Cliffs Mass Weather Blog: Much colder than normal April: But how unusual?

April is a chilly month in the Northwest, but how cold is it?

Turns out the answer depends on your location.

This April’s temperature difference from normal across Washington State (below) shows the state as a whole to be below normal. The eastern part of the state is particularly icy: some areas are more than 6 degrees below normal.

Considering the western part of the state, the average temperature for April at SeaTac Airport is charted below.

This April is the coolest month since 2011.

April 2020 is in 15th place for the coolest April since the mid-1940s and is a little below 4F below normal. So if you feel that you have been deceived from the normal warmth of spring… you are correct.

But if you really want to experience the unusual cold of April, you have to stay east of the Cascade Peak.

Consider Yakima. OH. It had the third coldest April temperature since the mid-1940s. And the all-time record in 1955 was only slightly colder.

If you want a longer-term view, check out April temperatures at Kennewick in the Tri-Cities, which have records dating back to the 1890s.

April is the fourth great month in over 125 years! Note the cold period of the 1950s and 1960s – that cold period is associated with the cold phase of the Pacific Decade Oscillation (PDO), a natural mode of variation in the atmosphere.

Impressively, this April is much cooler than in the early 20th century!

I know the next question on your mind. Will we warm up in May?

I’m a little nervous to tell you the latest predictions, but here are the Central Europe team’s latest predictions for the next 10 days. Significantly cooler than normal across the entire area.

The National Weather Service’s official 8-14 day forecast for May 8-14? Below average.

I can show you more, but it can start to panic buying firewood and heating pads.

Bottom line: don’t expect warming too soon.

There is good news in all of this. The snow situation will get better and better. The risk of summer wildfires will be reduced. Soil moisture in southeastern Washington looks favorable. And we’re going to have an extended spring ski season.

Here are my Mother’s Day gift suggestions based on the latest forecast. Mom will be very pleased with this gift.


Reminder: Northwest Weather Conference May 7

If you are interested, check out the meeting website, which includes the agenda:

This year, the meeting will include some talks on the June 2021 heatwave and a discussion on wildfire meteorology. In addition, more general presentations on local meteorology, regional climate and weather technology.

You must register on the website above to attend: the zoom link for the meeting will be emailed to you the week before the meeting. The meeting is free.

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