Climate and monthly weather forecast
Missouri, USA

Flag of Missouri, USA
Flag of Missouri, USA

The climate of Missouri

Missouri has humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfa) in its northern portion and humid subtropical (Köppen climate classification Cfa) type of climate in its southern part. Summers are hot and long, while winters are cold and snowy. Extreme temperatures routinely register in Missouri due to lack of mountain ranges and large water bodies. The cold Arctic air and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico mainly influence the climate. Part of the American Midwest, Missouri shares borders with Illinois in the east, Kentucky and Tennessee in the southeast, Arkansas in the south, Oklahoma in the southwest, Kansas in the west, Nebraska in the northwest, and Iowa in the north.

Missouri, the Cave State, has an average elevation of 244 meters above sea level, with the highest point at Taum Sauk Mountain at 540 meters. The Missouri River runs through the center of the state and along with major tributaries, joins the Mississippi in the east. The topography consists of rolling hills in the north, fertile plateaus in the south, forests, rivers, and karst formations with caves and sinkholes. The Bootheel region in the southeast corner is the state's most fertile land and the flattest, wettest, and warmest part. Earthquakes have occurred in the Bootheel region in the past.

Summers are hot and humid in Missouri with average high temperatures in the 80°F (26.7°C) to 90°F (32.2°C) range, but it is common to observe many days together that remain above 100°F (37.8°C). June is the rainiest month, but July and August in the summer experience occasional incidences of extreme precipitation. Winters are long, cold, and icy in the majority of the state but mild in the southeast. Nights are often freezing, with temperatures below 0°F (-17.8°C) in many places. The cold season is the driest period of the year, yet the precipitation is significant. Spring is mild but prone to thunderstorms and tornadoes. Autumn is pleasant, marked with a decrease in rainfall by late fall.

The annual rainfall in Missouri ranges from an average 40" (1016mm) in the north to 45" (1143mm) in the south. Precipitation occurs throughout the year, but spring is the wettest season, and April to June is generally the wettest period. Snowfall is moderate to heavy, with an average of fifteen snowy days in the year that gathers 15" (381mm) to 20" (508mm) of snowfall. Missouri receives ample sunshine of at least 2500 to 2800 hours annually across the state. The average relative humidity lies between 65% and 70% and is at the highest during spring and summer.

Warsaw holds the record of the highest temperature of 118°F (47.8°C) on July 14, 1954, in Missouri, and also of the coldest recorded temperature of -40°F (-40°C) on February 13, 1905.

The best time to visit Missouri

The best time to visit Missouri is during the fall season, especially during September and October. The summer temperatures ease considerably during the autumn, and the humidity gives way to pleasant weather. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are rare and lack intensity at the end of summer. April and May have comfortable temperatures, but Missouri is wet during the spring season. September sees the leaves changing colors, while October is the period of peak fall foliage across the state. The autumn has many festivals, and the season is lively with beautiful weather.

The worst time to visit Missouri

The worst time to visit Missouri is from December to February in the winter. The cold season occasionally records extreme temperatures that dip below -20°F (-28.9°C) during the night, while the days scarcely cross 40°F (4.4°C). Snowfall is frequent in the winter and often registers in large amounts. Ice storms occur during the cold season that stalls the movement of vehicles and people. Arctic winds from Canada and the northern plains invade the state as there are no high mountain ranges to act as barriers. Wind increases the effect of the cold manifold. The skies remain gloomy in the absence of adequate sunlight.

Weather hazards

Missouri is vulnerable to droughts, thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes in the spring and summer, and ice storms in the winter. Severe thunderstorms occur during spring and summer. Rivers and their tributaries flood during late spring with the melting of snow. Heavy rains during thunderstorms cause flash floods. The northern part of the state is colder than the rest of the state and prone to ice storms. The southeast region of Missouri has a history of moderate-intensity earthquakes. Missouri lies in the Tornado Alley of the United States and is prone to storms of EF4 strength and, occasionally, an EF5. Missouri registers an average of 35 tornadoes annually.

Weather in Januar

January is usually the coldest and snowiest month of the year in Missouri, with extreme temperatures occurring infrequently. The average low temperatures are below freezing, between 14°F (-10°C) to 28°F (-2.2°C), while the average high temperatures are in the cold 33.1°F (0.6°C) to 46°F (7.8°C) range.

Weather in Februar

February is a cold winter month in Missouri with mild days and freezing nights. The skies are gloomy except for periods of warm sunshine on both sides of noon. Day temperatures are in the average range of 39°F (3.9°C) to 51.1°F (10.6°C), while nights are bitter and icy between 18°F (-7.8°C) to 32°F (0°C). Snowfall is regular but rarely accumulates on the ground for long periods in the plateaus and southern regions.

Weather in April

April is warm and wet in Missouri with comfortable weather and partly cloudy skies. The average high temperatures are in the wonderfully warm 62.1°F (16.7°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) range, while nights are mild in the 39°F (3.9°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) statewide. Weather in April »

Weather in Jun

June is the wettest month of the year in Missouri that brings moderate to heavy rainfall in the state. Thunderstorms bring the majority of rainfall, which can cross 5" (127mm) to 7" (178mm) in 24 hours. The average high temperatures are between 80.1°F (26.7°C) to 87.1°F (30.6°C), while the average low temperatures are in the 61°F (16.1°C) to 66°F (18.9°C) range.

Weather in Jul

July is by far the hottest and sunniest month of the year in Missouri, with occasional instances of extreme rainfall. The humidity goes up to 90% during the mornings in Kansas City and Saint Louis, which are pockets in the state that experience the urban heat island effect. Day highs often cross 100°F (37.8°C), with the central Ozarks cooler than the southern portion of Missouri.
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