April was warm, dry, but not exceptionally so

Despite a warm spell that included one of the earliest 90-degree days on record, April 2012 wasn't among the warmest months of April on record. And despite rainfall more than an inch below normal, the dryness wasn't exceptional, either.

That's a change from near-record-setting warmth in March and one of the mildest and least snowy winters on record.


April's average temperature as measured at BWI Marshall Airport was 55.3 degrees, unofficially No. 40 on the all time list dating back to 1871. That is about 2 degrees warmer than normal, and it's despite nine consecutive cooler-than-normal days to end the month, WBAL-TV meteorologist Tom Tasselmyer pointed out on Twitter. It was the 15th-straight month with warmer-than-normal temperatures at BWI, he wrote.

Each of the past two years were warmer in April, as were 2008 and 2006.


This April's average further shows what an anomaly March's heat was -- the March average temperature of 53.7 degrees was less than two degrees cooler than April's average.

Rainfall totaled 1.99 inches at BWI, 1.2 inches below normal but No. 29 on the all-time list, unofficially, according to National Weather Service data. Before a spurt of rain late in the month, farmers and gardeners feared the impacts of a rare April drought.

April 16 was the hottest day of the month, at 90 degrees, while a 32-degree low April 3 was the coldest of the month. The rainy Sunday on April 22 was the month's wettest day, with 1.33 inches, and it made up two-thirds of the monthly rainfall total.

Perhaps the moderation means a smaller chance of an exceptionally hot summer? Hard to say.

This blog post showed that a cooler-than-normal summer has been unlikely after mild Maryland winters. And climate forecasters with the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center are calling for a chance of higher-than-average temperatures this summer.