April 2012 Recap: Another above normal month

By the numbers, April 2012 won’t look too impressive when compared to the big time above normal departures or the record and near-record

April 2012 temperature, precipitation, and departure from average data for 5 reporting stations in the area.

setting months of the past year. Still, it finished above normal throughout the area, making it the 13th straight month to do so. Such a streak is fairly unprecedented in our area — the last below normal month came in March 2011. Since then, April 2011-April 2012 have all averaged above normal. In the last year, New Jersey experienced its 3rd warmest summer, 3rd warmest fall, and 4th warmest winter, as well as its warmest March on record. In retrospect, April 2012 started off warm and by the middle of the month was on pace for a near-record setting pace. In fact, a three day stretch in the middle of the month put us well ahead of Aprils of years past.

  • April 15th, 2012: +15
  • April 16th, 2012: +24
  • April 17th, 2012: +16

At the last moment, however, the cooler weather made a significant comeback. An upper level low and significant nor’easter towards the tail end of the month set off a string of below-normal temperature departure days. Additionally, the spell of dry weather (our area was in a stage 2 drought in the middle of the month) was broken with significant rainfall amounts during the Nor’Easter on April 22nd. The month finished, after this nor’easter, with a solid stretch of below-normal departure days, which brought down the months average significantly. This can be attributed to high-latitude blocking which developed for the first time since winter, allowing more frequent troughs and cooler mid level temperatures in our area. The last 9 days of the month were all below average temperature wise.

  • April 22nd, 2012: -5
  • April 23rd, 2012: -8
  • April 24th, 2012: -6
  • April 25th, 2012: -3
  • April 26th, 2012: -4
  • April 27th, 2012: -8
  • April 28th, 2012: -8
  • April 29th, 2012: -4
  • April 30th, 2012: -5

Looking ahead to May? It looks to begin in a similar fashion to the way April ended (although not as consistently below normal temperature wise). The big time heat signal from Mid April isn’t there — as it seems an active pattern, with plenty of troughs and cold fronts, will continue. A “transitional pattern” would probably be the best way to describe it, as it doesn’t currently look like any prolonged periods of cold or warmth are on the horizon just yet.

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