Unprecedented weather patterns hit the U.S. in April 2024

A powerful tornado near Waverly Road in the Lincoln, Nebraska, metro area on April 26, 2024. Credit: NOAA National Weather Service Office Omaha, Nebraska, and Katie Wargowsky

April 2024 was a month of extreme weather across the United States, marked by over 100 tornadoes and significant snowfall, according to a recent report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The nation also experienced its fifth-warmest start to the year on record, contributing to a series of severe weather events.

Record-breaking temperatures and precipitation

The average temperature in April across the contiguous U.S. was 53.8°F, which is 2.7°F above the 20th-century average, making it the 12th-warmest April in a 130-year climate record.

States like Virginia and West Virginia experienced their fifth-warmest Aprils ever. Kentucky, Maryland, and Ohio also recorded top-10 warmest April temperatures.

In terms of precipitation, the U.S. saw an average of 2.77 inches of rain, which is 0.25 inches above the average.

This places April among the wettest third of all recorded Aprils. States such as Indiana and Pennsylvania had their fifth-wettest Aprils, while South Dakota also saw significantly high precipitation.

From January through April, the average U.S. temperature was 43.0°F, which is 3.8°F above average, ranking as the fifth-warmest start to a year. States in the Northeast like Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin experienced their second-warmest starts to the year.

Severe weather events

The weather was particularly severe towards the end of April when more than 100 tornadoes swept through the Midwest and Great Plains from April 25 to April 28. This included one EF-4 tornado, indicating devastating intensity.

This tornado outbreak was the worst of the year, causing significant damage and loss of life. On April 26, the National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska, issued a record 48 tornado warnings in a single day.

Earlier in the month, a heavy spring snowstorm hit the Northeast, bringing strong winds and heavy snow that knocked down trees and caused power outages for hundreds of thousands of people in New England.

Billion-dollar disasters

2024 has already seen seven separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters.

In addition to the tornadoes and snowstorms, there were three severe storm events in February and April and two winter storms in January that affected the northwest and central U.S. Each of these events resulted in losses exceeding $1 billion.

This spate of extreme weather highlights the challenges posed by changing climate patterns, underscoring the need for preparedness and resilience in the face of increasingly frequent and severe weather events.

As we move further into the year, the data and insights from NOAA provide crucial information for anticipating and mitigating the impacts of future weather phenomena.

Source: KSR.