outlook released in late January also predicts a warmer spring than usual. But rain is expected to be slightly less than usual during that time period.
Regardless, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Britt said April is just too far off to make an accurate projection.
“I wouldn’t read into those projections that we’ll have any specific conditions,” Britt said. “At this point we would not try to anticipate any weather conditions.”
While St. Louis-area residents have begun to think about spring because of record temperatures in the past few days, he cautioned people not to look past the winter months.
“If you look at the temperature projections for the next 14 days, you’ll see that we’re headed back to below normal,” Britt said. “We’re still in February when the high is typically 42. So it’s a little too early to be worried about spring storms.”