April 2011

While some have suggested that it could snow after May 1st (true), the average snowfall for the month of May is immeasurable at 0.09″ (< a tenth of an inch), record May snowfall for Moscow is only 2.5″, and most important, the fact that I am done with the snow…

Chris Cox accurately forecasted 83″ on snow the WY and the total reported at the UI COOP was 83.5″.  Nice job winning on both MAE and Price is Right validation methods.

Actually, it turns out that the ensemble forecast (the mean of the 11 forecasted made in Nov) was only 3″ away from the actual value, so nice work to the team of forecasters.  Much better than the misinformation from the farmer’s almanac, which BTW was not close.

Temperatures in April were between 4-8 degrees below normal, resembling what we would normally expect in March, with many locations in the inland northwest seeing their coolest April in 30-50 years.

Note that only three days last month did Lewiston see daytime high temperatures reaching or exceeding what is considered normal. It was the latest in the spring in the observational record that folks in Spokane waited to see 60F, and one of the later arrivals of spring, denoted by the lack of widespread flowering at the moment here in Moscow.

Look for more of the same: cool temps, in the Pacific pipeline, the next couple weeks (with a few glimpses of spring) as the persistent pattern in the northwest is holding firm. But with 14, going on, 15 hour days, the cool can’t last forever, right?


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About John Abatzoglou

John is an associate professor of Geography at the University of Idaho. John's interests are centered around climate and weather of the American West and their impacts to people and natural resources of the West. John and his Applied Climate Science Lab at the University of Idaho have published nearly 100 papers and book chapters on climate science, meteorology, and applied climate science connecting climate to water resources, wildfire and agriculture. The research group also develops web-based climate services that connect climate data with decision makers to help improve climate readiness of societies and ecosystems.

One thought on “April 2011

  1. Pingback: Snowcast 2012: Final Update | Climate of the Inland Northwest US

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