« Western Michigan Weather News

Ag. Weather Outlook 3-18-2014

by Tim Abramowski

NOAA’s near-term outlook keeps colder than normal air firmly entrenched over Michigan.  Like Bruce Mackellar tells me – daily averages are climbing, so being 10 to 15-degrees below the mark is not as bad as it would be during January or February.  Cooler soils can lead to delayed planting, perhaps reduced insect pressure and the risk of an abbreviated growing season should conditions persist long enough.  Another factor that delayed spring can bring is the later onset of the severe storm season.  With spring officially arriving this week we know that season will eventually arrive.  March 18, 1925 it did with a vengeance in the form of a tornado – or possibly, tornadoes – that left a 200-plus mile damage path from southeast Missouri to southwest Indiana.  The tri-state tornado took nearly 700 lives making it the worst disaster of its kind in U-S history.  The storm killed 33 farm operators.  That’s a large figure, especially for the time.  Farm folks in an age before modern storm monitoring technology were usually the most weather wise and kept a much closer watch on the sky than did city cousins.

Rick Shields