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April was an active month across the nation weather-wise between a late-season snowstorm and an early start to the wildfire season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) recently released information regarding April 2022’s climatology. According to the NCEI, the contiguous U.S. was slightly cooler and wetter than normal.

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 50.7 degrees, 0.4 degrees below the 20th-century average. The average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was 2.58 inches, 0.06 inches above normal. The highest precipitation totals occurred in the Northwest and Northeast, while portions of the Southwest were below average. The drier conditions in the southwest combined with windy conditions contributed to an active start to the wildfire season.

What Goes Into Issuing A Tornado Warning?

Along with the active start to the wildfire season, the Northeast saw a powerful late-season Nor’easter. This mid-April winter storm led to significant snowfall and strong winds; some locations saw over a foot of snow. At the beginning of April, a strong storm system pushed through the Southeast leading to a severe weather outbreak. There were over 100 tornado reports with one of the strongest tornadoes occurring in Pembroke Georgia. The Southeast was not the only area impacted by a tornado outbreak. April brought numerous tornadoes across the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Deep South.

Severe Weather Season – Tornado Warning Statistics

Year to date (January – April), the average temperature for the U.S was 39.9 degrees. This is 0.8 degrees above normal, making it the third warmest on climate record. Although temperatures have been above average, the year-to-date rainfall is 1.22 below normal. From January to April the average precipitation was 8.25 inches, making it the 13th driest on record.

To find more climatology information for April, you can head over to NOAA’s website.

Not As Active In The Tennessee Valley

Here in the Tennessee Valley, we did see storms track through the region, but no tornado warnings were issued. The storm system that led to the tornado outbreak in Georgia fired up severe storms in our area; two severe thunderstorm warnings were issued. The main impacts that Tennessee Valley saw from these severe storms were flash flooding, hail, and damaging winds. The springtime months are generally the most active for our region, in regards to severe storms.

Taking a look at the monthly tornado graphic above, the month with the most recorded tornadoes is April with 173. This information is for the tornadoes that have touched down in the warning area for the National Weather Service Office in Huntsville. The last time a tornado warning was issued was on February 23rd, 75 days ago.

A Stormy Start To May

Storms we did see across the area during the month of April did in fact produce a good amount of rainfall, but portions of the area still saw below-normal precipitation. The Huntsville area saw 4.64 inches during the month of April when the normal total is 4.86 inches. When it came to the average temperature for the month, it was also below normal. April’s average temperature was 60.7 degrees, 2.2 degrees cooler than normal.