April weather brings early heat to the state

By Rachel Webber, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

agweathernet-logo-250PROSSER, Wash. – April seemed anxious to welcome summer this year, as a rapid warming trend at month’s end brought Washington its hottest weather since September.

“Washington growers escaped the critical month of April largely unscathed in terms of major frost events,” said AgWeatherNet Director Gerrit Hoogenboom.  “Luckily, the snowpack is still in good shape and severe summer water shortages appear to be unlikely at this point.”

A Web-based, publicly available system, AgWeatherNet (http://weather.wsu.edu/awn.php) provides access to near real-time weather data and value-added products from Washington State University’s statewide weather network, along with decision aids for agricultural producers and other users.

While April was typically variable, temperatures at Long Beach soared into the upper 80s on the last day of the month, after reaching 58 degrees only two days earlier. The coast was one of the hottest parts of the state because of offshore airflow that negated the typical cooling effect of the ocean.

“The 88-degree high temperature at Long Beach on the 30th crushed their old April record by 12 degrees,” said AgWeatherNet meteorologist Nic Loyd. “Interestingly, Long Beach has already eclipsed their hottest temperature of 2013, and the 2014 warm season has just begun.”

Other notable events included the Tri-Cities reaching 81 degrees on April 8, Davenport dropping to 27 degrees on April 28 and Stevenson receiving 1.86 inches of rain on April 23.

Central areas received some wet weather late in the month. Moxee East recorded nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain overnight on April 21-22.

Prosser’s monthly mean temperature was about 2 degrees above average. Its monthly mean low was the warmest since 1994, thanks to the combination of fairly mild air masses and somewhat active conditions.

Visit http://weather.wsu.edu for more information about weather in your area.
Nic Loyd, WSU AgWeatherNet meteorologist, 509-786-9357, nicholas.loyd@wsu.edu