Warm April contributes to second warmest year to date for contiguous U.S.

Alaska continues to experience record warmth
May 6, 2016
Tupils in the rain.

They say that April showers bring May flowers, and this could not be truer for many parts of the country. According to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, most areas experienced warmer and wetter than average conditions, which hastened our nation's transition to spring.

During the first third of the year, January–April, the average temperature for the contiguous United States was 4.0 degrees F above the 20th-century average, making this period the second warmest on record. Alaska continues to break records for the warmest year to date on record, while 34 states across the West, Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast were much warmer than average. The year-to-date average precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 0.45 inch above the 20th-century average.

January to April 2016 (year to date) mean temperature departure from average
January to April 2016 (year to date) mean temperature departure from average

The April average temperature for the Lower 48 states was 2.2 degrees F above the 20th-century average, which ranks as the 18th warmest April on record. Above-average temperatures were observed across the western two-thirds of the contiguous U.S, with record and near-record warmth along the West Coast and in the Northwest, and below normal temperatures in parts of the Northwest and Midwest. The April precipitation total was 0.43 inch above average, ranking as the 21st wettest in the 122-year period of record.

More: Find NOAA’s reports and download images by visiting the NCEI website.