The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are now in the full swing of spring, but it wasn’t that long ago some in the Northeast were watching flakes fall. Even though Mother Nature threw one last bout of snow at the area in the middle of the month, April wasn’t a particularly eventful month. There were two notable rounds of rainfall, particularly on the 7th that left a few inches of rain across the Mid-Atlantic. Beyond that, however, temperatures remained tame throughout the month as we gradually warmed up into the heart of spring.
To start, a leftover frontal system kept several rain showers around, and while high pressure briefly followed the next day, additional disturbances continued to ride in. Indeed, this kept the Northeast wettest through the first week of the month, which was topped off by a slow-moving low on the 7th, resulting in a period of heavy rain for northern New Jersey into sections of the Hudson Valley. While official observations at Philadelphia Airport and Central Park, NY recorded 1.50 - 2.25” of rain between the 6th and 7th, localized spots northwest of the I-95 corridor saw 3.00 - 4.00” resulting in flooding issues.
Once we got past the cool and wet weather, the second week trended drier and substantially warmer. While not record breaking, highs jumped 10 to 15 degrees above normal into the 70s in New England, 80s down into the Mid-Atlantic. This little taste of summer came crashing down by the 18th - 19th when the white stuff returned. Despite a lot of moisture, it was a highly elevation dependent event. Flakes did mix in further south and east to places like Boston, but significant accumulations were confined to the hills of northern Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley through Albany, NY. The Catskills were especially hard hit, buried under 10 inches of wet snow! Albany itself also saw 2 - 3” with the roads covering up in the middle of the night thanks to intense snowfall rates. The unusual cold blast behind the cold front left places like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Allentown either at or below freezing on the 18th, a record low for all three locations. The chill remained for the next few days too as even Richmond, VA fell to 31 degrees on the 20th! The last week of the month was much quieter as temperatures moderated again.
Severe weather did make a comeback in April, although not quite as intense as previous years. Before the mid-month snow, thunderstorms produced wind damage on the 14th between southeastern Pennsylvania and Litchfield County in Connecticut. While these damage reports were spotty and largely knocked down trees and wires, one injury was reported at Bergenfield High School in NJ as the bleachers and field goal post came down across the field. Two days later on the 16th, quarter-sized hail fell in southern NJ and DE thanks to unusually cool air aloft. And finally, on the 26th a batch of strong storms passed between Richmond and Norfolk, VA causing damage to trees, wires, and even rooftops.
For most cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, April’s average temperature was within -1.5 to 1.5 degrees of their normal. Much of the region also reached normal to above normal precipitation thanks to both the system on the 7th and the 18th-19th snow producer. Hartford, CT was nearly 2.00 inches above normal for the month, while Washington, D.C. and Baltimore finished the month around 0.50” above normal.