As we head into late April, it usually feels a lot more like spring than this over the FOX 17 viewing area. The long-term average high for this date is now 61 in Grand Rapids, with our average low at 40. Instead, we began this morning with a chilly 24 degree start. That was good enough to tie a record low temperature for the date:
It's just another benchmark in what has been a cool April here in West Michigan. The average temperature -- highs and lows taken together -- for the first 21 days of the month came in at 43.0 degrees. That's 3.2 degrees below average.
The 7 day outlook virtually assures that April 2020 will come in well below average, with no real seasonal or above average temperatures in sight between now and the 30th. That will put the fourth month of 2020 in the below-average column, along with most Aprils over the last ten years. In fact, 8 out of the last 10 Aprils have turned out to be below average, with the coldest being April 2018. The below graphic shows the departure from normal over the past 10 Aprils dating back to 2011:
Perhaps there is a connection to chilly Aprils following mild winters, as this comes on the heels of a mild winter in West Michigan. Data from the National Weather Service (NWS) shows that the winter of 2019-2020 came in at 3.9 degrees above average, with snowfall running well below average. We see 74.8" of snow in a typical winter in Grand Rapids, but just 53.5" fell, which is 21.3 inches below average.
On the bright side, there could be a connection between chilly Aprils and warm Mays. The NWS says 8 out of the last 10 Mays have been above average temperature-wise. So if past trends are any indication, there is hope for a warmer fifth month this year! Unfortunately, temperatures will remain somewhat below average over the next 7 days with highs mainly in the 50s and lows mainly in the 30s to lower 40s. Be sure to stay tuned to FOX 17 for further weather updates!