May
01

April Weather a Record Setter

May 01, 2011

Last month really made a splash in Illinois, earning the title of wettest April in state history.

While Illinois typically gets an average of 3.83 inches of rain in the month of April, Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel said the state got 7.45 inches last month.

flooded intersection in ChicagoThe previous record was 7.13 inches set in 1957.

Last month’s record included an average rainfall from 4 to 6 inches up north (4.90 inches in Chicago) to 10 to 20 inches in southern Illinois.

The city of Anna, which is 20 miles south of Carbondale, recorded a state-high 20.01 inches of rain for the month.

Here’s a fun one. Through Friday, Chicago had the record for least amount of sun in April.

Veteran Chicago weather observer and historian Frank Wachowski measured 7,671 minutes of sunshine out of a possible 24,025 minutes. That’s a mere 32 percent of possible sunshine in a city where 53 percent is normal.

The previous low was 34 percent in 1953.

Saturday’s beautiful weather pushed us up to 41 percent sunshine when we experienced only our third 70-degree day of the month.

Don’t worry, there are more weather records. The National Weather Service is reporting that more than 600 twisters touched down throughout the Midwest this April. That destroys the old record of 267 set in 1974.

Illinois had a record-high 21 tornadoes reported this month. According to Angel, the previous April high was 20. The state averages about 50 tornadoes a year with April accounting for 24 percent of them. It’s the most popular month for tornadoes in Illinois, nationally that happens in May.

And that is a good subject to move on to: Good-bye April, hello May. To see which designations are celebrated during this new month, click here. That story touches on the subject of frost, and then weather isn’t mentioned again. I promise.

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Tracey

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