April was cooler and a lot wetter in Crawford County this year than last.
According to figures supplied by Official Weather Observer Ron Brock, Palestine, the average daytime high in April was 64.8 degrees, down from almost 68.97 degrees in 2012.
The warmest temperature of the month both years was 84. This year, it was reported April 18. Last year, it was the high on both April 1 and 3. Most high temperatures during April were in the 70s, although the mercury never rose out of the 40s five times and hit the 80s four times.
The average overnight low was 44.3, down from almost 45.57 last year. The coldest temperature of the month was 23, reported on the 3rd. This was down from a low of 28, reported April 11, 2012.
Most April lows were in the 50s. Temperatures dropped into the 20s four times, twice as many as last year. The overnight temperature never fell below 65 April 10.
The April record high of 92 was reported April 18, 1958. A low of 18 was reported April 1, 2001, breaking a 62-year record.
A total of 6.19 inches of rain fell during April, with most of it falling during the middle of the month. The heaviest rain dropped 1.10 inches on the county April 19. This was on top of 1.71 inches that had fallen during the previous three days. Another .03 inch fell on the 20th.
A total of 4.05 inches of rain was reported during April last year. The rainiest day was the 14th, when 1.49 inches fell. A close second, however, was April 28. The 1.44 inches that fell that day brought along hail and a tornado watch. Another 1.35 inches of rain was reported during the next two days.
The average high temperature here during March was slightly more than 45. The hottest temperature of the month was 64, reported March 10. The temperature hit 63 the following day. Most highs during the month were in the 30s and 40s, but it did warm up to the lower 60s four times.
The hottest March temperature on record is 84, set March 22, 1939.
The average March low was almost 28.6. The coldest temperature of the month was 17, reported March 22. Most lows were in the 20s and 30s, with temperatures dipping into the teens four times.
The March record low is 12 below zero, set March 6, 1960.
More than 2.16 inches of rain and 3.68 inches of snow dropped on the county during March. The heaviest rainfall resulted in .91 inch of precipitation March 17. Another .44 inch fell the next day. An early spring snowstorm covered the county with 3 inches of wet snow March 24. Another .18 inch fell on the 25th.
The heaviest March snowfall on record occurred March 7, 1978. Ten inches of new powder fell atop an estimated 7 inches of old accumulation. Strong winds caused much drifting.
The statewide temperature for March was 34.1 degrees, which is 7 degrees below the long-term average of 41.1 degrees and the 11th coldest March on record, Angel said. The statewide precipitation was 2.85 inches, which is 0.15 inches below the long-term average of 3 inches.
Snowfall was above average for the month thanks mostly to a large storm that passed through central Illinois March 24-25 and some earlier events that passed through northern and western Illinois.
April was the fourth wettest on record for Illinois with 6.9 inches of rain, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel. That total was 3.13 inches above the long-term average of 3.77 inches for the month.
This April easily exceeded the combined statewide rainfall totals for Illinois in May, June and July of 2012 during the worst of the drought, Angel explained. The total rainfall amounts for those months in 2012 were 2.50 inches, 1.80 inches and 1.48 inches, respectively, which led to a total of only 5.78 inches. That was 1.12 inches less than the amount of rainfall during this April alone.
A small area of southern Illinois experienced below-average rainfall in Illinois. Otherwise, the rainfall across the rest of the state was much above average. The two largest monthly totals for April were Augusta with 12.28 inches and Naperville with 11.03 inches. Several more stations reported totals in the 10-inch range.
There were two major impacts of the wet April. One was widespread flooding on the Illinois, Wabash and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries. Several sites along the Illinois reported record high river crests in April. Because the flooding included the Chicago area, the dollar damages and number of people affected will be quite large.
The second impact of the wet April was the delay in fieldwork. In the April 29 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service report, only 1 percent of the corn crop was planted, compared to 76 percent last April, and a five-year average of 36 percent.
The statewide average temperature was 50.1 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees below average.
"The average temperature was not record-setting but reflects the fact that we had a lot of cool, cloudy days in April," Angel said.
The statewide average temperature for April 2012 was 54.1 degrees, almost one degree cooler than the record-breaking March temperature of 55. The statewide average precipitation was 3.32 inches, about 0.5 inches below normal.