10th-wettest April cooler than normal, too

10th-wettest April cooler than normal, too

CHAMPAIGN — April 2013 had plenty of showers to bring May flowers.

It was the 10th-wettest April on record in Champaign-Urbana, according to state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey. There was 7.05 inches of precipitation for the month, more than 3 inches above the April normal of 3.68 inches.

April's total, Angel noted, was an inch greater than the water survey's rainfall total for all of May, June and July last year, when the Midwest was gripped by drought.

The April record for precipitation occurred in 1964, with 9.55 inches. April 2011 is in ninth place locally with 7.42 inches of rain.

There was at least a trace of precipitation on 18 of the 30 days last month. Two days — April 20 and 25 — also had trace amounts of snowfall.

April also was slightly cooler than normal with a monthly average of 50.4 degrees, 1.6 degrees below normal. The coldest reading was 26 degrees on April 2.

The last reading below 32 degrees was 29 degrees on April 20. Since 1981, the average date of last local frost is April 15.

The highest reading in April came on the last day of the month when the temperature hit 81 degrees — the first 80-degree reading since Oct. 4, 2012.

So far this year, March and April have had colder-than-average temperatures after warmer-than-average monthly readings in 12 of the previous 15 months.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center says there's a slightly better chance of cooler-than-average temperatures in the next month, along with average precipitation.

For the next three months, however, the outlook is for a greater chance of above average temperatures and equal chances of average, above and below average precipitation.

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