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April Showers

Although the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers,” is April really the wettest month of the year for the Northeast? It turns out that Bridgeport, CT is the only one of the 35 major climate sites that normally receives most of its precipitation during the month of April. Many of the other areas in the region experience their wettest months of the year during the summer, particularly during the month of July.

wettest month normals

The wettest month of the year for each of the major climate sites in the Northeast (based on 1981-2010 normals)

Similar to the trend from the 30-year climate normals, the all-time wettest months on record occurred during the summer months for many of the climate sites in the Northeast. Precipitation amounts vary greatly throughout the region, but during August 1995, Hartford, CT received an impressive 21.87 inches of rain. Sixteen years later, Tropical Storm Irene contributed to six major climate sites across New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey receiving a record amount of precipitation at each of their respective locations during August 2011.

wettest months

August has been the wettest month on record for 18 of climate sites throughout the region.

Beckley, WV and LaGuardia Airport, NY are the only areas to have experienced their all-time wettest days in April. Out of the 35 major climate sites in the region, 21 have had their wettest days on record between June and September. Islip, NY set a record on August 13, 2014 after receiving 13.51 inches of rain. According to an archived National Weather Service report from that day, 1.08 inches of rain fell in just nine minutes early that morning!

wettest days

The wettest days on record for each of the 35 major climate sites in the Northeast.

So although April does typically bring quite a few rainy (and snowy) days to many areas in the Northeast, on average more precipitation tends to fall during the warmer months of the year.