Friday, May 02, 2014

April 2014 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine


April 2014 finished with slightly below normal temperatures. Temperatures ranged from 2 to 4 degrees below normal across much of western Maine, and from near normal to 1 degree below normal Down East Maine. Precipitation was variable and ranged from 50 to 90 percent of normal across much of western and central Maine, and from 130 to 170 percent of normal across eastern Maine.

The average temperature at Caribou of 37.2 degrees was 1.4 degrees below the 1981-2010 average temperature.  It was the coolest April since 2007.  At Bangor, the average temperature of 41.8 degrees was 7 tenths (0.7) of a degree below average.

A total of 4.37 inches of precipitation (rain and melted snow) was observed at Caribou.  This was 1.71 inches above normal, and was the wettest April since 2005.  A total of 9.2 inches of snow was observed, which was 1.8 inches above normal.  It was the snowiest April in 4 years (since 2011).  At Bangor, a total of 2.26 inches of precipitation was observed, which was 1.34 inches below normal. A total of 1.1 inches of snow was observed, which was 2.6 inches below normal.

The month began with one of the deepest snowpacks on record  across northern Maine with 2 1/2 to 4 feet.  Amounts dropped off across Down East Maine with amounts ranging from an inch Or less up to 3 inches along the immediate coast, and from 6 inches to 2 feet inland.  By the end of the month, there was no snow on the ground across Down East Maine.  There were still some areas in the north Maine woods and across the western mountains with a foot or more of snow on the ground.

The most significant weather was associated with break-up on area rivers around the middle of the month.  The combination of warm weather and rain caused rivers to rise and created significant ice movement and ice jams on rivers across northern and eastern Maine. This produced numerous areas of flooding across the region.

The outlook from the climate prediction center for May indicates that there are no unusually strong climate signals that point toward an unusually cool or warm month or a particularly wet or dry month.

The average high temperature at Caribou (Bangor) climbs from 56 (60) degrees on the 1st to 68 (70) by the end of the month.  The average low temperature is 36 (38) degrees on the 1st and warms to 45 (47) by the end of the month.  The amount of available daylight continues to increase as we head closer to the summer solstice, but not as rapidly as in April. There is an increase of 1 hour and 11 minutes of available daylight during the month.

Measurable snowfall at Bangor is rare, but not unheard of during the first half of May.  The most significant snowfall of 3.8 inches was observed on May 11, 1963.  At Caribou, measurable snowfall is possible at just about any time during the month of May, but becomes increasingly unlikely during the 2nd half of the month.  The most significant snowfall of 10.4 inches was observed over a three day period from May 8-10, 1967.  The last time there was measurable Snowfall in May was in 2007 when 8 tenths of an inch was observed on May 17th.