The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Watch for Thursday night as temperatures are expected to dip into the upper 20s at Cape Girardeau. The watch will probably be upgraded to a warning.
The last week of October is the normal time for the first freeze, so this isn't that big of a deal. The average date of the first freeze is Oct. 26 at Paducah, KY, and Oct. 23 at Evansville, IN. The climate page on the NWS website doesn't give any freeze information for Cape Girardeau, but we're probably about the same.
No surprise: Drought getting worse
Cape Girardeau went 29 days without any measureable rainfall until yesterday's brush with The Great Chiclone Windpocalyptic Super Storm of 2010(tm) that dropped half of an inch of rain. The 8-14 day forecast calls for more below-average rainfall, so the drought isn't going to be busted any time soon. Down to the south, the Bootheel has now been upgraded (or downgraded, depending on your point of view) to a classification of "Extreme Drought."
The official long-range projection for this winter paints Southeast Missouri within a region of above-average precipitation and above-average temperatures.
Good news: We might finally start getting some rain around here. Bad news: We might get a bunch of ice storms this winter thanks to the warmer-than-normal temperatures.
Record low pressure
Yesterday's big storm unofficially set a new record for the lowest barometric pressure in the Midwest. According to Jeff Masters' blog at Weather Underground, the lowest reading was 28.20 inches (954.9 mb) at Bigfork, Minnesota. The previous record for the Midwest had been 28.28 inches during the "Great Ohio Blizzard" of 1978.
The rapid change in air pressure was the reason for all of the widespread wind damage. Since we were at the tail end of the storm, the pressure only dropped to 29.27 inches (990.9 mb) at Cape Girardeau, although that is still a very low reading.