ACON - VA/NC/SC
The Atlantic Coast Observer Network:
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina
...NEAR NORMAL RAINFALL IN NORTHERN AREAS...
As is rather common, the transition between winter and spring brought a great variety of weather to the region during April. Seems the areas receiving the greatest rainfall were closer to the coasts. Again, Cape Hatteras topped the list with over 9" of rain. Norfolk and Richmond established new all-time rainfall records for April. Temps averaged above normal across most all of Northern Virginia. No distinct patterns were noted across the area. This time of year, one or two thunderstorms at a location can make quite a difference with regard to rainfall amounts.
TEMPERATURE / WINDS/ ELEMENTS
PRECIPITATION / BAROMETRIC PRESSURE
Annandale - Lowell reports: " April was colder than average and a little below average in precipitation. April's mean monthly temperature was - 0.74° colder than the average. The mean monthly temperature of 54.7° was the lowest since 1997. The occurrence of a 40° maximum temperature on April 8th at 1449 was not only the lowest maximum for the month but also the lowest maximum temperature ever recorded for April at this station in the last 23 years. The lowest daily mean temperature was 37.5 ° on the 8th the lowest since 1996. April rainfall had a -0.23" departure with 13 days having precipitation. The lowest wind chill (new Scale) for April was +26.7° on the 7th at 0817. The lowest relative humidity for April of 16% on the 24th was the lowest recorded in April since 1997. The maximum gust of 35 mph from the ESE on the 10th at 2052 was the strongest wind gust recorded for April. Records include: Apr. had 2 daily HIGH maximum 23-year temp. records for the date: 2, 3; Apr. had 3 daily LOW maximum 23-year temp. records for the date: 8, 11, 18; Apr. had 3 daily LOW minimum 23-year temp. records for the date: 1, 2, 15; Apr. had 3 daily HIGH range 23-year temp. records for the date: 4, 8, 9. [ - -]
Arlington - NWS WBC reports: " ... NO NEW RECORDS WERE SET IN APRIL AT REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT ...SUMMARY... APRIL WAS ALL OVER THE BOARD AS SPRING TENDS TO BE. THE FIRST TWO THIRDS OF THE MONTH HAD DAYTIME TEMPERATURES GO FROM THE 60S TO THE 80S...DOWN INTO THE 40S AND 50S AND BACK INTO THE 80S. THE LAST TEN DAYS OF THE MONTH WERE MORE STABLE WITH DAYTIME TEMPERATURES IN THE 60S AND 70S. RAIN WAS FREQUENT BUT LIGHT...WITH TEN DAYS PRODUCING ABOUT TWO AND A HALF INCHES OF RAIN. IN THE END...APRIL WAS A LITTLE COOLER THAN NORMAL AND A LITTLE DRIER THAN NORMAL...BUT NOT TOO FAR OUT OF THE NORM FOR A TYPICAL APRIL IN WASHINGTON. THERE HAVE BEEN NO LATE SEASON FROSTS SINCE THE LAST DAY TO FALL TO FREEZING ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. Rainfall for the month was 0.22" below normal while average temps were 1.0° below normal. The average wind speed was 10.0 mph. [ - - ]
Ashburn - Gary reports: " Well, April has continued the 2003 trend of some measurable precipitation falling on the 1st day of each month. Otherwise, fairly unremarkable. The mean temperature of 53.7° was 1.2° above average, and the rainfall of 2.59" was 0.81" below average, resuming an all-too-familiar trend. Rainfall as of the end of April was 0.14" below average year to date, the first month to close with an annual deficit thus far in 2003. Average dew point for the month was 40°, and the average humidity was 67%. Humidity dropped for 14% during the month, tying the low humidity record for my station and the lowest humidity since October 25, 2001. The low humidity and fairly warm temperatures resulted in Chandler Burning Index values of over 100 on a few days, and equating to Extreme fire danger. The rainiest hour of the month was 1 - 2 AM, during which period 0.30" of rain fell over five days. Average wind speed was only 1.6 mph (vs. 2.5 mph last year), and the high wind gust of 28 mph was a full 10 mph lower than last April's peak gust. Wind run was only 1152.34 miles. All in all, April 2003 was much less windy than most spring months. In virtually all categories, April 2002 had more extremes, except in heating degree days and number of days with 0.01" of rain or more (including that fairly remarkable high temperature of 95.1ø on April 17th 2002). Thunder taking place after 11pm on the 30th brought the only thunder day for the month. " - [ + - ]
