Highs, Lows, Wet and Dry

2018 was an extreme year in terms of weather with high temperature records and monthly rain records in the books. This summer was hotter on average, with monthly mean temperatures climbing by as much as 6.4 degrees. 

Official climate data can be found at the National Weather Service’s website. All of the information used in this article reflects official conditions in Springfield. 

Beginning in January, the Springfield National Weather Service office recorded a high of 72 degrees, nearly 30 degrees above the month’s average high temperature of 43. Meanwhile, the lowest temperature recorded at the weather service office was -8 degrees and the month was considered the 44th coldest on record. 

February saw a high of 78 degrees and a low temperature of 2 degrees. Despite the high and low temperature extremes, February was the first month to set new records for 2018. 

On Feb. 24, a total of 2.86 inches of rain fell in the Springfield area. This broke the previous record of 2.20 inches in 2001.  Overall, this February was the wettest on record with 7.57 inches of precipitation recorded at the Springfield office. This breaks the 2008 record of 6.41 inches.

March ranked as the 45th warmest with a 1.1-degree increase in the month’s normal average temperature. The Springfield office measured 3.61 inches of rain and a trace of snowfall, with no records made. 

April was cooler than average with a -4.9 degree departure from the month’s normal average temperature, making it the 6th coldest April of recent times. The highest temperature of the month was 86 degrees, with a max low of 22. On April 15, a record high of 35 degrees was recorded in Springfield, breaking the record high of 42 set in 1993. 

May 2018 was the warmest May on record with an average mean temperature of 73.3 degrees. 

This broke the record set at 72.3 degrees in 1962. This is 8.5 degrees higher than average mean temperatures for this month of any year, with 4 days above the 90-degree mark. 

May 28 and 29 set a record for hottest days with highs of 91. This breaks the previous record of a high at 90 degrees set in 2012. Monthly precipitation was 2.28 inches lower than normal, making this past May the 25th driest. 

June was another relatively dry month with only 4.32 inches of precipitation falling over the Springfield area. High temperatures topping out at 97 degrees made June 2018 the third warmest of record with a +6.4 degree increase of the average mean temperature. 

Despite the heat and lower-than-expected precipitation, June did not break any records in the Springfield area.

August 2018 was also abnormally warm with a +2.2-degree departure from the month’s normal mean temperature, which topped off at 80.4 degrees. The highest observed temperature was 99 degrees and the lowest temperature recorded was 58 degrees. 

August rainfall was more than 2 ½ inches lower than expected for the month, making it the 15th driest August on record. Although average rainfall did not meet expectations, a record amount of precipitation (2.6 inches) fell on August 30. This broke the record of 1.66 inches set in 1888.

September was the 21st warmest on record with a maximum high of 92 and a maximum low of 45. The month’s average mean temperature was 72.6 degrees, 3.6 degrees warmer than normal.

September rainfall was also lower than expected with the Springfield office measuring 4.09 inches, more than a half-inch less than expected.

High temperatures did not start to decline until October where the maximum high was 88 degrees and the maximum low was 33. October was the 64th warmest on record with a +0.6-degree departure from the month’s norm. 

October precipitation was near normal with a total of 3.57 inches of rain measured by the Springfield NWS office. A record low was set on Oct. 15, at 47 degrees. This broke the previous record of 48 degrees set in 1943. 

Cooler temperatures settled into the region in November, making it the 6th coldest on record with 1.7 inches of snowfall, a max high of 67, a max low of 12, and 2.76 inches of measured precipitation. 

Data for December has not been made official as of publication time. However, a weather system made its way over the Ozarks Monday, prompting officials to issue a flood warning as creeks and rivers along a line between Springfield and St. Louis began to approach action and/or minor flood stage as rain fell across the region.