April turned out to be much warmer than normal. It was the warmest April since April, 2010. Last year, however, April was well below normal. This April’s mean temperature was 45.3 degrees, nearly four degrees above the normal of 41.4. The highest reading for the month was 78 degrees on the 9th and again on the 10th and the lowest reading was 17 degrees on the 2nd. April temperature extremes over the past 39 years are 87 degrees in 2010 and a low of only five degrees in 1995.
Since the Malone weather station opened in 1982 the warmest April was in 2008 with a mean temperature of 47.0 degrees and the coldest April was three years ago with a monthly mean temperature of only 35.3 degrees.
Two temperature records were broken last month, both for record high temperatures. The 72-degree reading on the 8th broke the old record of 68 set in 1991 and the next day’s 78-degree reading broke the 68-degree reading from 2008.
There were 584 heating degree-days (HDDs) last month compared with a normal of 710. HDDs for this season, through the end of April, total 7,076 compared with a normal of 8,152.
Precipitation totaled 3.10 inches, not including the rain and snow that fell after 7:00 a.m. on the 30th, which will be included in the May statistics. Normal April precipitation is 2.88 inches. Precipitation for this year, as of the end of April, is 10.02 inches, nearly an inch above the normal of 9.09 inches. Included in the April precipitation total were six inches of snow (not including the snow that began in the afternoon of the 30th), slightly below the normal snowfall of 7.3 inches. April snowfall extremes over the past 39 years are 27.5 inches in 2000 and only a trace in 1998, 1999, and 2005. The April snow brought our total for the 2020-21 season to 69 1/2 inches, well below the normal of 95 inches through the end of April.
The late-season snowfall that totaled four inches in Malone began in the afternoon of the 30th and continued into Saturday, May 1st. This amount will be reported in May. The normal date of the last measurable snowfall in Malone is April 16th.
Average unofficial wind velocity for April was 5.3 mph from the NW; the maximum gust was 41 mph from the WNW on the 22nd.
Mean temperature: 45.3 deg.
Normal mean: 41.4 deg.
Warmest mean: 47.0 deg.(2008)
Coldest April: 35.3 deg.(2018)
Highest temp.: 78 deg.(9th & 10th)
April record high: 87 deg. (2010)
Lowest temp.:17 deg. (2nd)
April record low: 5 deg. (1995)
Records broken: 2 (high)
Precipitation: 3.10 inches
Normal precip: 2.88 inches
Record precip: 5.71 inches (2000)
Least precip.: 0.47 inches (2001)
Snowfall: 6 inches
Normal snow: 7.3 inches
Record snow: 27.5 inches (2000)
Least snowfall: trace (1998, 1999, 2005)
Wind: Avg. 5.3 mph NW; Max. 41 mph WNW (22nd)
May marks the beginning of the growing season in New York State, and although below freezing temperatures are almost a certainty in our area, they normally occur during the first half of the month. Frosty nights, however, can be expected throughout May and even in early June in the Adirondacks.
For the past 38 years, the dates of the last freezing temperature in Malone vary from as early as April 22nd in 2011 to as late as June 3rd in 1986. The average date of the last frost is May 10th.
Although May can get pretty hot locally, as evidenced by the record-setting 94-degree reading last year, in a normal May, we can expect one day with a maximum reading above 80 degrees and another seven days with a maximum above 70.
The coldest May temperature over the past 38 years was a 24-degree reading on May 3, 1986. Normally we can expect 2-3 days with minimums of 32 degrees or below.
We often receive a trace of snow in May, but occasionally we receive a measurable amount as was the case on May 9th and 10th, 1983, when nine inches fell in Malone, and in 1996 when 5 1/2 inches fell on Mother’s day (May 12th).
Normal precipitation for May is 3.10 inches. Over the past 38 years the most was 7.11 inches in 2011 and the least was 1.45 in 2016.
Daylight will lengthen 64 minutes during May. On the 1st, sunrise was at 5:46 a.m. and sunset was at 8:03 p.m. By the 31st, sunrise will be at 5:15 a.m. (31 minutes earlier) and sunset will be at 8:36 p.m. (33 minutes later). The daily rate of change is about one minute per day for both sunrise and sunset.
In Northern Alaska, the sun does not set in late spring and much of the summer. At Utqiagvik (formally Barrow) Alaska, around May 10th is the last sunset until about August 2nd, providing nearly three months of continuous daylight.
On the 10th in 1997 a very potent, late season snowstorm hit the Northeast, with nearly a foot falling in Boston’s western suburbs. No snow was reported in Malone.
How about this temperature change; on May 16, 1997, the early morning temperature in Sioux City, Iowa, was a record low 33 degrees. By 2:35 p.m., the temperature was a record-tying 91 degrees. How do you dress for that?
Global warming? Not in Boston in May, 1995. It took until the 18th for the temperature to reach 70 degrees or above, the latest such occurrence on record.
On May 17-18, 2002, modern-day snowfall records were set in parts of NY, PA, and MA, including 5 inches in the Catskills, 8 inches in Prattsville, NY, 5.5 inches in Summit, NY, and 6 inches in Sylvania, PA, Again, there was no snow in Malone.
On May 18, 1979, Mauna Kea Observatory, above 12,000 feet, set Hawaii’s all-time record low temperature of 12 degrees.