April 2012: Detailed Weather and Climate Review For NWS Hastings Coverage Area

(Click on the links in gray boxes below to quickly jump to information located farther down the page)

Monthly Narrative

Tri-Cities & Ord Details 
& Monthly Extremes
Graphs, Tables, Maps Drought Monitor Graphics

Monthly Precipitation & Snowfall Tables & Archive of These Monthly Reviews

April 2012 Weather Stories 
(Click HERE for archive to all web stories)
 

April 1: 

Record-Tying Warmth at Grand Island

April 14:

Widespread Severe Weather Including a Few Tornadoes

April 15:

Strong Northwest Winds Behind a Cold Front

April 24:

Record High Temperatures Set in the Tri-Cities

April 2012:

Monthly Climate Summaries Specifically For Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Ord

* Please Note: All climate data presented here are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at: WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV

* Effective Aug. 1, 2011: The new set of 30-year climate averages, or "normals", from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) for 1981-2010 superseded the previous 30-year set of 1971-2000 normals on all NWS climate-related products.


April 2012 Climate Review For South Central Nebraska And Portions Of North Central Kansas

...Yet Another Month of Above Normal Temperatures...But This Time With Above Normal Rainfall In Most Areas...

The following narrative focuses on climate and weather highlights for the month of April 2012 across the NWS Hastings coverage area, encompassing 24 counties in south central and central Nebraska, and 6 counties in north central Kansas. Click HERE for a map of this coverage area. The temperature and precipitation data presented here are largely based on the NWS Cooperative Observer network, along with data from a handful of automated airport sites. Climate averages and "normals" for April 2012 presented here are based on the official 1981-2010 normals.

TEMPERATURES...(According to 30-year averages, "normal" April high temperatures in South Central Nebraska gradually climb from the upper 50s early in the month to the upper 60s by month's end. In North Central Kansas, highs gradually warm from the low 60s to near 70. Low temperatures across the area generally climb from the low or mid-30s early in the month to the mid-40s by month's end...) 

Although not as anomalously warm as the record-breaking warmth of March across much of the NWS Hastings coverage area, April 2012 nonetheless registered 3 to 6 degrees above normal for the month. For the majority of the area, this was the seventh month in a row of above normal temperatures, and the eighth or ninth occurrence of above normal temperatures in the last 10 months. For places such as Grand Island and Hastings, this was the 7th and 10th-warmest April on record, respectively. Breaking down temperature trends through the month, there were no prolonged stretches of notable cold or warmth, with most days registering within 10 degrees of normal. That being said, daily high temperatures across nearly the entire area never fell short of 50 degrees, while 30-year averages would suggest that highs no warmer than the 40s should occur at least a handful of times, especially north of Interstate 80 in Nebraska. Even more remarkably, overnight low temperatures across most of the 30-county area never dropped below the hard-freeze threshold of 28 degrees, with the exception of some locations across far northern and western sections of South Central Nebraska such as Cambridge and Greeley.

For many locations, the warmest day of the month was the 24th, with high temperatures well into the 90s, and even a few locations in North Central Kansas cracking the 100-mark. One of the coolest days of the month was the 5th, with high temperatures only in the 50s. Based on reports from NWS Cooperative Observers and automated airport sites, one of the hottest readings of the month was 101 degrees at Webster Dam in Rooks County KS on the 24th, while one of the coldest low temperatures was 23 degrees at Ord and Greeley on the 10th or 11th. In the Nebraska Tri-Cities, Grand Island recorded both the hottest and coldest readings of the month, climbing to 96 degrees on the afternoon of the 24th and falling to 30 degrees on the mornings of the 10th and 11th. 

(Please look farther down the page for more information on April 2012 temperatures and extremes, including detailed breakdowns for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)


PRECIPITATION/SNOWFALL...(According to 30-year averages, "normal" April precipitation (rainfall and snow liquid equivalent) totals between 2.00 and 2.50 inches across roughly the western half of the NWS Hastings coverage area (generally west of Highway 281) and between 2.50 and 3.00 inches for locations east of the Highway 281 corridor.  Normal April snowfall ranges from 1-2 inches across most of South Central Nebraska, and less than 1 inch in North Central Kansas.)
 
