Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Friday: 3 May 2013

The Month of April  -  @ 12:53:04
It's The Month of April, Number 87 in a series. For us in northeast Georgia, it was a perfectly average April. And I mean average - chi squares were the smallest evah!

Here are the usual temperature anomalies products, at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Displayed is the mean temperature anomaly. Click on it and you'll get the high and low temperature anomalies on a new page.

Much of the US, especially the Midwest extending south, continued under much colder than normal conditions. The region of unusual warmth in the West shrunk into the southwestern corner of the country. The eastern US warmed just slightly above normal

We find the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's precipitation plots here.

The dry conditions of February and March continued in the West, as did the average to above average precipitation seen in the central and eastern US. Most regions in Florida got at least normal rainfall, but the coastal New England states were drier than normal.

For the Athens, GA area:

Here is a plot of our daily temperatures excursions in April, along with precipitation amounts as experienced in Wolfskin. In December and January we had higher than normal temperatures; in February we returned to seasonably cold weather. Cold weather intensified in March, with the average temperature much below normal for much of the month. April returned us to average temperatures. Rainfall was unusually heterogeneous across the Athens area, in April.

The average monthly temperature for April was 61.2 degF, just about average. We had 6 day more than 1 standard deviation above normal highs (4.9 normal), and that was balanced off by 5 nights more than 1 standard deviation below normal lows (5.4 normal). We broke no records. While there were some swings in the daily highs and lows, it all averaged out.

The monthly histogram below shows the breakdown of high and low temperature range counts from April 1948 on. The error bars are just plus/minus one standard deviation, which I arbitrarily set as the limits outside of which are "significantly" anomalous.

You really couldn't get much closer to the average in any of the temperatures ranges.

The figure below shows the Athens precipitation data which are official for our area. As usual the green line shows our actual rainfall, the red shows the average accumulation expected. The black dots are rainfall over the last 22 years, and the river of peach shows the standard deviation.

Our total out here was 3.11", and the official recording in Athens (shown here) was 3.77". 3.15" is normal for April, where we ended up out here. But rainfall was very different for locations not that far apart - it ranged from 2.5" to nearly 5" for CoCoRaHS observers in Clarke and Oglethorpe counties.

Prognosticator stuff:

What is the neat prognosticator telling us? A considerable turnabout in terms of both precipitation and temperatures - the next month will be cooler and wetter, grading to normal for us in northeast Georgia. The overall three month picture through July is for above normal temperatures for much of the US, excepting the northernmost tier of states and the Pacific states. This is countered by normal rainfall for the first half of the summer, except for a swath from Washington southeast to Texas.

ENSO stuff:

The folks at CPC have a version of PDF or HTML that is much different from their previous presentations, but at least it's there and the link isn't broken.

As of April 29, ENSO neutral conditions continue, and are expected to remain neutral into the Northern Hemisphere summer. We've remained ENSO neutral now for over a year. The last such lengthy period was 10 years ago, 2003-2004.

NOAA's Monthly State of the Climate product for March is available. And last year's annual report for 2012 regionally, nationally, and globally is also available.

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