My office at the medical school commands a broad view to the west and, at noon yesterday, I looked out on an idyllic scene; bright sunshine, blue skies and a warm, southwest wind brought the look and feel of mid spring to mid Missouri. However, on closer inspection, I could see a swath of haze across the northwestern horizon and, within a few hours, a wall of clouds had taken its place.
By late afternoon, most of the sky was covered with a thick, gray overcast and a chilly, west wind had replaced the mild southerly breeze; our noontime high of 65 degrees F had dropped into the low fifties. Overnight, as the cold front passed to our east, strong, northwesterly winds rattled the windows and sent a deep, intermittent roar through the barren trees. While the snowfall will remain to our north and east, we won't get out of the forties today and a gusty north wind will make it feel much colder.
The weather gyrations of spring have begun, as winter and summer battle for the Heartland. Pacific storms will invade our region on a regular basis, preceded by a moist, balmy flow and followed by a winter wallop. This seasonal war, however uncomfortable, will provide shallow pools and flooded fields for migrant waterfowl and will set the stage for the warm, fragrant, verdant days ahead.