Missouri experiences Its third warmest year in 2023

Thermometer showing warm or hot temperature
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September to November 2023 will be recorded as Earth’s warmest such period, marking a significant increase of 0.70 F (0.39 C) above the previous record set in 2015, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report utilizes historical climate data dating back to 1850.

NOAA states a 99% likelihood that 2023 will emerge as the warmest year in the 174-year history of recorded data.

The average annual temperature in the lower 48 states reached 54.43 F, ranking it as the fifth warmest year on record since 1895, based on data from NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.

Zack Leasor, University of Missouri Extension State Climatologist, notes that 2023 was a year of numerous climate extremes globally. Missouri experienced particularly warm and dry conditions. The state’s average temperature in December was 9.1 F above the norm, continuing a 14-month streak of higher-than-average monthly temperatures. “Eleven counties in northern Missouri reported their warmest December ever. Worth County, the state’s smallest, witnessed temperatures 11.5 F above average,” Leasor explains.

Missouri’s statewide average temperature for 2023 was 57.4 F. This makes 2023 the third warmest year on record for Missouri since 1895, and 2.9 F above the 1901-2000 average.

The data also reveals that Missouri’s average daily high temperatures were higher (+3.2 F) than the average daily low temperatures (+2.6 F). Howell and Oregon counties in southern Missouri experienced their warmest year on record, surpassing records from 2012 and 2016, respectively.

Missouri concluded the year with 35.89 inches of precipitation, 4.61 inches below the state’s annual average. 2023 was the 24th driest year on record. Excluding the wetter months, the April to November period was the seventh driest in history, with the 2023 drought characterizing the state’s growing season.

The only years with drier growing seasons include some of the most notable drought years in Missouri’s history: 1901, 1953, 1980, 2012, 1976, and 1930. Thirteen counties ended 2023 with annual precipitation deficits exceeding 10 inches.

For further information on Missouri’s climate, visit this link.

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