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Northeast Overview - April 2013

Monthly Summary

PLEASE NOTE: Data is preliminary and subject to change.

Preliminary data indicates the Northeast's average temperature of 46.3 degrees F (7.9 degrees C) was neither above nor below normal for April - it was exactly normal. Five states were cooler than normal while seven were warmer. Departures for the cool states ranged from -0.1 degrees F (-0.1 degrees C) in Vermont to -1.0 degree F (-0.6 degrees C) in New York. For the warm states departures ranged from +0.2 degrees F (+0.1 degrees C) in Maryland and Massachusetts to +1.1 degrees F (+0.6 degrees C) in West Virginia. With a departure of +0.9 degrees F (+0.5 degrees C), Delaware had its 30th warmest April in 119 years.

For the fourth month in a row the Northeast was drier than normal. The region received 2.75 inches (69.85 mm) of precipitation, 75 percent of normal, making it the 29th driest April since 1895. All states were drier than normal with six of twelve ranking this April among their top 26 driest: Connecticut, 6th; Rhode Island, 11th; Maine, 16th; Massachusetts, 22nd; New Hampshire, 25th; and West Virginia, 26th. Connecticut was the driest state at 32 percent of normal. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from 37 percent of normal in Rhode Island to 96 percent of normal in New York.

An on-going lack of precipitation caused abnormally dry (D0) conditions to be introduced by the U.S. Drought Monitor in two counties in western Maryland, the northern third of West Virginia, part of coastal Maine, most of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and all of Connecticut by the end of the month. Abnormal dryness lingered through April in parts of New York while dry conditions along the Vermont-New Hampshire border were expanded to include surrounding counties. Conditions improved in northwest and southeast Pennsylvania, but the central portion remained dry and conditions deteriorated to D0 in the southwest corner of the state. In New Jersey, dry conditions in western counties were eased.

Warm air south of a stalled front helped 14 of 35 first-order climate sites in the Northeast to set record highs on the 9th and 10th. Strong thunderstorms fired up along the frontal boundary on the 10th. Around 80 storm reports were received in Pennsylvania where the storms dropped 1.75-inch (4.45 cm) diameter hail and wind gusts up to 70 mph (31 m/s) snapped trees, brought down power lines, and caused structural damage. Severe thunderstorms that formed along a potent cold front on the 19th spawned two tornadoes and three microbursts. A 75-yard (69 m) wide EF-0 tornado with estimated wind speeds of 85 mph (38 m/s) touched down for a mile (0.8 km) near Largo, MD, and a 200-yard (183 m) wide EF-1 tornado with estimated wind speeds of 110 mph (49 m/s) carved a 3.2-mile (5.1 km) long path across Chenango and Delaware Counties in New York. The microbursts, with wind speeds estimated between 80 and 110 mph (36 and 49 m/s), occurred in Schuylkill and Susquehanna Counties in Pennsylvania and in Delaware County in New York. The tornadoes and microbursts caused structural damage, uprooted trees, snapped power poles, and damaged vehicles.