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U.S. moved closer to being drought-free in April

May 8, 2019
An expansive view of Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, America's biggest national park, as seen in April 2019. According to NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information, Alaska had its 10th warmest April on record in 2019.

April showers indeed brought May flowers as well as sizeable drought relief for the United States, with a near-record low of 2% coverage for the country.  

April 2019 was also, however, a climatological mixed bag: A major, late-season blizzard hit the northern Plains, while unusual warmth was felt in Alaska and across the Mid-Atlantic.

Here’s a snapshot of highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly climate report:

Climate by the numbers

April 2019

The average temperature during April across the contiguous U.S. was 52.9 degrees F (1.8 degrees above average), placing the month in the upper third in the 125-year temperature record for the month of April. Delaware had its second hottest April on record, while Maryland and New Jersey had their third and fourth hottest, respectively.

The average precipitation was 3.17 inches (0.65 of an inch above average), ranking in the top 10 percent on record for the month. Much of the Northwest, South and parts of the upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, Southeast and New England experienced above-average wetness.

Year to date I January through April

The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (January through April) was 39.4 degrees F (0.3 of a degree above average), ranking in the middle third of the record.

Total precipitation was 11.24 inches (1.76 inches above average), making it the seventh wettest YTD on record.  

An annotated map of the United States showing notable climate events that occurred across the country during April 2019. For details, see the bulleted list below in the story and online at http://bit.ly/USClimate201904.
An annotated map of the United States showing notable climate events that occurred across the country during April 2019. For details, see the bulleted list below in the story and online at http://bit.ly/USClimate201904.

Other notable stats

  • A balmy Alaska: Alaska had its 10th hottest April on record; Kotzebue, a city in the northwest section of the state, tallied its warmest April on record.

  • And, yes … even record snowfall: Watertown, South Dakota, saw its highest three-day snow total on record, with 25 inches that fell from April 10–12.

More > Access NOAA’s latest climate report and download the images.

Media contact

John Leslie, 301-713-0214