March is a month where much southwest Missouri sees many climate associated changes. The azimuth of the sun arcs high and higher in the sky and the temperature regime changes rapidly from a winter style profile to a much warmer spring type feeling. It’s truly a month of rapid change!
For 2021, I was hoping not to see a repeat of the year before. March 2020, not only saw extensive flooding in area parks, in and around Forsyth Missouri, but also that year witnessed the acceleration of the Covid virus.
From a pure weather perspective, the month was relatively benign with an average temperature of 53.6°F versus the normal average of 45.5°. Where it did show an excess was in the amount of rain fall we had. I recorded a total of 7.67 inches versus a ‘normal’ for the month of 4.53” (I used date from the NWS site at West Plains, Mo for this).
By the 19th of that month, water levels in Bull Shoals began to rise fairly rapidly. And, at first I wasn’t sure why that would be. After all, a few extra inches of rain, shouldn’t make that big of an impact, right?
Sure, but for two facts that happened; 1) the upper of the three reservoirs, Beaver Lake was about seven feet higher than normal coming into the month and 2) rains that did fall generally impacted a very large cross section of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. These two facts, combined in a synergistic fashion, to force the Corps of Engineers to begin releasing large amounts of water early on in the season (see photo at top).
The question remains, for 2021, as to what will actually transpire.
Note: All weather data was taken from my personal weather station located at www.taneyweather.com. Copies of the month of March 2020 are available by writing me at Forsythkid@gmail.com.