April 2012 Climate Summary - Continued Warm & Dry

April 2012 - Continued Warm & Dry

April 2012 continued the warm spring that March had started across all of southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. Again, much of the region was dominated by high pressure at the surface and aloft and this lead to continued drier than normal conditions. The only significant rainfall came on April 21st and 22nd as a low pressure system crossed the Florida peninsula from the Gulf of Mexico and headed up the East Coast. This system brought average rainfall amounts around an inch and was followed by a brief significant cold airmass on the 23rd and 24th when temperatures fell into the upper 30s and 40s during the overnight hours. Otherwise, average temperatures for the month remained about 2 to 4 degrees above normal, although extreme record-breaking heat was not a significant issue. The warmer than normal ocean temperatures along the coast continued to keep St Simons Island well above normal with their 2nd warmest April on record behind only April 2002.

The lack of any significant rainfall since the beginning of the year has continued to exacerbate drought conditions with extreme to exceptional drought intensity reported across the region as can be seen in the latest version of the U.S. Drought Monitor here. Rainfall totals for the year are only 5 to 10 inches and are running about 5 to 10 inches below normal for this year alone, with rainfall departures of almost 20 inches over the past 12 months. In fact, the past 12 months are the driest on record at Gainesville with only 28.08 inches, and the 2nd driest on record at St Simons Island with only 27.39 inches.

Since the cold winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11 ended, the last 12 months have been the warmest on record across southeast Georgia, with St Simons Island (70.9 F) and Alma (69.4 F) both recording average temperatures about 2 to 3 degrees above normal over the last year. Even Gainesville, FL has seen its 4th warmest 12 month period on record averaging 71.5 F degrees.

April 2012 Climate Summary tables are listed below for temperature and precipitation

Climate Station April Avg Temp Departure April Rank Monthly High Monthly Low Year-to-date Average Temp YTD Rank Last 12 months Average Temp Last 12 months Rank
Jacksonville, FL 69.3 F + 2.3 F 46th Warmest 90 F on 2nd and 28th 40 F on 24th 63.1 F 22nd Warmest 68.9 F 28th Warmest
Gainesville, FL 70.5 F + 2.9 F 24th Warmest 91 F on 29th and 30th 40 F on 24th 64.8 F 10th Warmest 71.5 F 4th Warmest
Alma, GA 68.7 F + 2.5 F 12th Warmest 93 F on 29th 41 F on 7th 62.0 F 3rd Warmest 69.4 F Warmest All-time
St Simons Island, GA 70.5 F + 4.0 F 2nd Warmest 89 F on 2nd and 26th 49 F on 24th 63.4 F Warmest All-time 70.9 F Warmest All-time


Climate Station April Precip Departure April Rank Wettest Day Year-to-date Precip YTD Departure YTD Rank Last 12 months Precip Last 12 months Departure Last 12 months Rank
Jacksonville, FL 1.47" - 1.17" 31st Driest 1.06" on 21st 4.87" - 8.21" 6th Driest 39.42" - 12.97" 18th Driest
Gainesville, FL 0.91" - 1.76" 19th Driest 0.81" on 22nd 6.18" - 7.33" 7th Driest 28.08" - 19.33" Driest All-time
Alma, GA 1.57" - 1.24" 18th Driest 0.89" on 21st 11.09" - 4.53" 14th Driest 32.08" - 14.57" 4th Driest
St Simons Island, GA 0.53" - 1.96" 7th Driest 0.23" on 3rd 7.20" - 5.86" 6th Driest 27.39" - 17.61" 2nd Driest

During the next 3 months (May, June and July), the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is continuing to forecast greater chances of above normal temperatures. While the precipitation forecast remains less predictible due to the demise of La Nina conditions in the Pacific and the onset of the "rainy" season due to afternoon/evening thunderstorm activity and thus the  forecast of equal chances (EC) of above, below or normal rainfall totals. The CPC forecast can be viewed here.


Jason Hess

Climate Focal Point


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