Based on reports from around 70 NWS Cooperative Observers, along with a handful of automated airport sites, roughly 80% of the 30-county area tallied above normal precipitation during April 2012, contrasting with what had been a rather dry March. Most locations within the area measured between 2.50 and 4.50 inches for the month. Some of the wettest counties, with many locations picking up at least 4-6 inches of rain included Valley County Nebraska, along with Jewell and Mitchell Counties in Kansas. The limited areas that saw below normal rainfall mainly between 1-2 inches were scattered through various parts of the 30-county area, and were not really focused in one particular area. However, one localized corridor of below normal rainfall seemed to target the Highway 30 corridor between Grand Island and Central City. Per NWS Cooperative Observers, a few of the highest monthly precipitation totals were measured at Beloit Kansas (6.92 inches), Jewell Kansas (6.25 inches) and Ord Nebraska (5.72 inches). On the drier side of things, a few of the lowest monthly totals included Grand Island Central Nebraska Regional Airport (1.41 inches) and 2 miles southwest of Alton KS (1.85 inches). As is always the case with thunderstorm activity, precipitation totals varied considerably over short distances, as evidenced by the Hastings NWS Office only measuring 1.99 inches, while the nearby Hastings airport totaled 2.95 inches. 

For much of the area, the majority of rain during April fell on the 14th-15th and/or on the 27th. Multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms on the 14th gave many locations at least half of their total monthly rainfall, with a few of the highest 24-hour totals ending on the morning of the 15th including 3.56 inches at Beloit KS and 3.34 inches at Bruning NE. 

Following the same trend from March, NO snow was recorded within the NWS Hastings coverage area during April 2012, meaning that most of the area fell 4-8 inches short of normal snowfall for this two-month period. This lack of late-season snow also assured that nearly the entire 30-county area experienced below normal snowfall during the 2011-2012 season, with most of South Central Nebraska totaling under 20 inches, and most of North Central Kansas under 15 inches.

(Please look farther down the page for more information on April 2012 precipitation and extremes, including rankings of wettest and driest locations, percent-of-normal plots, and a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord. In addition, the link on the far upper right of this page contains an archive of monthly precipitation amounts for around 70 locations.)


DROUGHT STATUS...As of early May, NONE of the NWS Hastings coverage area was in Category D1 (Moderate) or worse drought...Compared to the product issuance on March 27, 2012, the U.S. Drought Monitor as of May 1, 2012 (images at bottom of page) reflected a slight improvement, with a decrease in coverage of Category D0 (abnormally dry) conditions. The remaining zone of abnormally dry conditions affected less than 15% of the 30-county area, and was mainly centered in Polk, York, Hamilton, Clay and Fillmore Counties in eastern portions of South Central Nebraska. The entire North Central Kansas portion of the coverage area was designated as free from any drought category. These trends in drought status were consistent with the fact that roughly 80% of the NWS Hastings coverage area measured above normal rainfall during April 2012. 

(Please refer to the Drought Monitor graphics toward the bottom of the page for further details)


SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS/HIGH WINDS...There were essentially only three days during the month that yielded multiple reports of severe weather, with by far the most active of these days being the 14th. On the 14th, the entire NWS Hastings coverage area was under a rare "High Risk" of severe thunderstorms from the Storm Prediction Center, and the day yielded many reports of large hail and damaging winds, along with 6 confirmed tornadoes. Fortunately, these tornadoes were generally weak and short-lived, with the strongest one near Tipton in Mitchell County Kansas rated an EF-1 (see story link at top of page for much more information on this event). Besides the tornadoes on the 14th, a few other generally weak tornadoes occurred on the 15th in Sherman and Valley Counties in Nebraska and on the 27th in northern Phillips County Kansas. As for high wind not associated with severe thunderstorm activity, the 15th was the windiest day of the month, with several hours of northerly gusts between 50-60 MPH.

