Sneaky Warm and a Bit Too Dry: April 2008 Overview

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
May 2, 2008

Its cool, damp conclusion may have convinced many that there wasn't much of a surplus of heat or a dearth of precipitation in April; however it proved to be a mild, dry month. April temperatures averaged 53.0°, or 2.5° above the long-term average, making this the 12th warmest April since 1895 (see table below). Having the last four days come in below average was enough to knock it from the top 10. This is the 5th consecutive month of below average temperatures and makes 10 of the past 12 on the warm side of the ledger.

The warmest afternoon was the 18th, when temperatures were in the 80s statewide (even High Point), with the exception of coastal areas where temperatures stayed in the 60s. The 18th saw a diurnal temperature range of 51° in Hillsborough (Somerset County: max 87°, min 36°), while on the coast, Harvey Cedars' range was 11° (Ocean County: max 61°, min 50°). The morning of the 3rd was by far the coldest, with some northwest and Pinelands valleys in the mid teens and all but the immediate coast below freezing.

What was on its way to be a very dry month proved to be only a moderately dry one thanks to a general statewide soaking on the 28th (though as has been commonplace for the past year, the south didn't prove quite as wet as the north). Monthly precipitation totaled 3.08", or 0.85" below normal, making this the 44th driest on record. Without the rain on the 28th, the ranking would have been knocking on the door of the top 10 driest. But as seen with the temperatures, it takes a full month of observations and every day counts. Other days with notable precipitation in April include the 3rd-4th and 11th-12th. There was no measurable snow in the state during the month.

12 warmest Aprils across NJ since 1895:

Rank Year Avg. Temp
1 1921 55.6°
2 1941 54.9°
3 2002 54.6°
4 1960 54.2°
5 1945 54.1°
6 1994 53.8°
7 1915 53.7°
8 2006 53.6°
9 1976 53.3°
10 1985 53.2°
11 1998 53.1°
12 2008 53.0°

Past Climate Summaries