Hard to believe, but for a few sites, April was indeed colder than March. The pattern that was so prevalent during March, featuring Eastern U.S. high pressure and persistent very warm southerly winds across the Great Lakes, quickly abated as April began.  More persistent troughing and frequent bouts of cooler Canadian air were much more common during April, resulting in average monthly temperatures near normal across Northern Michigan.  With the historic warmth in March, this resulted in both Traverse City and Gaylord coming in with a colder April than March (by an unbelievable 3.9 degrees and 0.1 degrees respectively).  This is a first for Northern Michigan in recorded history (came close for some back in 1907).

     Overall, the above pattern also supported month long dry weather, with the only significant rain event occurring on the 19th and 20th.  Precipitation averaged below normal for much of Northern Michigan, which resulted in frequent periods of elevated fire weather concerns for the month. 

April Temperature Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2012)

April Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Warmest Temp/Date(s)

Coolest Temp/Date(s)

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

41.1 

40.2 

+0.9 

 N/A

63 / 14th,16th

21 / 17th

46.5 / 2010

28.9 / 1907

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2012)

April Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Warmest Temp/Date(s)

Coolest Temp/Date(s)

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

44.2 

42.6

+1.6 

N/A 

70 / 14th

24 / 22nd, 29th

49.1 / 1942*

35.2 / 1950

 

Alpena (1916 - 2012)

April Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Warmest Temp/Date(s)

Coolest Temp/Date(s)

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

41.5 

41.6

-0.1 

N/A 

74 / 14th

20 / 13th

48.7 / 1955

34.3 / 1926

 

Traverse City Airport (1897 - 2012)

April Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Warmest Temp/Date(s)

Coolest Temp/Date(s)

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

42.9 

43.0 

-0.1 

N/A 

73 / 14th

24 / 6th,7th

50.3 / 1921

34.4 / 1907

 

Gaylord Airport (1951 - 2012)

April Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Warmest Temp/Date(s)

Coolest Temp/Date(s)

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

41.3 

41.5

-0.2 

N/A 

69 / 14th

19 / 6th

48.1 / 1955

35.8 / 1993

 

April Precipitation Data (inches):

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2012)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest 24-hr rainfall/date(s)

Days with measurable precipitation

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

1.26 

2.39

 -1.13

N/A 

0.56 / 16th-17th

10

5.52 / 2011

0.33 / 1925

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2012)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest 24-hr rainfall/date(s)

Days with measurable precipitation

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 1.87

2.48

 -0.61

N/A 

1.06 / 19th-20th

8

7.20 / 1929

0.50 / 1946

 

Alpena (1916 - 2012)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest 24-hr rainfall/date(s)

Days with measurable precipitation

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

1.50 

2.39 

-0.89 

N/A 

0.79 / 20th

10

6.54 / 2011

0.51 / 1935

 

Traverse City Cooperative Observing Station (1930 - 1993, 2001 - 2012)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 2.99

2.77 

 +0.22

 N/A

5.90 / 2011

0.46 / 1938

 

Gaylord Cooperative Observing Station (1940 - 2012)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

2.34 

2.52

 -0.18

N/A

6.53 / 2011

0.76 / 1958

 Gaylord, MI (APX): April, 2012 Monthly Observed Precipitation Valid at 5/1/2012 1200 UTC - Created 5/1/12 13:42 UTC

 Gaylord, MI (APX): April, 2012 Monthly Percent of Normal Precipitation Valid at 5/1/2012 1200 UTC - Created 5/1/12 13:45 UTC

April Snowfall Data (inches):

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2012)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest daily snowfall/date(s)

Days with measurable snowfall

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

3.7 

7.5

 -3.8

N/A 

2.1 / 17th

3

25.8 / 1982

T / 1955*

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2012)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest daily snowfall/date(s)

Days with measurable snowfall

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

Trace 

3.6 

-3.6 

Tied least snowiest

N/A

0

17.3 / 2007

T / 2012*

 

Alpena (1916 - 2012)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Greatest daily snowfall/date(s)

Days with measurable snowfall

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

 Trace

5.6

-5.6 

N/A

N/A

0

23.0 / 2003

0.0 / 1999

 

Traverse City Cooperative Observing Station (1930 - 1993, 2001 - 2012)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

 Trace

2.6

-2.6 

N/A

17.3 / 2007

0.0 / 1969

 

Gaylord Cooperative Observing Station (1940 - 2012)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

 1.2

6.3

-5.1 

N/A

22.5 / 2007

T / 2004*

 

- all averages are calculated using the new 1981 - 2010 period

( ) = Consistent years of record; Record temperature data for Gaylord is a combination of Gaylord Airport (2001- 2012) and the Cooperative Observing Station records (1951-2001), Record precipitation data for Traverse City is a combination of Cherry Capital Airport (1930-1993) and the Cooperative Observing Station records (2001-2012)

- only rankings in the top 10 will be entered

* = Record occurred in multiple years; latest year shown

** = New all-time record high for the month

**THESE DATA ARE PRELIMINARY AND HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER. THEREFORE, THESE DATA ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION. FINAL AND CERTIFIED CLIMATE DATA CAN BE ACCESSED AT WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV.**

For additional climate information and atmospheric and oceanic features that drive the patterns across our area, please visit the following links:

Latest Central Pacific Ocean Temperature Trends      Large Scale Atmospheric Blocking Features      Local Climate Home Page

* Data for Traverse City is derived from a composite of observations taken at both Cherry Capital Airport and the cooperative observing station at Munson Medical Center. This data is for informational purposes only and does not meet climatological standards. This data set may include periods with missing data…particularly snowfall data from 1996-2001.

**Data for Gaylord is derived from a composite of observations taken at both Gaylord-Otsego County Airport and the cooperative observing station located near downtown Gaylord. This data is for informational purposes only and does not meet climatological standards. This data set may include periods with missing data and data that has been recorded from different observing points throughout history.

 


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