- Number of Severe Thunderstorm Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in April 2012: 46  (34 more than last year)
- Number of Tornado Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in April 2012:  12   (11 more than last year)
- Number of confirmed tornadoes within the NWS Hastings coverage area in April 2012: 8  (one rated EF-1, seven EF-0)

Back To Top Of Page


April 2012 Climate Details For Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord...Along With Temperature and Rainfall Extremes For NWS Cooperative Observer and Automated Airport Sites

Click on the links below for the April 2012 climate summaries for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord

Grand Island     Hastings     Kearney         Ord


...APRIL 2012 TEMPERATURE/PRECIPITATION/SNOWFALL EXTREMES FROM 
NWS HASTINGS COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS OR AUTOMATED ASOS/AWOS SITES...

...A FEW OF THE WARMEST HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING APRIL 2012                        
101 degrees...Webster Dam, KS in Rooks County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer)
100 degrees...Kirwin Dam, KS in Phillips County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer)
97 degrees...Alton, KS (2 miles southwest) in Osborne County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer) 
96 degrees...Beaver City in Furnas County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer)
96 degrees...Minden in Kearney County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer)
96 degrees...Plainville, KS (4 miles west-northwest) in Rooks County on the 24th (Cooperative Observer)
96 degrees...Grand Island Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Hall County on the 24th (automated ASOS)
Note: Several locations reached either 94 or 95 degrees
                         
...A FEW OF THE COLDEST LOW TEMPERATURES DURING APRIL 2012 
23 degrees...Greeley in Greeley County on the 11th (Cooperative Observer)
23 degrees...Ord Airport in Valley County on the 10th (automated ASOS)
26 degrees...Cambridge in Furnas County on the 8th (Cooperative Observer)
27 degrees...Beaver City in Furnas County on the 8th (Cooperative Observer)
27 degrees...Lexington Airport in Dawson County on the 10th (automated AWOS)
27 degrees...Genoa (2 miles west) in Nance County on the 8th & 10th (Cooperative Observer)
28 degrees...Edison in Furnas County on the 8th (Cooperative Observer)
28 degrees...Gothenburg in Dawson County on the 8th (Cooperative Observer)
28 degrees...Red Cloud in Webster County on the 8th (Cooperative Observer)
28 degrees...York (3 miles north) in York County on the 11th (Cooperative Observer)
Note: Several locations reached between 29 and 32 degrees
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST RAINFALL AND/OR SNOW-LIQUID EQUIVALENT TOTALS DURING APRIL 2012                                                            
6.92 Inches...Beloit, KS in Mitchell County (Cooperative Observer)
6.25 Inches...Jewell, KS in Jewell County (Cooperative Observer)
5.77 Inches...Glen Elder Dam, KS in Mitchell County (Cooperative Observer)
5.72 Inches...Ord in Valley County (Cooperative Observer)
5.54 Inches...Naponee in Franklin County (Cooperative Observer)
5.24 Inches...Arcadia in Valley County (Cooperative Observer)
5.01 Inches...Superior (4 miles east) in Nuckolls County (Cooperative Observer)

...A FEW OF THE LOWEST RAINFALL AND/OR SNOW-LIQUID EQUIVALENT TOTALS DURING APRIL 2012 
1.41 Inches...Grand Island Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Hall County (automated ASOS)
1.85 Inches...Alton, KS (2 miles southwest) in Osborne County (Cooperative Observer)
1.99 Inches...Hastings NWS Office in Adams County
2.03 Inches...Central City in Merrick County (Cooperative Observer)
2.06 Inches...Bradshaw in York County (Cooperative Observer)
2.09 Inches...Beaver City in Furnas County (Cooperative Observer)

...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL TOTALS DURING APRIL 2012 
No locations within the area recorded snowfall during the month. 

Back To Top Of Page


Various graphs and tables depicting April 2012 climate data for 
South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas:

* Please Note: These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV

Click Each Graph To Go To Monthly Temp/Precip Summary Pages

Grand Island Temperature Summary: Observed daily
maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue 
bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures 
isshaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue
bars connect record low temperatures.

Hastings Temperature Summary: Observed daily maximum
and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area
between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded
green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars
connect record low temperatures.

