Heat has Columbia guessing

But record-tying day doesn’t necessarily mean a warmer winter, scientists say.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Columbia’s warm weather, which tied a 1931 record of 81 degrees on Tuesday, has left some residents trying to predict this year’s winter.

“I think it might make winter a little later,” Columbia resident Brian Olinger said. For others like Renee Kientz, also of Columbia, the warm weather is odd. “I remember having ice storms in November,” she said.

Some scientists said a warm fall doesn’t necessarily mean a warmer than average winter.

“It is very difficult to use November weather to predict the winter season,” said Tony Lupo, an MU associate professor of atmospheric science.

Lupo said the unusually warm weather is caused by a strong jet stream that is preventing cold air from moving into the Midwest. He said he does not expect the warm weather to persist and predicts temperatures will cool down by next week.

However, Missouri may experience a warmer winter than usual this year, said meteorologist Jim Kramper of the National Weather Service. Kramper added that the country as a whole is expected to have a warmer winter than usual.

The warm weather will affect the current waterfowl hunting season, said Jim Loveless, Eagle Bluff’s wildlife management biologist.

“This warm weather delays a migration of waterfowl from northern prairies,” Loveless said.

He added that deer season, which starts this weekend, may also be affected by the warmer than usual weather because hunters will stay out longer.

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