Capital Region

Exit chilly April, enter balmy May

Weather officials say this past April was one of the coolest on record
Pedestrians were bundled up to stay warm on a cool spring day on Broadway in Saratoga Springs on Monday.
Pedestrians were bundled up to stay warm on a cool spring day on Broadway in Saratoga Springs on Monday.

A chilly, rainy April meant winter coats and umbrellas for many Capital Region residents.

If people thought this April was cooler than usual, they were right.

“Right now, we have it ranked tied for sixth as the coolest April on record,” said Christina Speciale, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany.

The weather service’s monthly records date to the 1820s, Speciale said Monday afternoon.  

Through Sunday, April’s average daily temperature was 41 degrees — tying the 41-degree daily average recorded in April 1868. The normal average is 47.6.

“The last time we had a month of April this cool it was in 1975,” Speciale said of the daily average of 40.7 [fourth all-time coolest] recorded that year. “It’s safe to say this is the coolest April since 1975.”

If people want to bet this May will be one of the warmest on record, they will cash winning tickets for the first three days of the month at least. Speciale said today’s high temperature will be about 70 degrees and warm the area with plenty of sunshine.

Thursday and Friday will be around 80 degrees, Speciale added. “Maybe above 80.”

“Friday, we’re watching a cold front but still expecting the high to be in the mid to upper 70s,” Speciale said. “Much warmer temperatures are on the way to welcome in May.”

April had only one warm day — the temperature was 70 degrees on Tuesday, April 24. Most of the month’s temperature numbers were in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

“There was a lot of cool air in Canada,” Speciale said. “A lot of disturbances came out of Canada this past month. There is still actually a lot of snow cover in Canada. If you look at the visible satellite imagery, you can see the extent of cloud coverage still in northern and heading toward southern Canada. It’s almost like that snow cover in Canada refrigerates the air, it’s almost like a refrigerator.”

Systems from the north have dominated this winter and spring.

“We really didn’t have too many systems from the Gulf of Mexico, which is usually how we get our nice warm-ups in April,” Speciale said. “The weather patterns favored a lot of systems coming out of Canada, as opposed to the Southeast.”

Rainy days also contributed to an often gray, cloudy April. Speciale said 4.07 inches of rainfall were recorded for the area; the normal amount is 3.06 inches.

People may finally start wearing T-shirts and summer shorts on a regular basis. Speciale said the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center expects warmer than normal temperatures for May.

Snow has likely received its final call in weather forecasts.

“We have seen snow in May in the Capital District,” Speciale said, “but looking ahead, a quick peek into next week, I don’t see any threats for snow.” 

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]


Categories: Schenectady County

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