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Science and the Environment

Ozarks Weather Expected for the Rest of Summer

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KSMU
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photo credit: National Weather Service

With the spring and summer months comes severe weather season here in the Ozarks. KSMU’s Taylor Vance reports on what conditions to expect for the next several weeks.

As we approach August, the severe storm season in the Ozarks will turn from tornado-producing storms to those that produce isolated damaging winds. The two most common threats for this time of the year are rainfall and lightning.

Steve Runnels, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, says the tornado producing season is over, but severe weather is still a threat to the Ozarks.

“Traditionally March through early June is our primetime of the year so from the sense of tornados, yes but we are turning into a different season with damaging winds, flash flooding, and lightning still need to be watched out for, said Runnels.

Flash flooding tends to increase and because of more outdoor activities, lightning causes more fatalities.

Nationwide, there has been about a 20% decrease in tornados compared to normal. In the State of Missouri, the average number of tornadoes is about 33, which occur mainly during the the spring to early summer. To date, only about 20 tornadoes have been reported.

Lindsey Day is a meteorologist for KOLR 10-TV.  

“As far as what we can typically expect for the rest of the summer, it gets hot it gets humid.
Typically our high temperatures are going to be about 90 degrees in the heat of the summer, [and] we’re going to get that humidity coming up from the Gulf,” said Day.

While this week is abnormally cool, Day expects summer heat and humidity to return to the Ozarks this summer.

“Heat is always an issue especially because that is the number one weather-related killer so that’s something that we always have to be cautious about especially in this part of the country for this time of the year,” said Day.

So while the peak of severe weather season has passed, there are still potentially dangerous weather conditions to be aware of.