WINTER RETURNS WITH A VENGEANCE IN APRIL (4/16/2007)

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The first half of April has proven to be more like January or February, as two significant winter events brought record- setting snowfalls to parts of Central, South-Central and Southeast Kansas. In addition, average temperatures are on a pace to shatter records for coldest April at many locations.

Newton's 3rd Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. Murphy's 3rd Law of Motion states that for every positive action there is an opposite reaction that is five times stronger.

So far, Spring 2007 is proving both laws to be correct, especially in terms of temperatures. After enjoying it's 2nd warmest March on record with an average monthly temperature of 54.8 degrees, Wichita has chilled out during the first 2 weeks of April with average temperature of 44.5 degrees; a pace that would easily break the record for the coldest April ever: 48.0 degrees set in 1983.

For Lincoln, Kansas, the average monthly temperature in March was 50.7 degrees, their 5th warmest ever. From April 1st-14th, Lincoln has been left out in the cold with an average temperature of 41.1 degrees, a pace that would obliterate their coldest April record of 47.2 degrees set in 1920.

For Chanute, the average monthly temperature in March was 55.9 degrees, their 2nd warmest on record. However, in April, Chanute has been playing it really cool with an average temperature of 45.1 degrees from the 1st to the 14th; a pace that would easily break the record for their coldest April on record: 49.1 degrees in 1983.

A 2nd topic that has been brought up in conversations has been the snowfall. Questions related to both latest measurable snowfall in April and greatest April snowfall have been raised.

As far as latest snowfall is concerned, In 2007, Wichita set a record for latest measurable snowfall: 0.8 inch on April 14th. In addition, 0.5 inch was measured the night of the 13th to produce an event total of 1.3 inches. Newton 2SW: 4.3 inches on April 14th.

However, it may be surprising hear that some locations have actually measured snow during the latter half of April. Winfield measured snow on April 18th, 1953, Independence measured snow on April 20th, 1918, and in 1994, Russell came within a snowball's throw of measuring in May when, on April 30th, they measured 0.4 inch.

The following are the record monthly snowfalls in April:

The "One Foot Fraternity": COTTONWOOD FALLS: 13.0 Inches (1959); McPHERSON: 12.8 Inches (1901); LINCOLN: 12.0 Inches (1920); ELLSWORTH: 12.0 inches (1920); EUREKA: 12.0 Inches (1901).

Larger cities/towns: WICHITA: 6.5 Inches (1901); SALINA: 7.0 Inches (1970)*; HUTCHINSON 10SW: 9.0 Inches (1983)*; CHANUTE: 9.0 Inches (1938); GREAT BEND: 6.0 Inches (1990)*; EL DORADO: 7.0 Inches (1916); WINFIELD: 6.0 Inches (1916, 1938). [*=Denotes limited database.)

Cities/towns setting new April snowfall records (Through the 14th): HILLSBORO: 11.3 Inches; CASSODAY: 10.0 Inches; NEWTON: 8.1 Inches.

In summation, while April, 2007 has seemed more like January or February, it is by no means the first year in which one experienced an extended winter in April. Regardless, for many folks, it's been an April to remember.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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