Valley abnormally warm, dry in April, weather service says

The Fresno BeeMay 4, 2014 

People of all ages enjoy the pleasant weather at Woodward Park on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014.


If you thought the temperatures in April were a little warm, it wasn't your imagination.

Fresno tied its fifth warmest April on record, according to a monthly report from the National Weather Service. The average temperature this April was 66 degrees, up from the normal average of 62.

The record for the warmest April was set last year with an average temperature of 67.6 degrees.

The average high temperature for April hit 80 degrees, up from the average of 74.6 degrees. The hottest day in April reached 93 degrees.

April's weather also didn't help much to improve one of the worst droughts in the San Joaquin Valley.

April's rainfall totals for Fresno were just 0.74 of an inch, down from the normal of 0.95 of an inch.

Making matters worse, the totals for the rain season -- July 1 through June 30 -- have fallen short. Fresno's average rainfall through April is normally about 11 inches. This year, the total through April was a meager 4.77 inches -- 43.8% of normal.

Rainfall totals may have fallen short, but the warm spring days translated to warm nights.

The average low in April was 53.6 degrees. That was four degrees higher than normal. The lowest temperature in April was 43 degrees.

Fresno temperatures in May have already started off on a hot streak. Late last week, the daytime high was in the low 90s. But that isn't going last. Cooler air is moving into the Valley, with a high of 79 forecast for Monday and 72 on Tuesday.

The normal high this time of year is about 80 degrees, said Jim Bagnall, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.

"We will definitely cool down for a few days, but there will be a gradual warming trend through the end of the week," Bagnall said.

On Wednesday, the forecast high is 78. Thursday will be 84 and Friday will reach 88 degrees. And you can expect the Mother's Day weekend to be even warmer with 90 degrees on Saturday and 93 on Sunday.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6327, or @FresnoBeeBob on Twitter.

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