The number of April showers were below normal last month

DES MOINES — To many Iowans, it seems like winter ran long this year, with plenty of springtime snowstorms and frigid wind chills, but it turns out that our temperatures were right on target during April.

State climatologist Justin Glisan says there were extremes on both ends of the thermometer, but it all averaged out to be normal for the month. “If we look at the statewide average temperature, it was right on the average of 49 degrees,” Glisan says. “We did have pockets of slightly above average temperatures in southwestern Iowa, and then over into eastern Iowa, but overall, near-normal temperatures across the state.”

There was severe weather on April 4th that included large hail, high winds, and several funnel clouds and tornadoes, as well as multiple bouts with snow during the month, but overall, Iowa was lacking for rainfall during April. “So if we look at the statewide average, it was a little over two inches, and that’s about an inch and a half below average,” Glisan says, “with the driest part of the state down in southeastern Iowa, with departures of up to one to three inches below average.”

Computer models are pointing to a continued dry spell for the month ahead, while Glisan says the immediate forecast looks about right.
“Basically, across the upper Midwest and through the Corn Belt, an elevated signal for drier conditions in May,” Glisan says, “and May is the second wettest month climatologically for the state with almost five inches, so we don’t like to see that dry signal, but at least in the short term, we are seeing near-normal precipitation.”

Forecasters anticipate an El Nino weather pattern will develop over the region within the next few months, which typically means moderate temperatures and better chances for precipitation.