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Climate report: US struck with more than 100 tornadoes, heavy snow in April

U.S. struck with more than 100 tornadoes, heavy snow in April
A powerful tornado near Waverly Road in the Lincoln, Nebraska, metro area on April 26, 2024. NOAA's National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska, issued 48 tornado warnings that day—the most the office has ever issued in a single day. Credit: NOAA National Weather Service Office Omaha, Nebraska, and Katie Wargowsky

April continued the year's warm streak, with 2024 ranking as the fifth-warmest year on record for the nation so far.

The month also saw a lot of active weather, with more than 100 tornadoes and a powerful winter storm hitting parts of the U.S., according to scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Below are more takeaways from NOAA's latest monthly U.S. report:

Climate by the numbers

April 2024

The average April temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 53.8°F (2.7° above the 20th-century average), ranking as 12th-warmest in NOAA's 130-year climate . Virginia and West Virginia had their fifth-warmest Aprils on record while Kentucky, Maryland and Ohio each saw their top-10 warmest Aprils on record.

The average precipitation for the month was 2.77 inches—0.25 of an inch above average, which places the month in the wettest third of the historical record. Indiana and Pennsylvania had their fifth-wettest April on record, with South Dakota seeing a top-10 wettest April.

Year to date (January through April 2024)

The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (YTD) was 43.0°F (3.8° above average), ranking in the 5th-warmest such YTD in the climate record.

Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin each saw their second-warmest January–April period. An additional 22 states had a January–April YTD that ranked in the top-10 warmest.

The average precipitation for the first four months of 2024 was 10.95 inches (1.48 inches above normal), ranking as the 11th-wettest YTD on record. Pennsylvania saw its second-wettest such YTD period on record. Six additional states ranked among their top-10 wettest January–April on record for this year-to-date period.

U.S. struck with more than 100 tornadoes, heavy snow in April
A map of the U.S. plotted with significant climate events that occurred during April 2024. Please see the story below as well as more details in the report summary from NOAA NCEI at http://bit.ly/USClimate202404 offsite link. Credit: NOAA/NCEI

Other notable climate events

  • An active severe weather month: A severe weather outbreak produced more than 100 tornadoes, including one EF-4, across the Midwest and Great Plains from April 25 to April 28. The outbreak caused significant damage, loss of life and became the worst tornado outbreak for the year so far. On April 26, the resulted in the National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska, issuing 48 tornado warnings—the most the office has ever issued in a single day.
  • Heavy spring snow buried the Northeast: During early April, a spring snowstorm brought and powerful winds to much of New England, downing trees and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands in the region.
  • Seven separate billion-dollar disasters have struck this year: There were five new billion-dollar weather and climate disasters confirmed last month, including three severe storm events that impacted the central, southern and eastern U.S. in mid-February and early April. There were also two that impacted the northwest and central U.S. in mid-January.

In total, there have been seven confirmed weather and climate disaster events this year, each with losses exceeding $1 billion. These disasters consisted of five severe storm events and two winter storms.

More information: Report: www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/national-climate-202404

Provided by NOAA Headquarters

Citation: Climate report: US struck with more than 100 tornadoes, heavy snow in April (2024, May 9) retrieved 14 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-05-climate-struck-tornadoes-heavy-april.html
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