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Old May 16th 18, 11:29 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default April 2018 National Weather summary

APRIL 2018
1-7: Cold air remained firmly entrenched across the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, holding weekly temperatures more than 20°F below normal in parts of Montana, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. Due to the combination of rain, snow, and cold weather, nearly all spring fieldwork remained on hold across the northern half of the country. At various times during the week, some of the lowest April temperatures on record were observed across the Plains, Midwest, and mid-South. In Illinois, for example, monthly record lows were established on April 2 in locations such as Lincoln -1°F and Quincy 9°F. Five days later, on April 7, a freeze in Oklahoma and northern Texas threatened crops, much of which has already been adversely affected by drought. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F above normal from southern California to western New Mexico. Late in the week, rain and snow spread farther inland across northern and central Rockies. Multiple surges of cold air brought winter-like temperatures to the Plains and Midwest.. On April 1, sub-zero, daily-record lows occurred in Montana locations such as Turner (-7°F) and Livingston (-1°F). The following day, the aforementioned monthly record lows were established in Lincoln and Quincy, IL. Prior to April 2, 2018, Lincoln’s latest sub-zero reading had occurred on March 12, 1948, with a low of -2°F. Sub-zero temperatures returned across northern sections of the Rockies and High Plains by April 3, when daily record lows plunged to -17°F in Lake Yellowstone, WY, and -13°F in Valentine, MT. In South Dakota, monthly record lows were broken on April 4 in Aberdeen (-6°F) and Pierre (0°F). Previous records had been -2°F on April 3, 1975, in Aberdeen and 1°F on April 3, 1936, in Pierre. St. Cloud, MN, reported a low of 0°F on April 5; previously, the latest reading of 0°F or lower in that location had been -3°F on April 4, 1975. Sub-zero temperatures persisted through April 6 in parts of North Dakota, where daily-record lows dipped to -3°F in Williston and -1°F in Minot. At week’s end, cold air again poured southeastward across the nation’s mid-section, resulting in dozens of daily-record lows. On the central Plains, record-setting lows for April 7 plummeted to 3°F in McCook, NE, and 5°F in Hill City, KS. Some of the driest areas of the High Plains, including Garden City, KS (16°F), and Amarillo, TX (20°F), also noted daily-record lows for April 7. In stark contrast, late-week heat in the Southwest resulted in several daily-record highs for April 7, including 101°F in Needles, CA, and 88°F in Winslow, AZ. Warmth also overspread Florida’s peninsula, where record-setting highs for April 7 rose to 90°F in Vero Beach and West Palm Beach.

8-14: Cold air remained entrenched from Montana to New England, with weekly temperatures averaging more than 10°F below normal across parts of the northern plains and upper Midwest. Meanwhile, hot, dry, windy weather contributed to blowing dust and a wildfire outbreak across the drought-ravaged southern high plains. In western Oklahoma, the three largest wildfires scorched more than 300,000 acres of grass and brush and destroyed at least four dozen structures. Warm, dry, breezy weather dominated areas from southern California to western Texas, leading to further drought intensification.. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10°f above normal in Arizona and New Mexico. Elsewhere, unsettled, showery weather affected the northwest, maintaining favorable winter grain and water-supply forecasts. Precipitation extended as far south as northern California and the central Rockies. Cold air settled across much of the central and eastern U.S. in early April. By the 8th, Little Rock, Ar, tied an April record low of 28F—previously achieved most recently on April 8, 2007. With a low of 9F, Green Bay, Wi, recorded its latest ever sub-10F reading. Farther east, Hartford, Ct, collected daily-record lows of 23F on April 9 and 11. Cool weather also lingered in California, where Sacramento registered a daily-record low (37F) on April 12. At week’s end, another cold blast resulted in daily-record lows for April 14 in rapid city, Sd (13F), and Garden City, Ks (21F). Garden City added another record low (14F) on April 15, just 3 days after posting a daily-record high of 94F. Meanwhile, record-setting heat affected the nation’s southwestern quadrant. In western Texas, record-setting highs for April 8 soared to 97F in Midland and 93F in Lubbock. In southern California, daily-record highs for April 9 included 96F in Long Beach and 95F in Burbank. Phoenix, Az, reached 100F on April 10, tying a daily record. Thermal, Ca, measured consecutive daily-record highs (102 and 103F, respectively) on April 10-11. Similarly, consecutive daily-record highs were set on April 11-12 in Roswell, Nm (96 and 94F), and Borger, Tx (95F both days). Late-week warmth briefly shifted into the east, where west Virginia locations such as Morgantown (85 and 86F) and Elkins (86 and 85F) logged consecutive daily-record highs on April 13-14.

