April 2019 Northeast Summary

Posted: May 7, 2019, 9:50 am by chewitt

The heart of spring was unseasonably warm and rather wet in the Northeast. April began with high pressure floating overhead which kept things quite cool to start. Then, a coastal low trekked north and hit the eastern half of New England with a good deal of rainfall on the 3rd, with around a 0.50” for most. The ensuing cold front knocked temperatures back some and consequently set the stage for a small wintry event on the 5th. However, far northwestern New Jersey through the western portions of Massachusetts only received scattered coatings to a few tenths of snow and sleet from the storm (higher elevations in NY and MA saw up to 1” plus a bit of icing from freezing rain). The 9th proved to be the last minor accumulating event, with northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire seing a mix of snow, sleet, and rain.

With only a few exceptions, the first week was the last period when temperatures regularly dipped into the 30s. The next two weeks featured a repetitious cycle of passing disturbances. This period saw several warm-ups across the region as temperatures regularly climbed into the 60s and 70s, which were as much as 10 to 20 degrees above normal. The evening of the 14th proved to be a sign of the changing seasons as a severe weather outbreak hit the Northeast. Among of the numerous wind damage reports, 6 tornadoes touched down in northeastern Pennsylvania, including a brief EF-0 that tracked over Scranton and Dunmore. Another stronger tornado (EF-2) tracked from Eldorado, MD into Bethel, DE which overturned a trailer, damaged a few homes via fallen trees, and unfortunately injured one person.


The combination of a warm sector and another cold front across the central US set the stage for a second severe weather outbreak on the 19th, but this time it stretched from Virginia to Florida. Several tornadoes of the EF-0, EF-1 variety touched down in Virginia, with the majority of them in the southeast corner of the state. The last week and a half of the month remained rather warm, but cooled back toward seasonable as April closed out. A small but potent little system clipped southern New England on the 22nd and resulted in over 2” of rainfall. To add to already abundant supply of moisture in New England, a second and more widespread system overtook much of the Northeast and caused 0.5” to 2” of rain. The 2.12” of rainfall in Hartford, CT was in fact record-breaker for the day.

While cities like Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD saw precipitation deficits of 0.5 – 1”, Hartford, CT and Boston, MA topped their normal by 3 to even 5 inches. Hartford, CT had its 2nd wettest April on record as a result. In the temperature department, most locations south and west of New York City saw an unseasonably warm month. New York City recorded its 12th warmest April on record, but more impressively, Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD saw their 3rd warmest April on record, while it was the 2nd warmest for Washington DC!

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