APRIL 2014


1st-5th…Heavy rain soaked the southern and eastern Corn Belt, while a late-season blizzard struck portions of the northern Plains and far upper Midwest. Weekly rainfall totaled 4 inches or more from the lower Missouri Valley into the lower Ohio Valley, triggering lowland flooding. Farther north, wind-driven snow blanketed the Dakotas and neighboring areas on the last day of March.  . By week’s end, however, the return of heavy rain again fell across the South, except in the southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather, accompanied by occasional gusty winds and warmth occurred across the southern half of the Plains. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather prevailed in the Southwest, but

California experienced a late-season precipitation surge. Although California’s moisture arrived too late to avert significant summer drought and water supply impacts, short-term benefits included temporarily reducing irrigation requirements and easing stress on pastures and rain-fed crops. Early in the week, heavy precipitation ended across the Northeast. Daily record totals for March 30 included 2.02 inches in Harrisburg, PA, and 1.34 inches in Bangor, ME. Harrisburg also received snowfall totaling 0.3 inch. Snow lingered into March 31 along the northern Atlantic Coast, where Islip, NY, received a daily-record total of 4.6 inches. Meanwhile, storminess spread from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains. In Idaho, daily record precipitation amounts for March 30 reached 0.82 inch (including 5.3 inches of snow) in Pocatello and 0.67 inch in Idaho Falls.  To the east, gusts to 67 mph in Colorado Springs, CO, and Imperial, NE. Farther west, another round of heavy precipitation reached the Pacific Coast States on April 1, when daily-record

totals climbed to 1.35 inches in Sacramento, CA, and 0.37 inch (along with 3.3 inches of snow) in Pocatello, ID. On April 3-4, snow returned to areas from the central Rockies into the upper Midwest. Daily record snowfall totals for April 3 included 6.0 inches in Colorado Springs, CO, and 3.0 inches in Norfolk, NE. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, April 3-4 snowfall totaled 6.5 inches. Meanwhile, heavy rain erupted across the southern Corn Belt. During the first 4 days of April, rainfall totaled 6.35 inches in Columbia, MO; 6.24 inches in Evansville, IN; and 4.68 inches in Lawrenceville, IL. A significant part of that rain fell on April 3, when daily record amounts included 4.96 inches in Evansville and 3.99 inches in Columbia. Later, in the wake of the northern Plains’ blizzard, temperatures plunged to daily-record levels on April 1 in locations such as Miles City, MT (4F), and Pierre, SD

(8F). The following day, Grand Forks, ND, collected a daily record low (-6F) for April 2. In stark contrast, temperatures climbed to daily-record levels for March 2 in Southern locations such as Ponca City, OK (87F); Lynchburg, VA (88F); and New Bern, NC (89F). The warmth lingered for a few days, resulting in daily record highs of 90F (on April 4) in New Bern and 87F (on April 3) in Montgomery, AL. In the West, however, cool conditions led to scattered daily-record lows, including 30F (on April 3) in Lancaster, CA, and 30°F (on March 31) in The Dalles, OR.


6th-12thDuring the first half of the week, significant precipitation fell across the South. Rainfall topped 4 inches in many locations, triggering some lowland flooding from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Southeast. However, a few areas, including southern Florida and the western gulf coast region remained mostly dry. Farther north, early-week rainfall topped an inch in parts of the Ohio Valley, prolonging a period of lowland flooding that had begun in early April. Some of the most extensive flooding affected the White and Wabash River basins in southern Indiana. In contrast, mild, dry weather covered the remainder of the Midwest until week’s end. Generally mild, dry weather also covered the Plains. The

week ended with as many as four consecutive 90F days in Texas, culminating with a push of 90F  heat into central Kansas on April 12. Elsewhere, very warm, mostly dry weather dominated the West. However, the early season heat also melted mountain snowpack and boosted agricultural irrigation demands in California and the Desert Southwest. At week’s

