'If you don't like the weather in the Ozarks, wait ten minutes.'
'We get up in a different world every day.'
--Ronda Young, north Greene County, Missouri, gardener
It's true. The weather in the Ozarks can be an absolute crazy quilt of sun, heat, rain, cold, wind, storms, hail, and you name it, when we least expect any of them. Why is this so? The best explanation we know comes from Rachel Snyder in her wonderful book Gardening in the Heartland. Rachel for 31 years edited Flower & Garden magazine in Kansas City and writes, We are far from climate-tempering influences--no oceans or great lakes are nearby, no mountain ranges to divert the winds, not even any great forests to help cool our summers and warm our winters. Wild extremes of temperature are commonly experienced within a short time.
How crazy is our climate? Mark this down, because for people in our part of the country, it's a life-changing fact:
The city with the most changeable weather in the United States is Springfield, Missouri.
This observation comes from the National Weather Service and is based on variations in temperature, rainfall, winds, thunderstorms, snow, sleet, hail, tornadoes, and other weather phenomena.
Of course, knowing the true extent of our climate's wackiness frees one from the almost perpetual groping for a handle on what the weather will be at any given time. Even for our best meteorologists, it's mostly guesswork.
Here are some notes on our Ozarks climate season by season: