April weather in Missouri

Debbie Johnson
Senior Writer
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group

May 5, 2014

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - April in Missouri saw roller-coaster temperatures, plus too much rain in some places and not enough in others.

You might think that April was much cooler than normal, but not so. The numbers don't lie.

"The numbers are right around normal for the month," said Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension's Commercial Agriculture Program. "We had a lot of week-to-week temperature swings. It was a roller-coaster ride with our temperatures."

There were regional differences. Missouri had very cold weather around the middle of the month, with moderate- to hard-freeze temperatures in March and the first week in April, Guinan said.

The impact of those low temperatures was minimal because vegetative growth was behind schedule thanks to below-normal temperatures in March, he said.

April showers arrived as expected. Some areas of the state had heavy precipitation and even some flooding. After below-normal precipitation for January, February and March, the preliminary numbers show the average statewide total for April was just over 5 inches, which is an inch above normal.

"The heaviest totals were around central, east-central parts of the state and southeastern sections of the state," Guinan said. "There were totals of six to more than 10 inches that fell during the month of April."

According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), Ripley County had 10.4 inches while New Madrid County saw 12.35 inches. The city of New Madrid reported 8.48 inches of rain on the morning of April 28, which brought extensive flooding.

There were areas in the state that missed out.

"The driest areas were parts of southwestern Missouri. Some southwest communities saw less than an inch and a half for the month of April," Guinan said. "This brings drought intensification across southwestern Missouri."

While southwestern counties were the driest, the northwestern tip of the state also had less rain. Guinan says climatology is on their side. May is climatologically the wettest month for the Show-Me State, Guinan says.

According the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, there is an enhanced likelihood for above-normal precipitation for the state in May.

"In May we average a little over an inch of rain a week. I hope things could improve for the southwestern and northwestern parts of the state," Guinan said.

The temperature forecast for May calls for a warmer than normal month across the southern half of the state.

Missouri average April temperatures, 1895-2014

Missouri average April temperatures, 1895-2014.
Photo credit: Pat Guinan, MU Extension Commercial Agriculture Program

Source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908