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Old May 16th 18, 11:30 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default April 2018 National Storm Summary


APRIL 2018

1-7: Periods of late-season snow continued to fall from the northern Plains into the Midwest and Northeast, while another round of heavy rain perpetuated soggy conditions across the lower Midwest. Significant rain with locally 2 inches or more fell in the Mississippi Delta and environs. In contrast, warm, mostly dry weather persisted across southern Florida, while extraordinarily dry conditions maintained severe stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter grains on the southern High Plains. Dry weather extended into the Southwest, where warmth prevailed, but stormy conditions returned to the Pacific Coast States as far south as the Sierra Nevada. Severe thunderstorms struck on two occasions, first across the interior Southeast and lower Midwest on April 3, followed by a Deep South outbreak on April 6. Preliminary reports catalogued more than two dozen tornadoes—mainly in the Ohio Valley (IL, IN, KY, MO, and OH)—on April 3, along with hundreds of reports of wind damage. Daily-record rainfall totals for April 3 reached 3.90 inches in Indianapolis, IN, and 2.88 inches in Dayton, OH. Indianapolis also experienced its wettest April day on record, surpassing 3.06 inches on April 19, 2011. Three days later, on the April 6, more than a dozen tornadoes struck parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, according to preliminary accounts. Farther north, multiple snow events plagued the North. The first day of April featured daily-record snowfall totals in locations such as Hastings, NE (5.1 inches), and Springfield, IL (2.0 inches). On April 2, Northeastern daily snowfall records included 6.0 inches in Bridgeport, CT; 5.5 inches in New York’s Central Park; 5.0 inches in Newark, NJ; and 3.9 inches in Harrisburg, PA. The following day, April 3, heavy snow blanketed Midwestern locations such as Wausau, WI (9.3 inches); Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (7.5 inches); and Sioux Falls, SD (5.3 inches). Snow fell across portions of the northern Plains on April 5, when Billings, MT, netted a daily record total of 5.2 inches. Toward week’s end, light snow spread from the central Plains into the Mid-Atlantic States. Daily-record snowfall totals included 1.3 inches (on April 7) in Pittsburgh, PA; 0.8 inch (on April 6) in Wichita, KS; 0.6 inch (on April 7) in Lexington, KY; 0.2 inch (on April 7) in Huntington, WV; and 0.1 inch (on April 7) in Harrison, AR. It was Harrison’s first measurable snowfall in April since 1993. Little Rock, AR, reported a trace of sleet on April 7, marking the latest frozen precipitation in that location since April 9, 2003. Meanwhile, Western precipitation was heaviest on April 6-7, when Winnemucca, NV, posted consecutive daily-record amounts— totaling 1.08 inches. In California, record-setting totals for April 6 reached 2.60 inches in Redding and 2.14 inches in Red Bluff. Blue Canyon, CA, received 5.32 inches from April 5-7. On April 7, daily record amounts climbed to 1.64 inches in Salem, OR, and 1.08 inches in Hoquiam, WA.

8-14: Several minor weather systems affected the country until late in the week, when a powerful spring storm emerged from the west and brought extreme conditions to several regions. For example, historic, late-season snow blanketed portions of the northern plains and upper Midwest, snarling traffic. By the end of the week, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms erupted across the mid-South and began to spread eastward. Through April 14, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches or more were reported across the lower Mississippi valley and neighboring areas. Snow fell across the upper Midwest. In South Dakota, record-breaking snowfall totals for April 8 included 7..0 inches in Watertown and 5.8 inches in Mobridge. Similarly in Iowa, record-setting amounts for the 8th reached 6.8 inches in Mason City and 4.9 inches in Waterloo. A trace of snow fell on April 8 as far south as Paducah, Ky, and Raleigh-Durham, Nc. Measurable snow fell on April 9, setting records for the date, in locations such as Chicago, il (2.0 inches), and Lexington, ky (0.8 inch). Meanwhile, heavy showers fell across parts of Florida, where Gainesville netted 5.67 inches in a 24-hour period on April 9-10. The bulk of Gainesville’s rain, 4.95 inches, fell on the 9th. By mid-week, showery weather returned to the northwest, where daily-record amounts for April 11 included 0.41 inch in Portland, or, and 0.16 inch in Yakima, Wa. As precipitation spread farther inland, Great Falls, Mt, received 9.7 inches of snow on April 12-13. Great falls’ season-to-date snowfall, 104.9 inches, was just over a foot shy of its 1988-89 record of 117.5 inches. Elsewhere in Montana, Billings tied its 2013-14 seasonal snowfall record with 103.5 inches. Across the north-central U.S., a multi-day snow event began to unfold on April 13. In Wisconsin, April 13-16 storm-total snowfall included 24.2 inches in green bay and 20.7 inches in Wausau. In both locations, it was the biggest April storm (previously, 11.0 inches in green bay on April 4-5, 1977, and 12.1 inches in Wausau on April 15-16, 1993) and the second-highest event total on record. Green bay’s greatest snowfall occurred on March 1-2, 1888, with 29.0 inches; Wausau’s biggest snowfall, on March 5-6, 1959, was 22.1 inches. Meanwhile in South Dakota, 2-day April snowfall records were broken on April 13-14 in Mitchell (16.2 inches) and Huron (15.5 inches), while peak gusts were clocked to 60 and 57 mph, respectively. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Mn, reported 15.7 inches of snow from April 13-15. Sioux Falls, Sd, received 14.5 inches of snow from April 13-15, and reported a gust to 67 mph on the 14th. Most of Sioux Falls’ snow—13.7 inches—fell on the 14th, easily becoming the snowiest April day on record in that location (previously, 10.5 inches on April 28, 1994). Farther south, heavy rain swept eastward, leading to record-setting totals for April 14 in Huntsville, Al (3.77 inches), and Memphis, Tn (3.02 inches). Late-week downpours also occurred in the Pacific Northwest, where Hoquiam, Wa, received 3.37 inches of rain on April 13-14.

