Thursday, May 16, 2013

April Recap - Cold, Snowy, Wet, and Dry

The weather during April 2013 was, in so many words, all over the place. Record cold and snow dominated the north-central U.S. Record rainfall and colder than normal weather plagued the central U.S., delaying spring planting and causing major flooding. Dry weather in the southwestern U.S got drier and drought conditions worsened there. April was also drier than normal in the northeastern U.S.

Here are some April statistics from the National Climatic Data Center. Some of these are preliminary and may change as new data arrives and is tabulated.

  • North Dakota had its coldest April on record, 9.9°F below average.
  • South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Wisconsin each had a top ten cold April.
  • It was the 7th coldest April on record for Alaska.
  • Approximately 3,430 record low temperatures and about 4,050 record cold daily high temperatures were tied or broken. In comparison, approximately 690 record warm daily high temperature records and 1,570 record warm daily low temperatures were tied or broken. (These numbers are preliminary and are expected to change as more data arrive.)
  • Duluth, MN had its snowiest month on record with 50.8 inches of snow, breaking the old record of 50.1 set in November1991. The previous record for the snowiest April was 30.6 inches in 1950.
  • The April snow cover extent in the U.S. was the 5th largest on record.
  • The April average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. tied with 1953 as the 19th wettest April on record.
  • Iowa and Michigan both had their wettest April on record.
  • Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin each had one of the ten wettest Aprils on record.
  • While drought conditions improved in the central U.S., they worsened in the southwestern U.S. California experienced its driest January-April on record with only 27% of average precipitation. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was only 18% of normal.

Here is how the states ranked for temperature and precipitation.

You can read more about the April weather on the National Climatic Data Center's State of the Climate National Overview page, including narratives of regional highlights provided by the Regional Climate Centers.

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