Wild Weather – What A Difference A Year Makes

Last year, 2011, was a wild weather year across our country.  In Missouri, where we live, last year’s weather had a significant and negative impact on people’s lives.

Our first snowfall of the 2010-2011 season occurred early on December 10, 2010.

By the end of the month we were not only dealing with snowfall, but we were dealing with unusual thunderstorms and tornadoes which aren’t often experienced in the Winter months.  On New Year’s Eve 2010, a tornado ripped through the St. Louis county suburbs of Crestwood and Sunset Hills destroying entire neighborhoods and many businesses.

In January, 2011, the snow continued to fall.

Our average snowfall is 18.6″ for an entire season.  In the 2010-2011 season, we would end up with a total of 36.8″ of snow.  Now that may not seem like a lot of snow in some areas, but it taxed our highway department’s snow removal systems and caused schools to have more snow days than were allotted.

Added to the snow were many days of extremely cold and icy conditions.

By February, we were beginning to wonder if Winter would ever end.

But the snow kept on coming.

Finally, we made it to Spring, but a few days later we had yet more snow!  The trees were already in bloom and were covered in wet snow.

A mere eight days later, the snow was finally gone, and we were already cutting grass.

Unfortunately, Spring brought more tumultuous weather – lots of rain, wind, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.  Our NOAA weather radio went off continuously.  We learned to take the sound of the tornado sirens seriously and head to the basement.

We lost a tree, but many others lost their lives, homes, and businesses.

On Good Friday, April 22, 2011, a tornado ripped through the St. Louis county suburbs of Bridgeton, Ferguson, and Maryland Heights and closed Lambert International Airport which was severely damaged.  If you drive down the highway to the airport, even today, you will still see evidence of the tornado damage on the trees and on the boarded up and tarped over homes.

On May 22, 2011, an EF5 tornado blew through southwest Missouri destroying 25% of the town of Joplin and killing 160 people.

We continue to help the communities in our state cope with the losses of these devastating storms as they rebuild their homes and lives.

We ended up with an unusually hot Summer with very little rain.  Our gardens suffered.  Planting schedules were disrupted in the Spring by wild temperature swings, wet weather, and wind.  Then we immediately entered a very hot and dry Summer season.

This year’s Winter weather has been unseasonably mild by comparison.  Our first measurable snowfall did not occur until December 27, 2011, and, while we have had a few dustings since then, our local school district has had only one snow day this season.

Winter is not yet over.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means six more weeks of Winter.  While there is still time for some wintry weather, we continue to enjoy unseasonably, warm weather.  After last year, we needed it.

I am looking forward to planting my garden already and have continued to harvest some of my herbs all Winter long.

We just hope that our Spring and Summer weather continue to be as uneventful as our Winter weather because we sure don’t need a repeat of last year.

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