15-21: Earlier, heavy precipitation had fallen in the eastern U.S.—the tail end of a storm system that had produced historic, mid-April snowfall from South Dakota and environs into the Great Lakes region. A subsequent but smaller storm followed a similar path across the Midwest and Northeast, delivering some additional snow. As the week began, an historic, late-season snowstorm began to wind down across the Great Lakes region. In Wisconsin from April 13-16, the greatest April snowfall on record featured 24.2 inches in Green Bay; 20.7 inches in Wausau; and 18.2 inches in Rhinelander. Marquette, MI, received 26.7 inches from April 15-17. Farther east, heavy rain resulted in daily-record totals for April 15 in numerous locations, including Raleigh-Durham, NC (3.31 inches); Columbus, OH (2.06 inches); and 1.88 inches in Bluefield, WV. Downpours persisted in the Northeast through April 16, when record-setting totals reached 2.99 inches in Newark, NJ, and 2.50 inches at New York’s JFK Airport. Early-week precipitation also affected parts of the West, resulting in daily-record totals in locations such as North Bend, OR (1.83 inches on April 15), and Eureka, NV (0.40 inch on April 16). By April 18, heavy snow returned to a small area of the upper Midwest, where daily-record totals included 7.5 inches in Mason City, IA; 6.2 inches in Sioux Falls, SD; and 6.0 inches in La Crosse, WI. Mason City set an April snowfall record with 25.5 inches, easily surpassing its former mark of 14.5 inches in 1945. Similarly, April snowfall records were broken in Wisconsin locations such as Green Bay (36.7 inches; previously, 15.1 inches in 1907) and Wausau (34.5 inches; previously, 25.5 inches in 1909). Later, desperately needed precipitation fell on April 20-21 across the southern High Plains. Clayton, NM, netted a daily-record rainfall (0.88 inch) on April 20. The following day, record-setting rainfall totals for April 21 included 1.45 inches in Oklahoma City, OK, and 1.16 inches in Wichita, KS. Amarillo, TX, received 0.49 inch on April 20-21, boosting its year-to-date total to 0.74 inch (21 percent of normal). Prior to the rain’s arrival, Oklahoma’s two largest active wildfires—the Rhea Fire and the 34 Complex— charred approximately 350,000 acres of grass and brush.

22-28: The second storm in less than a week delivered much needed rain across parts of the southern Plains. The Plains’ rain, which was mostly light, nonetheless helped to reduce the wildfire threat and provided limited drought relief for rangeland, pastures, and winter grains—and improved topsoil moisture. Meanwhile, both storms produced rain across the South and East, although the first system—larger and slower moving—resulted in higher totals and more widespread precipitation. The week began with a heavy-rain event underway across the South and East. Record-setting rainfall totals for April 23 included 2.55 inches in Charleston, SC; 2.45 inches in Jacksonville, FL; and 2.21 inches in Paducah, KY. Meanwhile, a new storm system emerged across the Plains. In Billings, MT, a 2..6-inch snowfall on April 23 boosted the season-to-date total to 106.1 inches. The previous highest seasonal snowfall total in Billings had been 103.5 inches in 2013-14. On April 24, Mobridge, SD, set daily records for precipitation (0.93 inch) and snowfall (1.0 inch). Farther south, Amarillo, TX, received a two-storm total of 0.60 inch from April 20-25. As a result, Amarillo’s November 1 – April 28 precipitation climbed to 0.85 inch (16 percent of normal). Elsewhere, year-to-date precipitation through April 28 remained below an inch in locations such as Childress, TX (0.93 inch, or 18 percent of normal); Garden City, KS (0.78 inch, or 20 percent); Dalhart, TX (0.74 inch, or 24 percent); and Roswell, NM (0.63 inch, or 34 percent). At week’s end, precipitation overspread the Northwest, where record-setting totals for April 28 included 0.46 inch in Roseburg, OR, and 0.27 inch in Wenatchee, WA.

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