CHAMPAIGN — As cool as April was — with temperatures a half-degree colder than in March — it was still warmer than average.
And April became the 10th month of the last 12 in Champaign-Urbana to have warmer than average temperatures.
The mean temperature locally in April was 54.4 degrees, 2.4 degrees higher than normal for the month. The average high last month was 65.9 degrees, 3.1 degrees above the average high. The average low was 42.3 degrees, a little more than one degree above average.
But the average April temperature was actually less than the average March temperature of 55 degrees.
Twice before in local weather history has March been warmer than April, according to state climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois State Water Survey. In March 1907, the average temperature was 46.5 degrees; a month later the average temperature was 42.5 degrees. The average temperature in March 1918 was 46.7 degrees; in April 1918 it was 46.3 degrees.
Springfield, Peoria and Lincoln also recorded cooler mean temperatures in April than in March, according to the National Weather Service. In a typical year, April temperatures are about 12 degrees warmer than March's, said the weather service, but this year they were about a degree cooler.
Statewide the average temperature in April was 54.1 degrees, Angel said, cooler than the March statewide average of 55 degrees. Statewide only once before — in 1907 — was March warmer than April.
Eight separate days in March saw high temperature records tied or broken in Champaign-Urbana. There were two such days in April — on April 1 when the high of 84 was one degree warmer than the old record, and on April 3 when the thermometer reached 86 degrees, 4 degrees above the old record.
86 was the high for the month; 29 degrees on April 11 was the low.
April precipitation totaled 2.66 inches, about an inch less than the monthly average of 3.68 inches.
Monthly temperatures have been above average in Champaign-Urbana every month of the last 12 — except for last May (-0.5 degrees) and September (-1.8 degrees).
March was the most above average (+15.1 degrees) and last June was the least (+1.5 degrees).
The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center shows that most of Illinois has an equal chance of above normal and below normal temperatures in May.