April 2021 National Weather Summary

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James Munley

May 18, 2021, 6:37:11 PM5/18/21

APRIL 2021

1-3: Dry weather prevailed throughout the week in the western and central U.S., aside from a few rain and snow showers from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains. However, drought-affected areas such as the northern Plains and much of the West dealt with a high-wind event, as well as limited soil moisture for rangeland, pastures. North Dakota led the nation on April 4 with topsoil moisture rated 92 percent very short to short. Sudden Western warmth caused some premature melting of high-elevation snowpack, especially in areas—from California to the southern Rockies— already experiencing drought. Weekly temperatures averaged more than 5°F above normal in much of California and the Desert Southwest, along with portions of the northern Plains. In contrast, readings averaged at least 5°F below normal across the interior Southeast, extending as far north as the Ohio Valley. Late in the week, an early-April cold spell, following a warm March, threatened blooming fruits (e.g. peaches) and other freeze-sensitive Southeastern commodities, including heading winter wheat, emerging summer crops, and nursery stock. On April 2-3, freezes occurred as far south as Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Early in the week, expanding Western warmth led to several dailyrecord highs, including March 28 readings of 94°F in Anaheim, CA, and 75°F in Baker City, OR.

Camarillo posted another daily-record high (94°F) on April 1. Elsewhere in California, record-setting highs for April 1 rose to 96°F in Anaheim and Santa Ana. The month opened on April 1-2 with consecutive daily-record highs (89 and 90°F, respectively) in Bakersfield, CA. In southeastern California, dailyrecord highs soared to 99°F in Thermal (on April 2) and Needles (on April 3). Warmth quickly returned across the northern Plains, where Mobridge, SD, closed the week (on April 2-3) with consecutive dailyrecord highs of 80 and 81°F, respectively. Daily-record highs for April 3 reached 83°F in Pierre, SD, and Bismarck, ND. In contrast, selected Southeastern daily-record lows for April 2 included 21°F in Frankfort, KY; 24°F in Crossville, TN; and 30°F in Macon, GA. Macon reported another daily-record low (also 30°F) on April 3. Elsewhere on the 3rd, daily-record lows dipped to 24°F in Lynchburg, VA; 26°F in Charlotte, NC; and 27°F in GreenvilleSpartanburg, SC.

11-17: Mostly dry weather prevailed in the heart of the Corn Belt. Some precipitation fell around the fringes of the Midwest, including drought affected areas of the Dakotas. Meanwhile, generally dry weather also covered the Far West, Southwest, and parts of the Southeast.

Although cool air settled across the nation’s midsection, warmth prevailed (or developed) in the East, Far West, and Desert Southwest. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal in much of Wyoming and portions of neighboring states. In fact, readings averaged more than 5°F below normal throughout the High Plains. In contrast, temperatures averaged at least 5°F above normal in numerous locations across the Pacific Coast States and Desert Southwest, as well as several places in the Southeast and Northeast. Early in the week, chilly conditions lingered across the Northwest. On April 11-12, consecutive daily-record lows were established in Pendleton, OR (23 and 21°F), and Pasco, WA (also 23 and 21°F). Pendleton’s minimum temperature of 21°F represented its lowest reading since February 18. In contrast, summer-like warmth developed in parts of the Southeast. In Georgia, daily-record highs included 89°F (on April 13) in Macon and 90°F (on April 14) in Augusta. Tallahassee, FL, posted a daily-record high of 92°F on April 13. Meanwhile, a warming trend commenced across the West. In California, Santa Barbara’s temperature rose from a dailyrecord low of 39°F on the 14th to a daily-record high of 79°F on April 18. Similarly, Olympia, WA, experienced a temperature rise from 27 to 76°F between April 11 and 15, with both extremes setting records (low and high, respectively) for the date. Late in the week, temperatures twice topped the 80-degree mark in Salem, OR, setting records (82 and 85°F, respectively, on April 16-17) for both dates. On April 17, daily-record highs reached or exceeded the 80-degree mark as far north as Washington locations such as Olympia (82°F) and Seattle (80°F). Meanwhile in Goodland, KS, temperatures fell to the freezing mark or below (ranging from 22 to 32°F) each day for more than a week starting on April 12, although no daily-record lows were broken. In Montana, Townsend reported a dailyrecord low of 14°F on April 13.

25-30: Several other areas of the country received little or no precipitation. The Southeast, for example, experienced a warm, dry week, reducing topsoil moisture but favoring fieldwork and crop development. Meanwhile, only patchy, light precipitation dampened the northern Plains, where ongoing drought stressed rangeland, pastures, and winter grains, and resulted in uneven emergence of spring-sown small grains. Portions of the West received beneficial but generally light precipitation, temporarily improving topsoil moisture but having little impact on a drought that covered 84 percent of the region at the end of April, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Following an April cold wave, temperatures rebounded to near- or above-normal levels across most of the country. Lingering cool conditions were largely limited to portions of the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, mainly from Minnesota to New York. Below-normal temperatures were also observed in scattered locations across Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas. In contrast, weekly temperatures averaged at least 5 to 10°F above normal across large sections of the Plains and western Corn Belt. General warmth also prevailed in the Northwest, as well as the middle Atlantic and Southeastern States. Early in the week, enough cold air lingered across the Great Lakes region to result in a daily-record low (21°F on April 25) in Eau Claire, WI. In fact, Eau Claire reported lows of 33°F or below each day from April 13-25, except the 23rd. Meanwhile, hot, humid weather across the Deep South produced daily-record highs in locations such as Miami, FL (93°F on April 25), and Baton Rouge, LA (90°F on April 28). A couple of northward surges of warmth contributed to several additional records. In Kansas, for example, record-setting highs for April 26 included 97°F in Hill City and 92°F in Colby. On April 27, Midwestern daily-record highs climbed to 87°F in Chicago, IL, and 86°F in Ottumwa, IA. Along the East Coast, Atlantic City, NJ, notched a daily-record high of 89°F on April 28. During the second half of the week, warmth replaced previously cool conditions in the West. As late as April 26, Stockton, CA, logged a daily-record low of 38°F. Later, Riverside, CA, collected a pair of daily-record highs (98°F both days) on April 29-30. Elsewhere in California, record-setting highs for April 30 soared to 109°F in Palm Springs and 108°F in Thermal. With a high of 94°F on the 30th, Bishop, CA, tied a monthly record originally set on April 28, 2020. Other Western daily-record highs for April 30 included 88°F in Tonopah, NV; 86°F in Pocatello, ID; and 84°F in Salt Lake City, UT. By May 1, Midwestern daily-record highs rose above the 90-degree mark in Iowa locations such as Mason City and Waterloo—both 93°F—as well as Rochester, MN (91°F).

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