April 2014 Weather Summary

The three images below depict the 500 mb (approximately 20,000 feet above ground) flow pattern over the U.S. starting out with April 1st, with the middle image showing the flow over the lower 48 during the middle of the month, and the last 500 mb image below depicting the pattern occurring during the last few days of April.  During the first week of April, the stronger wind fields were suppressed to the south suggesting frequent surges of cold air from Canada into the middle of the country.  The jet stream buckled even more during the middle of the month when we saw some of our coldest temperatures of the month along with some light snowfall.  Just a few days prior to the pattern change, we saw summerlike temperatures for a three day period with afternoon temperatures in the 70s and 80s before returning to below normal levels for several days. Finally, the persistent cool pattern began to break down with the stronger flow (jet stream) shifting further north, allowing temperatures to return to or above normal levels for the end of the month. With the warming trend occurring during the last week of April came an increase in active weather with strong to severe thunderstorms occurring over parts of central, east central and southeast Illinois during the last few days of April as a deep and slow moving storm system crawled east across the center of the nation.   

As you would expect, there were some wild fluctuations in temperatures across central Illinois during April 2014, but overall, temperatures averaged close to or a slightly above normal for the month (see first image on the left below). The exception was over areas to the northwest of the Illinois River where the overall trend in temperatures was a bit below  normal.  On the 12th of the month in Peoria, the mercury climbed to 82 degrees for an afternoon high and then dropped to an overnight low in the lower 50s. But just a few days later on the 15th, temperatures struggled to a high of 44 degrees with a hard freeze occurring at night as the mercury dropped to 27 degrees. Precipitation-wise, the heaviest amounts during the month favored the Ohio River valley while as you headed further north across central Illinois, amounts were closer to or even coming up short for the month (last two images displayed below). 





  April Temp. Departure from normal

April Precip. Dep from Mean

April Accumulated Precip.

Links below are the monthly climate summaries for area cities. Only the summaries for Peoria, Springfield and Lincoln are considered "official", meaning they are the station of record for their respective locations. The other summaries are "supplemental", meaning another location in the area is the official climate station for that city.

  • Peoria -- Peoria International Airport
  • Springfield -- Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport
  • Lincoln -- Lincoln NWS office
  • Champaign -- University of Illinois - Willard Airport
  • Decatur -- Decatur Airport
  • Lawrenceville -- Lawrenceville-Vincennes International Airport
  • Mattoon -- Coles County Airport

Climate data for other area cities is available at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=ilx

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