End, an impressive spring storm began to take shape over the nation’s mid-section. By April 12, strong thunderstorms with large hail and high winds developed from northeastern Kansas to Michigan. At the same time, unusually cold air began to arrive across the northern Plains. On the morning of April 13, temperatures dipped below 10F in parts of Montana. Early in the week, heavy rain soaked the South. Monroe, LA, netted a daily-record rainfall of 3.82 inches on April 6. The following day, record setting southeastern amounts included 2.52 inches in Alma, GA; 1.64 inches in Greensboro, NC; and 1.63 inches in Danville, VA. Meanwhile, snow blanketed portions of the Rockies and the Intermountain West. On April 6-7, Gothic, CO, received 7 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. Following a period of relatively tranquil weather, stormy conditions developed at week’s end across the nation’s mid-section. On April 12, there were several reports of hail at least 2 inches in diameter In Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois. During the night of April 12-

13, thunderstorm wind gusts in Iowa were clocked to 54 mph in Dubuque and 59 mph in davenport. Dubuque also received very heavy rainfall 3.41 inches on April 12-13 aided by a daily-record total of 2.77 inches on the latter date. Florida’s peninsula experienced record breaking, early-week warmth. On April 7, daily record highs included 91F in Melbourne and 89F in Ft. Myers. The following day, Additional daily-record highs in Florida reached 92F in FT. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, warmth also covered the West. Record setting highs for April 8 were established in locations such as Long Beach, CA 92F, and Yakima, WA 79F. By April 9, high temperatures soared to daily record levels in numerous California locations, including Escondido 94F, Santa Ana 92F, and Burbank 91F. During the mid- to late-week period, record breaking heat reached the central and southern Plains and the Desert Southwest. In southern California, Thermal posted a daily record high of 99F on April 10. Las Vegas, NV, notched consecutive daily record highs 91F and 92F, respectively on April 10-11. Farther east, record setting highs on the Plains included 97F on April 11 in San Angelo, TX, and 91F on April 12 in Salina, KS. In contrast, very cold air arrived on the northern Plains, sending temperatures to daily record levels by the morning of April 13 in Montana locations such as Dunkirk and Great Falls both 6F.


