Prolonged winter weather could delay spring storms

Mar 17, 2014

Weather forecasters say prolonged cold temperatures over the winter could cause this year's spring storm season to get off to a late start as it takes longer for water in the Gulf of Mexico to warm up.

The Joplin Globe reports University of Missouri professor Tony Lupo says spring is expected to be cooler than normal, followed by a mild summer with plenty of rain. 

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National Weather Service meteorologist John Gagan says there's also a better chance for hail with storms in the spring because mid-level temperatures in the atmosphere will still be cool.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says there have been about 50 tornadoes so far this year, compared with a typical average of about 130 nationwide by now.