Near record amount of April showers drench US last month.
Perhaps a more appropriate description this year might be, “Heavy April showers bring record flooding.”
All that rain helped shrink the drought footprint for the contiguous U.S. to the lowest level since the nationwide Drought Monitor program began in 2000. It also caused loss of life and extensive property destruction in many communities.
Climate by the numbers
Last month, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 53.8 degrees F, 2.7 degrees above the 20th-century average. The month ranked as the 11th warmest April in the 123-year period of record, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Much-above-average temperatures spanned the East, with record warmth in the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley.
The average precipitation total for April was 3.43 inches, 0.91 inch above the 20th-century average, making it the second wettest April on record. Much-above-average precipitation fell across the Northwest, Central Plains, Mid-Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic.
Year to date
The year to date (January through April 2017) average temperature was 43.7 degrees F, 4.5 degrees above the 20th-century average. This was the second warmest January–April, behind 2012. The total year-to-date precipitation for the Lower 48 states was 11.46 inches, 1.99 inches above average, making it the fifth wettest YTD period on record.