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Submitted by George Elliott on Sun, 03/31/2013 - 8:48am.
Well, that sure was a cool March. Not only that, the weird thing is that it came one year after the warmest March on record for much of the country. As a matter of fact, last March we easily soared into the 70’s and even 80’s. This past March, however, we only had a few 70’s. So, what’s the deal going forward?
Weather alert! Pattern change is coming to North America. Milder breezes compared to the long-term averages will dominate this month, even if it will start off a little variable as opposed to the general monthly circulation that will enable the mild trend.
Look for above average temperatures to dominate the eastern two thirds of the country, with the exception of the Northern Plains. It will likely turn out to be substantially above normal for the South Central States. The only cooler than average temperature regime looks to be setting up along the west coast.
On a local basis, our average April highs are in the 70’s, starting out (on average) around 70, and only gradually rising to the upper 70’s by the end of the month. Remember, these are long-term (30 year) averages. Our average overnight lows start out in the upper 40’s, and rise to the middle 50’s by the end of the month. I think we’ll have plenty of 70’s, as well as a few 80’s this April. Additionally, overnight lows will likely average a little above normal, partly from the fact that I think there might be additional cloud cover at times this April compared to normal.
How about record temperatures during April? Any 100 degree days in our past? Nope. The warmest day was 95 in 1967, and coldest overnight low occurred way back in 1875 with a 28 degree temperature. I certainly do not see many if any record lows this April.
Rain is still need for the Southern Plains, Southwest, and Upper Midwest to ease severe drought conditions, but the only area likely to see above average precipitation this April is the Upper Midwest, and in particular, the Great Lakes region. They need it too, given the severely depleted lake levels. It looks drier than average along the west coast, and a little drier than average over the far southeastern U.S., but not dramatically. At least I don’t see a severely dry month, even for the Southwest.
April tends to be the driest month around normally. We’ll probably end up about like the typical April average, which gives us around 2.80 inches of rain. Any one downpour can skew the data, of course, but overall, the precipitation pattern doesn’t look too out of the ordinary. One year we had 8.21 inches of rain. That occurred in 1961.
By: George Elliott