15-21: The southern High Plains’ second wildfire outbreak in less than a week preceded the arrival of storm system that provided much-needed, but generally light, rainfall. The fires peaked in intensity on April 17, when southwesterly winds fanned flames amid soaring temperatures, but continued into the following day when winds shifted (to a northwesterly direction). Later, beneficial rain spread across the central and southern Plains, starting on April 20. However, rainfall in the most severely drought-affected areas totaled mostly an inch or less. Dry weather in the Southwest contrasted with Northwestern rain and snow showers, which briefly reached as far south as the Sierra Nevada and the central Rockies. Unusually cool weather remained in place for much of the week from the Plains to the East Coast, while temperatures were closer to normal across the West. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal in the upper Midwest, while freezes occurred on April 15-16 as far south as portions of the southern Plains and mid-South. April 1-15 temperatures were the lowest on record, and more than 15°F below normal, in Iowa locations such as Mason City (average temperature of 27.6°F) and Waterloo (30.6°F). The cold weather extended well beyond Iowa, as the week opened on April 15 with a round of daily-record lows in Plains locations such as Valentine, NE (9°F), and Garden City, KS (14°F). The following day, record-setting lows for April 16 included 6°F in Kennebec, SD; 14°F in Hill City, KS; and 32°F in El Dorado, AR. El Dorado tied April 16, 2014, for its latest freeze on record. Farther north, Rochester, MN, failed to exceed the freezing mark on 3 consecutive days from April 14-16, peaking at 32, 25, and 30°F. On April 17, Muskegon, MI, observed its latest-ever maximum temperature below the 35-degree mark, with a high of 34°F. Cold weather persisted for much of the week in the Midwest, where South Bend, IN, posted consecutive daily-record lows (23 and 20°F, respectively) on April 17-18. Other record-setting lows for April 17 included 27°F in Lincoln, IL, and Crossville, TN. Meanwhile, sudden heat arrived on the central and southern High Plains. For example, Dodge City, KS, notched consecutive daily-record lows (19 and 23°F, respectively) on April 15-16, followed by a daily-record high of 94°F on April 17. Dodge City also clocked a wind gust to 66 mph on the 17th, shortly after the passage of a strong cold front ended the short-lived hot spell. By April 19, daily-record lows were observed in Kansas locations such as Russell (26°F) and Wichita (31°F). (Russell and Wichita had also reported daily-record lows on April 16—with 18 and 21°F, respectively.) Late in the week, chilly weather lingered in the Midwest and Northeast. Daily-record lows for April 20 dipped to 17°F in Mason City, IA, and 24°F in Moline, IL. The following day, Northeastern record-setting lows for April 21 fell to 22°F in Watertown, NY, and 28°F in Allentown, PA.

22-28: Mostly dry weather accompanied a general warming trend across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, following some early-week precipitation. a surge of warmth across the western U.S. promoted fieldwork and crop development, although extremely dry conditions persisted in the Southwest. Weekly temperatures averaged more than 10°F above normal in parts of the Southwest, but were as much as 5°F below normal from the central and southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley. Record-setting warmth arrived in parts of California on April 23, when highs soared to 100°F in Thermal and 92°F in Hanford. (Thermal also recorded six consecutive triple-digit readings from April 22-27, with highs peaking at 103°F on the 22nd, 25th, and 26th.) The following day, on April 24, Hanford posted another daily-record high (94°F). Elsewhere on the 24th, warmth briefly spread as far east as Texas, where Midland notched a daily record-tying high of 95°F. As the week progressed, very warm weather prevailed in the Pacific Coast States before shifting eastward. On April 24-25, consecutive daily-record highs were established in locations such as Roseburg, OR (88 and 90°F), and Hoquiam, WA (81 and 77°F). Similarly, April 25-26 featured a pair of daily-record highs in Tonopah, NV (81 and 84°F), and Needles, CA (103 and 105°F). From April 24-26, Portland, OR, tallied a trio of daily-record highs (80, 84, and 86°F). In Washington, Yakima closed the week with consecutive daily-record highs (87°F both days) on April 27-28. Salt Lake City, UT, also achieved a pair of daily-record highs (85 and 87°F, respectively) on April 27-28. In Montana, where daily-record highs included 80°F (on April 27) in Kalispell and 85°F (on April 28) in Helena, melting snowpack in the Rockies contributed to some flooding. The Milk River at Saco, MT, crested 4.22 feet above flood stage on April 23, marking the highest water level in that location since March 1997. Farther east, however, cool weather prevailed at times. In Texas, for example, San Angelo logged a daily-record low of 34°F on April 26, just 2 days after peaking at 94°F.

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