 

Click Images To Enlarge

Grand Island Precipitation Summary: Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for April 2012. Red line indicates "normal" April precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

Hastings Precipitation Summary: Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for April 2012. Red line indicates "normal" April precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

 

Grand Island (Regional Airport) - April 2011 - April 2012

  April 2011 May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. April

Average High (F)

61.5

71.5

83.7

89.0

86.0

74.8

68.7

52.7

39.6

45.1

40.9

69.2

69.1

Average Low (F)

38.1

48.1

59.9

69.8

63.5

47.3

41.1

26.4

19.5

19.4

19.3

39.0

43.3

Average Temperature (F)

49.8

59.8

71.8

79.4

74.7

61.0

54.9

39.6

29.5

32.2

30.1

54.1

56.2

Departure from Normal (F)

-0.1

-0.8

+0.7

+3.6

+0.7

-4.1

+2.7

+1.5

+2.8

+7.1

+1.0

+14.7

+5.6

 

Precipitation (inches)

2.93

8.70

1.72

4.37

2.30

0.83

2.20

0.21

 1.11

0.16

1.05

0.83

1.41

Departure from Normal

+0.32

+4.63

-2.00

+1.23

-0.82

-1.40

+0.34

-0.96

+0.48

-0.37

+0.37

-0.97

-1.12

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Trace

8.3

1.6

10.2

Trace

0.0

Departure from Normal

-1.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.1

-1.0

-3.1

+3.1

-5.0

+4.1

-5.6

-1.3

 

Hastings (Municipal Airport) - April 2011 - April 2012

 

April 2011

May

June

July

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

April

Average High (F)

61.9

71.1

83.1

89.8

84.3

74.0

68.4

52.7

39.2

44.4

40.7

68.2

67.6

Average Low (F)

38.6

48.3

60.8

69.9

64.6

48.2

41.5

27.2

18.9

19.0

20.0

38.5

43.5

Average Temperature (F)

50.3

59.7

71.9

79.9

74.4

61.1

54.9

40.0

29.0

31.7

30.3

53.3

55.5

Departure from Normal (F)

-0.3

-1.8

+0.2

+3.8

+0.1

-4.5

+2.3

+1.3

+1.4

+5.7

+0.4

+13.4

+4.8

 

Precipitation (inches)

4.34

5.03

2.65

4.96

4.90

0.70

1.36

0.38

1.00

0.14

1.67

0.86

2.95

Departure from Normal

+1.47

+0.44

-0.94

+1.15

+1.60

-1.86

 -0.63

-0.91

+0.39

-0.27

+1.18

-0.93

+0.39

 

Snowfall NWS Office (inches)

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Trace

9.4

1.7

11.4

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-1.0

-2.6

+3.3

-4.8

+4.9

-5.2

-1.2

 

Kearney (Regional Airport) - April 2011 - April 2012
(*Temperature data is from unofficial automated AWOS sensor while precipitation data is from official NWS Cooperative Observer)

 

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

April

Average High (F)*

60.9

70.5

82.7

88.1

84.9

74.1

67.7

52.2

39.2

44.7

40.7

68.0

67.3

Average Low (F)*

37.0

45.8

59.2

68.4

63.9

47.3

40.0

24.9

18.0

18.5

19.3

37.8

43.4

Average Temperature (F)*

49.0

58.2

71.0

78.2

74.4

60.7

53.8

38.5

28.6

31.6

30.0

52.9

55.4

Departure from Normal (F)*

+0.8

-1.0

+1.2

+3.5

+1.8

-2.8

+2.9

+1.5

+2.7

+7.0

+1.9

+15.2

+6.7

 

Precipitation (inches)

3.45

7.53

4.51

4.07

3.72

0.65

4.92

0.33

0.39

0.03

1.04

1.02

4.35

Departure from Normal

+1.02

+3.41

+0.58

+0.79

+0.64

-1.42

+2.88

-0.69

-0.18

-0.46

+0.49

-0.77

+2.12

 

Snowfall (inches)

T

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Trace

6.6

Trace

7.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-2.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.7

-3.1

+3.1

-4.4

+1.9

-4.6

-1.8

 

Ord (Evelyn Sharp Field Airport) - April 2011 - April 2012
(*Winter precipitiation data may include coop observer reports due to automated airport equipment under-measuring snowfall liquid equivalent)