Blacksburg - NWS Blacksburg reports the monthly mean temp was 2.4° above normal while rainfall was 0.94" above normal. The average winds speed was 6.4 MPH. [ + + ]
Bridgewater - " The average temperature was 1.8° above normal, and the precipitation was 2.34" above normal. The precipitation for this year so far is about 5" above normal. What a contrast from last year! We have not had a strong thunderstorm so far this year. Snowfall this past winter was around 29 inches which is about 6 inches above average. " - report from Clayton
Centreville - " April Fool's Day marked the end of a few days of tricky forecasts for how long nightly lows would continue to be less than 32°. Gratefully, April first was, what we hope, the last night for the next several months when we have to tolerate such foolishness. 88° for highs on the 15th & 16th played a major role in jacking the average daily temperature to more than 5° above the 51.5° normal for the month. Days exceeding the average monthly high of 65.7° numbered 18 and gave us a mean maximum for April of 67.8°. As for lows, one night was less than, and two nights were tied for the 37.2° average nightly low. The recorded average nightly lows exceeded the established average low by 8.6°; a continuation of an upward creep since the first of the year, and nearly +2° over the March deviation. While our rainfall was 95% of the normal 3.28", our recorded 3.10" still allowed us to keep our annual rainfall total on the plus-side by 4.53". Although it was fairly moist throughout the month , the greatest 24 hour accumulation of 0.83" on April 7th & 8th amounted to just 27% of our total. With a mound of snow in D.C. still in the process of melting from the President's Day storm, I hope it's not too early to offer a reminder that only six months remain until October when 0.1" of snow accumulation is considered normal. Snow cones anyone??? Cheers! " - notes from Paul [ + - ]
Charlottesville - The monthly average temperature was 2.3° below normal while rainfall was 5.30" above normal. The average wind speed was 6.6 mph. The average relative humidity was 75% while the average sky cover was 60%. [ - + ]
Dulles - The mean temp was 0.3° above normal. The monthly rainfall was 0.51" below normal. Average wind speed, 7.6 mph. - from NWS WBC [ - - ]
Falls Church - " April 2003 was slightly below in temperature but slightly above in rainfall. A week of damp, rainy weather brought one day with a brief period of sleet in the AM. Not enough to even be considered a trace before changing back to all rain- The sleet occurred the morning of the 7th. April 4-11 was the week where some rain fell each day and skies remained mostly cloudy. Some days had a brief period of sun. A peak wind gust of 32mph was measured on the 10th. The morning of the 24th had some light frost on the grassy surfaces. April 3rd the cherry blossoms were at peak and the weather couldn't have been more perfect (83/49 Clear, blue sky). on" - notes from Erica [ - + ]
Herndon Bob reports: " My average max temp was 2.3° below the Dulles "normal" and the average min was 3.3° above. Total precip was only 0.1" below the Dulles "normal"; Dulles is about 4 miles WSW and its normal is the 1971-2000 average. This was a benign, pleasant month with enough precip for vegetation. " - [ + - ]
Herndon - " The monthly temperature was 0.2° above average, precipitation was 0.10" below average, and snowfall was 0.4" below average. We had sleet on the 7th and thunder on the 30th. Besides several days with temperature ranges of 35+°, April was a quiet month. No records were broken. " - notes from Russ [ + - ]
Lynchburg - Rainfall for the month was 1.86" above normal while the mean temp was 0.9° above normal. The average wind speed was 6.0 MPH. The average sky cover was 40% and the average relative humidity was 67%. - from NWS Blacksburg [ + + ]
Norfolk - NWS AKQ reported the mean temp at ORF was 0.5° above normal. Rainfall was 3.01" above normal and established a new precip total record for the month of April. The average wind speed was 11.4 mph. Sky cover was 40%. The average relative humidity was 75%. [ + + ]
Norfolk - The Fred Heutte Center, in Historic Ghent, noted a mean barometer reading of 30.016". The mean relative humidity was 77%. The average wind speed was 5.0 mph from a dominant SE direction.
