COLUMBIA — Columbia's average temperatures so far this year have hit record-breaking highs, according to the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
Since January, Columbia and surrounding areas such as St. Louis have been experiencing unusually warm temperatures. So far in 2012, the average temperature in Columbia has been 54.2 degrees, according to the weather service. The last time average temperatures during the first of the year reached the 50s in Columbia was in 1921, when the average temperature measured 51.7 degrees.
Mark Britt, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said the start of the year was unusually warm due to certain weather patterns.
"There wasn't much chance for cold air to come down from Canada," he said.
The meteorological spring season, which runs from March through May, has continued the trend of warm weather. The average spring temperature in Columbia this year was 63 degrees. The next highest temperature average for this time period occured in 1946 when it was 59.9 degrees, according to the weather service.
It's not just Columbia and St. Louis that are experiencing high average temperatures. According to the weather service, more than half of the eastern U.S. is included in the "persistently warm weather."
The trend is likely to continue through June, July and August.
"There are slightly higher chances that temperatures will stay above normal for the summer months," Britt said.
To see more data about the warm weather, visit the St. Louis National Weather Service Forecast Office website.
Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.