April 2015 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
Commercial Agriculture/University of Missouri Extension
April 2015 temperatures in Missouri were above normal and followed a warm trend that has dominated for nearly two decades. Since 1999, only five Aprils have been cooler than average, Figure 1. Preliminary data indicate an average statewide temperature of 57.5°F, or 2.7 degrees above normal, Figure 2. The first few weeks of April were unusually mild, but cooler weather dominated the last 10 days of the month, Figure 3.
According to preliminary data, April precipitation averaged slightly below average with an annual statewide total of 3.65 inches, or 0.32 inches below the long-term average. It was the 6th consecutive month with below average precipitation. Only 4 out of the past 16 months have recorded above average precipitation for the state, Figure 4. Thankfully, monthly deficits over the past several months have not been substantial.
Rainfall was variable across Missouri with heaviest amounts confined to east central, southeast, and far southwestern sections where 4-6 inches were common. Generally, 2-3 inches were typical across northern sections and in a small area of south central Missouri centered on Pulaski, Phelps and Texas counties. The rest of Missouri received 3-4 inches of rainfall.
Counties receiving the highest April rainfall include Ste. Genevieve (9.04"), Newton (7.69"), New Madrid (7.33") and Dunklin (7.09"). Some of the lowest monthly amounts were reported in Monroe (1.51"), Daviess (1.50"), Phelps (1.41"), Texas (1.41") and Ralls counties (1.28").
According to the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service, spring tillage during the last week of April was 38% complete compared to 57% for the 5-year average. Only 20% of the corn crop had been planted by April 26 compared to a 5-year average of 44%. Unusually wet weather in southeastern Missouri had limited spring planting opportunities with only 16% of the corn planted as of April 26. The majority of topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies were adequate and 63% of the pastures were rated in good to excellent condition. Stock water supplies were 92% adequate.
Source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908