Portsmouth - Precip in April was well-above normal, some 199% of the usual (+3.46"). Temps were slightly below normal (- ½°). Only 6 days with temps reaching into the 80s in a month where a 90° reading or two are common for early spring. Occasional development of coast hugging lows over the Mid-Atlantic brought excessive rains. Pattern remained with upper trough digging over the East and energy ejecting out of the south through the southeast US. New records for the month included: 2ND TEMPERATURE MAXIMUM 83° [PREVIOUSLY 82° 1979]; 7TH PRECIPITATION 2.00" [PREVIOUSLY 1.11" 1989]; 9th PRECIPITATION 1.61" [PREVIOUSLY 0.76" 1976]; 9TH TEMPERTURE MINIMUM MAXIMUM 45° [PREVIOUSLY 46° 1996]; 10TH TEMPERATURE MINIMUM MAXIMUM 48° [PREVIOUSLY 50° 1997]; 10TH PRECIPITATION 0.98" [PREVIOUSLY 0.27" 2002]; 11TH TEMPERATURE MINIMUM MAXIMUM TIE 49° [PREVIOUSLY 1989]. Winds averaged 4.4 MPH from a dominant E direction. The average barometric pressure was 30.043". The average relative humidity was 74.0% and the average sky cover was 41.3%. For the year-to-date, the temperature average was just below normal (-0.7°) while rainfall was 124% of the norm. [ - + ]
Richmond - NWS AKQ reported the mean temp at RIC was 0.2° below normal. Rainfall was 1.20" above normal and a new precip record for April was established. The average sky cover was 60% while the average relative humidity was 73%. The average wind speed was 9.1 mph. [ - + ]
Mechanicsville - Glenn reports: " A fairly calm month with a t-storm on the 10th that had strong winds and sharp lightning."
Roanoke - Wendell's notes: " A wet, slightly above normal April. Rainfall was 1.19" above normal. The average temp was 0.6° above normal. No snow or even flurries while the norm for April here is 0.4 in." - [ + + ]
Roanoke - NWS Blacksburg reports that the monthly mean temp was 0.7" above normal. Rainfall was 1.41" above normal. The average wind speed was 7.0 mph. The average relative humidity was 66% while the average sky cover was 50% [ + + ]
Woodstock - " Wetter than most Aprils (6th of 18) and a little cooler too.THE weather event was a half inch of snow and slush on the 9th, to top off a truly nasty winter. I have been heating primarily with an ancient wood furnace, and last winter I used 30% more wood than in any winter in the last 18 years. I'm converting to propane! " - notes from Lauck [ - + ]
Asheville - from NWS GSP: The monthly mean temp was 1.1° above normal and the rainfall was 1.76" above normal. The average wind speed was 6.4 mph. Average relative humidity 73% while the average sky cover was 40%. [ + + ]
Charlotte - NWS GSP reports the mean temp here was 2.3° below normal and precip was 5.30" above normal. The average wind speed was 6.6 mph. - [ - + ]
Elizabeth City - The Elizabeth City Coast Guard Station [ECG] reported an average wind speed of 11.0 mph. The mean temp was 1.6° below normal while rainfall was 4.21" above normal. The average relative humidity was 77% while the average sky cover was 40%. - from NWS AKQ [ - + ]
Fayetteville - NWS RDU reports the average wind speed was 8.1 mph.
