April was cold and wet in Northeast Wisconsin
By Brad Spakowitz
To put it nicely, we’ve had better Aprils.
This one was cold, often wet, sometimes windy and it seemed as though a true, lasting spring just couldn’t take hold.
The first week of the month brought precipitation every day, measuring 1.09 inches by April 7, some of which was a bit of melted snow – this coming out of the wettest March on record (6.03 inches).
We did luck out with a nice weekend April 9-10, with temperatures warmed into the 50s, and despite breezy conditions it did offer an opportunity to sneak in some early yard work – where the ground was dry enough.
As everyone headed back to work Monday (April 11), we hit 60 degrees, and did it again the next day, leaving us hoping that spring had finally arrived.
But late day thunderstorms Tuesday (April 12) interrupted our spring trance – prompting the first severe thunderstorm warning of the season for Brown and portions of nearby counties.
No damage was reported, but hail was widespread and ranged from pea size to nearly one inch in diameter, covering the ground in spots.
The storms also brought the next round of soaking rains, which fell off-and-on for the next 48 hours, and really added up: Suamico 1.19 inches, Green Bay 1.13 inches, Howard .87 inches, Pulaski .80 inches and Seymour .73 inches.
Behind the departing system, the area was hammered with gusty winds for two days (April 14-15), along with much colder temperatures, lasting through Easter weekend.
Monday (April 18) presented a cold day with snow, some of it falling as really big flakes.
Fortunately, travel wasn’t impacted, as most snow only stuck on grassy areas, measuring 1-2 inches before melting mid-afternoon.
By now, midway through the month, lingering tastes of winter were getting really, really old… But our luck was about to change.
In just a few days it started to warm, and just in time for the weekend an almost summer-like 76 degrees arrived Saturday, and 72 degrees Sunday (April 23-24), the warmest temperatures of the month, and the year so far.
It was a treat, but was only a two-day event, with the final week of the month averaging much colder than “normal” temperatures, and then ending with chilly, wind whipped rain – the theme for the month.
Temperatures averaged 2.3 degrees colder than the 30-year average.
Twelve nights featured low temperatures at or below freezing, 23 degrees the coldest the morning on April 17.
While a trace or more of snow fell on 13 days, it only totaled 2.2 inches for the month, a departure of 2.5 inches below average.
Rain and melted snow and ice totaled 3.1 inches, a tenth of an inch above average – That’s two wet months in a row, 9.13 inches has fallen from March 1 through April 30.
April was windy with 21 days logging gusts of 25 miles per hour (mph) or greater, seven of those had gusts of 40 mph or greater, with the highest gust all month, 51 mph on April 24.
Looking ahead to May
The days continue to get longer, but not at the frantic pace of the two previous months – still, we gain another one hour and five minutes.
By the end of the month the sun rises at 5:10 am and sets at 8:29 pm – yielding a full 15 hours and 18 minutes of sunshine.
The extra solar energy continues to power the upward climb of temperatures, by May 31 the average high is 72 degrees, the average low 52.
Historically, the month brings 3.35 inches of rain.