April 2018: Slow Transition to Spring

Posted: May 9, 2018, 12:56 pm by chewitt

 Indeed, winter would not give up as colder than normal conditions persisted well into the first two-thirds of April. While it was effectively over in states like Maryland, Virginia, and most of Delaware, snow continued to fall across northern states as temperatures remained stubbornly below normal otherwise. Seasonable weather would arrive eventually but took until the pattern broke by the final week, making April arguably one of the worst transition months into Spring in a while.

By the start of the month, we warmed sufficiently enough on average to end winter for much of the Mid-Atlantic. That apparently did not stop a system from swiftly moving in from the Midwest. Several inches fell north of Trenton, NJ with as much as 7 to 8 inches across Bergen County in New Jersey and Westchester County in New York. The storm remarkably lasted roughly 6 to 8 hours, but was able to produce 1-2” per hour rates of snowfall. In retrospect, though, and in light of how the rest of the month panned out, this would be the last major system to impact the Northeast.

The consistent supply of cold air following this would pin much of the region 5 to 10 degrees below normal, including even Maryland where some nights fell close to or below freezing. Hartford, CT would break a record low of 23 degrees on both the 9th and 11th as nights continued to cool well into the 30s and 20s. In addition, two warm fronts on both the 6th and 10th brought light snow events from northeast PA through Massachusetts, though with measurable amounts generally around 1 inch and under.

In between these systems were interior snow showers, some of which leaked across the I-95 corridor but were mixed with rain and did not result in accumulations. We did have a taste of late spring/early summer between the 12th and 14th when temperatures warmed well into the 70s and 80s but a backdoor cold front brought the ultimate weather whiplash. Temperatures had a hard time just coming out of the 30s the following day, of which seemed like a time warp back to January.

Shortly after hopping off the temperature roller coaster, a robust system with a vigorous front on the 16th funneled in a great deal of moisture, which first allowed for wintry precipitation across the Hudson Valley and most of New England, including several tenths of ice in western Massachusetts. In a change in pace away from talking snow though, most of the region dealt with a lot of rain, as much as 1.50-2.50” of it up and down the I-95 corridor. New York City received the heaviest of this with nearly 3.00”, resulting in localized flooding.

We fell into another colder than normal period for the third week but it was not as brutal as earlier in the month with many major cities no longer seeing freezing temperatures. And in what was a reprieve for many, the pattern finally broke in the last week once we finally bounced back near seasonable. Temperatures regularly floated between the 50s and 70s, temperatures which again were much more in line with what April normally feels like..well outside of the brief snow again in the very interior areas of PA, NY, and MA on the 30th but other than it was normal!

In the end, the I-95 corridor fell 2 to 4 degrees below normal. North and west of there it was even colder (up to 4 to 6 degrees) including Hartford, CT, Harrisburg, PA, and Poughkeepsie, NY. And depending on how the 16th rain storm panned out, most of the Northeast had satisfied their usual monthly precipitation or were dealt surpluses (such as in New York City) thanks to heavy rainfall. Aside from the white stuff hanging around seemingly forever, at this point, we’re able to finally close the books on the 2017-2018 winter season!


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