Weather warms up after Friday snow

Monday, December 16, 2002

Sunday's mid-50s temperatures and clear skies were a stark contrast to the snow and sleet that covered roads and forced local schools to let out early on Friday.

"It's great to be able to get out of the house during this time of the year," said Leanne Hopper of Cape Girardeau.

Hopper brought her son, Ashton, to Capaha Park Sunday to enjoy the sunshine and warm air.

"It's so nice just to get outside, go to the park and play," Hopper said.

According to The Weather Channel, the average daily high temperature in Cape Girardeau for December is 45 degrees. Sunday's high temperature was 54 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

KFVS meteorologist Jordan McCollum attributed the drastic shift in weather to changes in the jet stream.

The jet stream, high-altitude and high-velocity winds that move west to east, sank to the south late last week and brought in the cooler air and snow, McCollum said.

"The jet stream has lifted, and a ridge has built in and allowed for the warm-up," McCollum said.

While temperatures may drop a few degrees today as a cold front moves in, McCollum said the outlook is mild for the entire week.

Temperatures are expected to be back in the 50s on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In Cape Girardeau, residents took advantage of the weather to work in their yards, ride bikes and stroll along the streets downtown.

Ten-year-old Ashley Carr of Fruitland and her stepfather, Wes Borgfield, donned T-shirts and spent Sunday afternoon playing basketball at an outdoor court in Arena Park.

"It's such a big change from earlier last week," Borgfield said. "But this is more what I'm used to. The snow and cold air was out of place for this time of the year in Missouri."

335-6611, extension 128

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