Mild weather returned Wednesday with afternoon highs in the upper 50s and low 60s. This is very close to “normal” highs for mid-March. The warmer temperatures won’t be here long though. Another major cold snap will sweep into the area by the weekend.

A strong cold front will lead the way to the colder pattern and will bring showers and thunderstorms to the Ozarks Thursday and Thursday evening. It will also bring gusty winds. A Wind Advisory has been posted for areas west of Hwy. 65.

Lightning and locally heavy rainfall are possible, but it looks like strong to severe storms will remain south of most of the Ozarks. There may be just enough instability nosing in ahead the cold front for a few marginally severe storms south of a Joplin to Harrison line early Thursday evening.

Rainfall totals will tend to come in under an inch.

There is a chance for a brief turnover to light snow north of I-44 late Thursday night, but at this stage, it’s not expected to make much of an impact. A dusting on grassy surfaces and rooftops looks possible near and north of I-44.

Thursday’s cold front will tee up another early Spring cold snap. Temperatures Friday through the weekend will run about 15 to 20° below normal with highs in the upper 30s and 40s and lows dipping into the upper teens and 20s.

The cold pattern will ease next week with another storm moving through sometime from mid to late in the week.