Cape Hatteras - The average temperature in April 2003 was 59.7°. This was 0.5° warmer than the 1895-2003 average, the 40th warmest April on record (1895-2003). 9.18" of precipitation fell in April. This was 5.92" more than the 1895-2003 average, the 3rd wettest such month on record (1895-2003). - from NCDC [ + + ]
Greensboro - NWS RDU notes a mean temp here of 0.8° above normal. Rainfall was 2.96" above normal. The average wind speed was 8.8 mph. - [ + + ]
Hickory - The average wind speed was 5.3 mph. The average monthly temperature 1.5° below normal while rainfall was 4.71" above normal - from NWS GSP [ - + ]
Lumberton - The average wind speed was 7.1 mph. The average monthly temperature was 0.1° below normal while rainfall was 1.99" above normal - from NWS ILM [ - + ]
Raleigh - NWS RAH reported the monthly average temp was 0.9° below normal while rainfall was 1.55" above normal. The average relative humidity was 74% while the average sky cover was 50%. - [ - + ]
Raleigh - Bob reports: " Conditions were similar to last month (March) with a couple of cold air damming episodes which resulted in days of overcast skies and precipitation. The average daily temperature was almost 1° below normal while precipitation was 1.95" above normal. Precipitation for the year is 3.78" above normal. No severe weather was observed at this station during April. " - [ - + ]
Roxboro - notes reports: "April brought a variety of weather from temperatures in the 30s to the 80s; traces of snow, hail, and summer-like thunderstorms. Rainfall total was well above normal and temperatures averaged 4.6° above normal."
Wilmington - From NWS ILM: The average temp was 1.1° below normal while rainfall was a 3.54" above normal. The average wind speed was 8.2 mph. RECORD DAILY RAINFALL SET ON 7TH. PREVIOUS RECORD 1.37" SET IN 1953. RECORD DAILY RAINFALL SET ON 25TH. PREVIOUS RECORD 1.26" SET IN 1937. [ - + ]
Anderson - NWS GSP reports the monthly mean temp was 1.5° below normal. Rainfall was 1.09" above normal. The average wind speed was 6.2 mph. - [ - + ]
Charleston- NWS CHS reports the monthly mean temp was 0.5° above normal. Rainfall was 2.41" above normal. The average wind speed was 8.0 mph. - [ + + ]
Columbia - NWS CAE reports that the mean temp here was 1.5° below normal. Rainfall was a 3.67" above normal. The average wind speed was 6.4 mph. Average relative humidity was 73% while the average sky cover was 50%. [ - + ]
Florence - The mean temp here was 2.0° below normal while rainfall totals were 0.52" above normal. The average wind speed was 7.3 mph. - from NWS ILM [ + + ]
Greenville-Spartanburg - The monthly mean temperature was 0.3° above normal while rainfall was 3.59" above normal. The average wind speed was 7.4 mph. - from NWS GSP [ + + ]
North Myrtle Beach - The mean temp was 1.1° below normal while rainfall was 4.46" above normal. The average wind speed was 7.8 mph. - from NWS ILM [ - + ]
Orangeburg - NWS CAE reports the average wind speed was 6.2 mph. The average relative humidity was 76% while the average sky cover was 50%.
Tri-Cities - Tri-Cities received 6.66" of precipitation during April, which was 3.43" above normal. It was the 2nd wettest April on record at Tri-Cities. Measurable precipitation fell on thirteen days, with over one inch falling on two of those days. The heaviest rain fell on the 10th, when 2.18" was recorded. The wettest April at Tri-Cities was back in 1998, when 7.03" fell. The 18.28" of rain that has fallen for the year is well above normal, +4.22". The average monthly temperature at Tri-Cities was 56.6°, which was 2.0° above normal. It ranked as the 27th warmest April at Tri-Cities. No daily records were broken. The warmest April at Tri-Cities was back in 1954, when the average temperature was 61.8°. - from NWS MRX [ + + ]
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