Tuesday's warm weather defrosts Columbia

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | 8:36 p.m. CST
Nader Yanis and Catherine Terbrock take the boardwalk toward Devil's Icebox at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park on Tuesday. The couple saw the warm weather — Tuesday's high was 62 degrees — as an opportunity to get outside.

COLUMBIA — Columbia basked in some late winter warmth on Tuesday, when the temperature reached a high of 62 degrees, according to the National Weather Service website.

The flags above MU's Jesse Hall snapped in the wind that reached speeds of 30 mph. Melting snow and ice made the ground swollen with mud.

More of the same is expected Wednesday with temperatures in the low 50s and a possibility of thunderstorms and hail in the evening. The temperature on Thursday will be in 40s and could be back to 50 degrees on Friday, said Jon Carney, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

Columbia's colder-than-normal temperatures were caused by air currents bringing frigid air farther south than usual. A persistent trough of high pressure in the western U.S. and persistent trough of low pressure in the eastern U.S. pushed the air currents farther south, Carney said.

These troughs disappeared, he explained, allowing the jet stream to return to normal and triggering Columbia's respite from a frigid winter.

“The jet stream is back to a more seasonable position at the moment, it’s going almost east to west across country right now," Carney said.

Supervising editor is Elise Schmelzer.

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