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May 9, 2011

Wet April topples records, adds to record flooding

NOAA has run the numbers for April and in addition to historic flooding, a record-breaking tornado outbreak and huge wildfires, the month ended as the 10th wettest since national record-keeping began in 1895.

The average temperature across the Lower 48 states was 52.9 degrees, about 0.9 degrees above the 20th century average. Precipitation in April was 0.7 inches above the norm.

The heaviest rain fell in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys (map above; click to enlarge). The Ohio Valley region saw its wettest April on record. It was the second-wettest in the Northeast. West Virginia and Pennsylvania had their wettest Aprils since 1895. Kentucky saw an astonishing 11.88 inches of rain in April, obliterating the previous record for the month - just 7.61 inches in 1972. It was three times the long-term average for April in Kentucky.

The soaking suffered by the middle of the country is in stark contrast with the terrible drought in the Southern Plains. Texas saw its fifth-driest April on record. Ninety-four percent of the state is in Severe Drought or worse. Wildfires in April burned across 1.79 million acres of the nation, and Texas alone has seen 2.2 million acres charred since January.

Mid-Atlantic states enjoyed unusual warmth in April. Delaware saw its warmest on record; Virginia had its fourth-warmest; West Virginia its eighth warmest. Marylanders recorded their 10th warmest April on record.

The Northwest was unusually cool, with Washington state recording its second-coolest April on record - 5 degrees below the norm.  

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: By the numbers

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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