13-19thA spring freeze reached deep into the southern Plains and Southeast. Near  to below normal temperatures dominated east of the Rockies, and weekly readings averaged more than 10F below normal parts of the upper Midwest. In contrast, consistent warmth covered California, the Great Basin, and the Desert Southwest. As cold air swept across the central and eastern U.S. early in the week, rain changed to snow. Widespread but short lived snow accumulations were noted across portions of the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast from April 13-15. In addition, early week rainfall totaled 2 inches or more in many locations from Iowa to Michigan, triggering some lowland flooding in the Great Lakes region. Lowland flooding also developed in parts of the Southeast, as weekly rainfall totaled 2 to 4 inches or more. Farther west, spotty, early week precipitation in the Plains yielded to cold, mostly dry weather. Temperatures rebounded late in the week, maintaining drought stress on the southern Plains’ rangeland, pastures. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather dominated the Far West, except for scattered showers from the Northwest to the northern Rockies. California’s meager snowpack began to melt, while agricultural irrigation demands increased under the warm, dry regime. Early in the week, warmth lingered in the East in advance of a strong cold front. Daily record highs for April 13 included 85F in Elkins, WV, and 79°F in Watertown, NY. Farther west, however, extremely cold weather invaded the nation’s mid-section. Record setting lows for April 13 plunged to 6F in Great Falls, MT, and 12F in Casper, WY. Cold air also spilled across the northern Rockies, resulting in daily record lows for April 14 in Idaho locations such as Pocatello (16F) and Idaho Falls (17F). Meanwhile in Nebraska, Alliance (10F) also posted a daily record low for April 14. Dozens of daily record lows were established on April 15-16, as cold air engulfed the eastern two-thirds of the nation. In fact, consecutive daily record lows were broken on those two dates in Marquette, MI (-1 and -5F), where the latest sub-zero readings on record occurred on April 15-16 (previously, -3F on April 10, 2007). In  general, the coldest day on the Plains occurred on April 15, when daily record lows included 8F in Aberdeen, SD; 18F in Russell, KS; and 24F in Amarillo, TX. The following day, Southern records for April 16 dipped to 24F in Frankfort, KY, and 32F in Austin, TX, and Birmingham, AL. In the Northeast, Montpelier, VT (18 and 14F), and Massena, NY (19 and 20F), notched consecutive daily-record lows on April 16-17. Farther south, however, warmth persisted in Florida, where daily-record highs reached 90F in Naples (on April 17) and Ft. Lauderdale (on April 19). In advance of the cold front, downpours soaked parts of the Midwest and Southeast. Record setting precipitation totals for April 13 included 2.85 inches in N. Little Rock, AR; 2.77 inches in Dubuque, IA; and 2.63 inches in Madison, WI. Rain triggered flooding in a few areas, including parts of Lower Michigan, where the Muskegon River at Evart crested at a record-high level of 3.97 feet above flood stage on April 16. Meanwhile, rain changed to snow across the Plains, resulting in daily record accumulations for April 13 in Pueblo, CO (5.2 inches), and Dalhart, TX (1.0 inch). By April 14, heavy rain swept into the Southeast, while rain continued to change to snow in the front’s wake. Record-setting rainfall amounts for April 14 reached 3.31 inches in Greenwood, MS, and 2.08 inches in Tuscaloosa, AL. Wichita, KS, received snowfall totaling 0.3 inch on April 14, tied with 2007 for its second-latest accumulation on record behind April 23, 2013. In Michigan, April 14-15 snowfall totals of 3.2 inches in Detroit and 1.3 inches in Flint allowed both cities to achieve seasonal snowfall records. Rain and snow showers lingered in the East into April 15, resulting in daily-record amounts of 1.73 inches in Charlotte, NC, and 1.67 inches in Burlington, VT. Record-breaking snowfall totals for April 15 included 2.4 inches in Albany, NY, and 1.1 inches in Dayton, OH. By mid-week, additional snow developed across the north-central U.S. In fact, Marquette, MI, received measurable snow each day from April 14-17, totaling 18.3 inches. In addition, Marquette’s snow depth stood at 28 inches on April 17. In Wisconsin, Rhinelander experienced its fourth-largest April snowfall, with 11.2 inches falling on April 16-17. Rhinelander’s only higher totals occurred with 13.0 inches on April 3-4, 1945, and April 6-7, 1923, along with 12.0 inches on April 6, 1958. During the second half of the week, the focus for heavy precipitation shifted into the Northwest and Southeast. In Washington, daily-record amounts for April 17 totaled 1.71 inches in Quillayute and 0.77 inch in Hoquiam. A day later, record setting rainfall totals for April 18 reached 3.11 inches on St. Simons Island, GA, and 3.07 inches in Pensacola, FL. Combined with earlier rainfall, Pensacola’s weekly total climbed to 7.23 inches. Similarly, in North

Carolina, Charlotte’s daily-record total of 2.08 inches on April 19 boosted its weekly rainfall to 4.66 inches. By April 19, beneficial showers overspread the southern Plains where daily-record totals were set in Texas locations such as Midland (0.45 inch) and Lubbock (0.40 inch).


