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Science and the Environment

August Climate Report Shows Unusually Cool Temperatures for the Ozarks

Scott Harvey

August brought some of the coolest conditions on record for parts of the Ozarks, with West plains experiencing its sixth coolest month and Joplin its 12th.

That’s according to the National Weather Service Climate Report for August.

“It is more of a Northwest flow pattern aloft, which has brought more systems to the area and cooler than normal temperatures.”

Steve Lindenberg is with the weather service office in Springfield.

“Basically we had a fairly cool month across Missouri Ozarks with a couple of our areas in the top 10 coolest both West Plains and Vichy were in the top ten coolest months on record,” says Lindenberg.

Central Missouri by contrast was actually drier than normal.

“A lot of times, this time of year, we have an upper level ridge sitting over the area and it will bring hotter and drier air to the area,” Lindenberg says.

That ridge, according to Lindenberg, has typically stayed to the west this summer season and has not brought the usual hot and humid conditions.

In addition to cooler temperatures, the region experienced more rain than usual. August contributed 2.58 inches of rainfall above normal. Springfield had its 17th wettest August, while Joplin had its fourth wettest month.

Lindenberg cites the most obvious sign of a wetter and cooler August is greener grass. Unlike any August in recent memory, he says lawn mowing duties have been more frequent.