 

April 2011

May

June

July

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

April

Average High (F)

59.1

68.7

80.4

88.9

86.1

74.5

66.6

52.8

39.5

45.0

40.2

67.7

65.0

Average Low (F)

35.2

44.9

57.0

67.6

61.4

43.9

36.6

20.2

14.1

15.6

15.7

34.1

38.8

Average Temperature (F)

47.2

56.8

68.7

78.2

73.8

59.2

51.6

36.5

26.8

30.3

27.9

50.9

51.9

Departure from Normal (F)

-1.6

-2.5

-0.5

+3.8

+0.8

-4.4

+2.0

+0.2

+1.9

+5.7

+0.1

+13.2

+3.1

 

Precipitation (inches)*

2.51

4.90

4.16

2.23

2.46

0.77

2.83

0.03

0.54

0.13

1.30

0.67

5.29

Departure from Normal

-0.08

+1.09

+0.04

-0.74

-0.70

-1.67

+0.90

-1.04

-0.05

-0.24

+0.86

-0.78

+2.70

 

Snowfall (Coop Observer)

3.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Trace

8.5

1.5

8.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

+0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-1.1

-5.3

+1.1

-5.3

+2.0

-5.9

-2.5

 

Smith Center KS (Cooperative Observer) - April 2011 - April 2012
(*All data from coop observer with daily 24-hour obs taken around 7 AM. As a result, data may vary slightly from true "calendar day" averages)

 

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

April

Average High (F)*

66.2

73.8

86.9

95.8

89.5

78.0

71.0

54.4

43.0

47.1

45.8

70.5

70.6

Average Low (F)*

38.1

47.1

60.4

69.2

65.6

49.8

41.0

27.3

18.7

18.5

20.6

38.3

44.4

Average Temperature (F)*

52.1

60.5

73.7

82.5

77.6

63.9

56.0

40.9

30.9

32.8

33.2

54.4

57.5

Departure from Normal (F)*

-0.4

-3.3

-0.3

+2.8

+0.4

-4.3

+1.2

+0.5

+2.1

+5.1

+1.2

+12.8

+5.0

 

Precipitation (inches)

2.30

9.45

4.82

5.25

5.03

0.39

2.32

0.72

0.95

0.13

1.31

1.28

2.78

Departure from Normal

+0.03

+5.53

+1.21

+1.38

+1.73

-1.65

+0.44

-0.50

+0.29

-0.36

+0.73

-0.59

+0.51

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.6

 3.7

Trace

4.6

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

-1.2

+0.5 

-3.7

+0.5

-2.6

-0.6


Most of the following images depicting April 2012 Precipitation and Temperatures are courtesy of the High Plains Regional Climate Center:

* Please note: These maps are a "best-approximation" of actual measured values, and data reflected on these maps may not exactly match actual values due to the effects of interpolation and "smoothing" used to create the maps. In addition, some "bullseyes" may be a result of missing data.

Click Images To Enlarge

Nebraska: April 2012
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
Kansas: April 2012
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
Nebraska: April 2012 Percent of Normal Measured Precip. Kansas: April 2012 Percent 
of Normal Measured Precip.
 
NWS Hastings Area: April 2012 Total "Observed" Precipitation
Based On AHPS Precipitation Analysis Including Radar Data

<--- While the precipitation images above are based strictly on gauge-measured data, this image on the left utilizes an "Observed" multisensor approach created by River Forecast Centers. Hourly precipitation estimates from WSR-88D NEXRAD radar are compared to ground rainfall gauge reports, and a bias (correction factor) is calculated and applied to the radar field. For much more information on these types of images, and to create your own precipitation maps, please visit the following site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/
RFC_Precip/index.php?site=gid

   
Nebraska: April 2012 Temperature Departure 
from Normal (F)
Kansas: April 2012 
Temperature Departure 
from Normal (F)


The following drought status images, current as of May 1, 2012, are courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor (see narrative above for more details):

Click Images To Enlarge

Nebraska - U.S. Drought Monitor as of May 1, 2012

Kansas - U.S. Drought Monitor as of May 1, 2012

For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.
 



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