Monthly Climate Recap: Warm, wet April for 2017 - WNEM TV 5

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Monthly Climate Recap: Warm, wet April for 2017

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The month of April has come and gone in 2017 and like always, we want to look back at the numbers and see just how "normal" we were.

While we like to do these recaps for every month, they're especially interesting during the spring and fall months. They're the familiar transition months in the state of Michigan, where we're constantly dealing with Mother Nature's mood swings. 

More importantly, they're also months we can use to get an idea, at least statistically speaking, of the summer and winter seasons ahead. That's a topic for another time.

But while we're on the subject of April (no, not the giraffe), let's see how this year stacked up at our climate reporting stations (Saginaw, Flint, Houghton Lake).

Temperature: Above-Average Warmth

All three climate stations in the TV5 viewing area were able to achieve above-normal temperatures for April 2017, and not only did they do that, they achieved spots in their top ten lists for the warmest Aprils on record. 

Saginaw and Flint both checked in with the 7th warmest April, with average temperatures through the month in the lower 50s (50.8 & 51.4 degrees). This was nearly five degrees above the monthly average.

Houghton Lake was able to place itself just a little bit higher on the top ten list, checking in with the 5th warmest April on record with an average temperature of 47.4 degrees for the month. 

For perspective, the top spot on the list in Flint was the April of 1941, and April of 1985 for Saginaw. Averages in both cities were certainly helped by the nine days with highs at 70 or above. 

The warmest April of all-time for the Houghton Lake area was in 1955. 

Precipitation: Plenty of April Showers

When it comes to the rain we often associate with the month of April, all three stations had plenty of it! All three were able to achieve above-average precipitation for the month, and all three were again able to reach a spot on their top ten lists.

Saginaw led the way with nearly six inches of rain for the month (5.89"), which was good for the 5th wettest April on record. Houghton Lake also saw its 5th wettest April, but checked in with 5.22 inches of rain. 

Flint was just behind Houghton Lake with 5.19 inches for the month, good for 9th place on the list. 

Sky Cover: Surprisingly Sunny

Considering precipitation was more than two inches above average in all three locations, there was one statistic that stood out when going over the monthly climate reports: sky cover.

Sky cover is broken down between clear (0-30% coverage), partly cloudy (40-70% coverage), or cloudy (80% or greater coverage). 

In Saginaw, 80% of the 30 days in the month were classified as clear or partly cloudy, with only six days considered cloudy for the entire month.

Not too far behind, Flint and Houghton Lake both saw 73% of month with clear or partly cloudy skies, with eight days considered cloudy. 

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