20th-26thA pair of weather systems produced widespread precipitation (locally 1 to 2 inches or more) and caused some fieldwork delays from the eastern Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Similar precipitation amounts were noted from the Tennessee Valley into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. However, heavy showers largely bypassed the northern Plains. Mostly dry weather also covered the Deep South, from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Atlantic States. Elsewhere, late season precipitation fell as far south as central California and the Intermountain West. However, precipitation was not sufficient to appreciably improve California’s bleak water-supply outlook. At week’s end, a significant spring storm began to evolve across the western and central U.S. In advance of the end-of-week storm, warm weather expanded across the nation’s mid-section for several days. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10°F above normal across the central and southern Plains, with warmth reaching into parts of the Midwest. However, warmth was a concern across the drought-stricken southern High Plains, where late week winds raised dust. Early in the week, locally heavy showers dotted the central and southern Plains and the Midwest. Daily record precipitation totals for April 20 included 2.46 inches in Mason City, IA, and 1.44 inches in Childress, TX. By mid-week, shower activity moved into the East and developed across the Northwest. In Washington, daily-record amounts for April 22 reached 0.60 inch in Omak and 0.21 inch in Moses Lake. By April 23, record-setting totals included 2.22 inches in Astoria, OR; 1.63 inches in Hoquiam, WA; and 0.68 inch in Grand Forks, ND. In addition, late season snow affected portions of the nation’s northern tier. Record breaking snowfall totals for April 24 included 3.3 inches in Caribou, ME, and 1.4 inches in Rhinelander, WI. In Minnesota, Duluth (4.3 inches) and International Falls (2.8 inches) also set snowfall records for April 24. Toward week’s end, precipitation spread southward into California and the Great Basin. Record-setting totals for April 25 were set in locations such as Eureka, NV (0.89 inch) and downtown

Sacramento, CA (0.66 inch). Late-week snowfall reached 1 to 2 feet or more in parts of the southern Sierra Nevada. Precipitation spread farther inland by April 26, when Flagstaff, AZ, received 5.5 inches of snow and Cedar City, UT, notched a daily record precipitation total of 0.60 inch. High winds preceded and accompanied the Western storminess, with peak gusts on April 26 clocked to 64 mph in Palmdale, CA, and 61 mph in Winslow, AZ. Despite a warming trend across the nation’s midsection, few daily record highs were set or tied. By April 24, enough cool air spread into the West and Northeast to result in daily record lows in locations such as Grand Junction, CO, and Erie, PA both of which noted 28F. By week’s end, however, warmth arrived across the South. In Mississippi, record setting highs for April 26 reached 89F in Vicksburg and 87F in Hattiesburg.


27th-30thA large, slow-moving storm system spent much of the week drifting from the upper Midwest into the Great Lakes region, greatly influencing weather conditions across

the majority of the country. The nation’s first major severe Weather outbreak of the year struck parts of the south from April 27-29, resulting in at least 32 tornado-related Fatalities. Meanwhile, extremely heavy rain sparked flooding in several sections of the south and east, Including the northern Mid-Atlantic states, and parts of the eastern gulf coast region. Rain was especially heavy on the 29-30 in southern Alabama and western Florida, where totals reached 10 to 20 inches or more. Farther north, at least 4 inches of rain drenched portions of the northern Mid-Atlantic region and the Tennessee Valley.

Significant precipitation also occurred in many other regions, generally along and Northeast of a line from the western Dakotas to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The rain, mixed with snow at times across the northern Plains. In contrast, dry, windy conditions dominated the southern half of the Plains, leading to widespread blowing dust. Elsewhere, changeable weather In the west included early week rain and snow from the Northwest into the Rockies; a period of cool, dry weather; and a rapid mid- to late week warming trend in the Pacific Coast States.  In advance of a cold front, a heat wave in southern Texas led to daily record highs for April 27 in locations such as Laredo (109F) and

Mcallen (107F). Corpus Christi, TX, closed the month with three consecutive daily record highs (103, 103, and 99F). Meanwhile, cool air briefly settled into the West, resulting in daily-record lows in Klamath Falls, or (18F on April 28), and Randolph, UT (13F on

April 29). Along the Pacific Coast, however, record setting warmth occurred on April 29 and persisted for much of the week. San Diego, CA, notched three consecutive daily record highs (91, 94, and 95F) from April 29 – May 1.

Jim G. Munley, jr.

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