May 1, 2012

April Brings Oshkosh Back To Reality

After a bruising warm March, the warmest March in Oshkosh history, April began with a relative chill to the air. Daytime highs in the 40s and 50s were a far cry from the 70s just a few weeks prior. The chill stayed with us the entire month. Throughout the 30 days of April only 7 of them recorded a high temperature above 60 degrees. Accompanied with the cool daytime highs were cold nights that heightened concern for area crop damage. Few vineyards and orchards are suited to stave off sub freezing temperatures after an early start to the growing season like we had in March. As Wisconsinites we know April low temperatures can regularly dip below the freezing mark. Fortunately our area didn't have to endure a hard freeze as our lowest temperature recorded in April was 30 degrees. Temperatures dipped below the freezing mark 6 times with the most extreme stretch occurring between April 10 and April 13 when each night fell below freezing. We'll have to wait until June to get an accurate picture of the true loss, if any, that the cold nights of April may have caused.

(OSNW3 Weather Brief)
(OSNW3 April Observations)

(OSNW3 April 2012 Summary)
(click on graph for the month summary data - it will open a new tab/window)

Precipitation was scarce the first half of the month. Only four days of measurable precipitation totaling just 0.64 inches, nearly an inch below the long term average (1981-2010). The rainy days of April regained momentum however. Of the last 14 days 8 recorded measurable precipitation. Late evening on April 19 the rains came down steady dropping over an inch and a half to most of the city. Some flooding did occur. April ended with 3.15 inches of precipitation which is over a quarter inch above the monthly average. Oshkosh through the first four months of 2012 is at surplus by 2.11 inches. No snow was recorded.
Three weather tidbits: The lack of snowfall makes this April the first snowless April in Oshkosh since 2006. The median temperature for the month of April was two tenths of a degree colder than the median temperature for the month of March. Daylight hours will extend an hour by the end of the month giving us over 15 hours from sunrise to sunset.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for a normal May in Oshkosh regarding both temperature and precipitation. A more detailed look into that forecast can be revealed by the use of a long range forecasting theory I follow called Lezak’s Recurring Cycle. The LRC trends have Oshkosh expecting a warm and somewhat dry start to May. The middle part of May should regress to a cooler and wetter pattern. The end of the month should bring a warm and pleasant Memorial Day holiday. Disclaimer: The weather can change instantly. Be prepared and stay informed.


As the month of May moves forward keep track of how the LRC trends are doing by clicking on the above trend.

A look back at the images I Tweeted during the month of April. Click on the links to see them! It was a fun month around the area.