April 2018's showers no help for May flowers

April 2018's showers no help for May flowers

CHAMPAIGN — In a month normally known for its rain, April 2018 will be remembered for its snow.

The 4.9 inches of snow last month is the fourth-greatest total in local weather history (April 1920 had 8 inches), and there was at least a trace of it on eight of the month's 30 days. That was more than the six days last month when it rained without any snow. The average April snowfall is 0.4 inches.

April also had more snow than any other month this year: January had 3.5 inches; February, 2; and March, 2.8. December 2017 had 5.8 inches of snow.

Plus, it was an unusually cold month — the sixth-coldest April in local weather history.

The average temperature, according to the Illinois State Water Survey, was 45.3 degrees — 6.7 degrees below the long-term monthly average of 52.

On 16 days, there were temperatures that dropped to 32 degrees or lower — during the month that Champaign-Urbana usually sees its last frost. Two record lows were set in April — 14 degrees on April 2 and 31 degrees on April 29.

Overall precipitation in April amounted to 2.32 inches, well below the average of 3.68.

So far this year, three of the four months (January, March and April) have had below-average temperatures. But precipitation is running above average, thanks to a nearly 4-inch surplus in February.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center says there's a good chance of above-average temperatures and precipitation in most of Illinois in May.

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