Spring Bursts onto the Scene
April 2010 Overview

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
May 3, 2010

The abnormal warmth of a record wet March transitioned into the relatively dry and near-record warmth of April. March's statewide ranking as the 5th warmest since records began in 1895 was surpassed by April 2010's second place finish. Only April 1921 was warmer (see table below). This is a preliminary value, and when all station reports are received this year may sneak past 1921 for 1st place. It is highly unlikely that it would slip to a lower ranking. This translates to 5.0° above the 1971-2000 average.

Rank Year Apr Temp
1 1921 55.6°
2 2010 55.5°
3 1941 54.9°
4 2002 54.6°
5 1960 54.2°
6 1945 54.1°
7 1994 53.8°
8 1915 53.7°
9 2006 53.6°
10 1976 53.3°
11 2008 53.3°

The month started remarkably warm, the first ten days averaging approximately 15 degrees above average. This included what was arguably the hottest early season day on record on the 7th. Maximum temperatures at three stations in the combined state climate office and RISE weather networks (51 stations reported that day) reached 92°, 24 others topped out at 90° or 91° and 21 reached 85° to 89°. Bivalve (Cumberland County) was the "cool" spot, at 80°. Yes, all coastal stations reached the 80s, something far different than will be shown to have occurred on the other warm days.

The 80 degree warmth began on the 5th, when 14 stations reached 80°-82°, Hillsborough (Somerset) at the top mark, while West Cape May (Cape May) only reached 62°. Sicklerville (Camden) and Toms River (Ocean) reached 89° on the 6th, with Harvey Cedars (Ocean) the cool spot at 69°. The 8th saw 87° at Chatham (Morris) and Hope (Warren), but 64° at the Atlantic City Marina (Atlantic) and Harvey Cedars.

Two more 80 degree days occurred in April, the 16th bringing warmth to south Jersey (81° at three stations) but much cooler conditions not too far to the north (52° at Wall Township, Monmouth). The last day of the month saw five stations scattered throughout the state reach 82°, with a maximum of 66° at the Atlantic City Marina.

Most stations around the state did not drop to the freezing point on any morning. Still, half the days had one or more stations at or below that value. The 14th was the coldest morning, with 12 stations at or below freezing and Pequest (Warren) down to 28°. The following mornings saw at least one station between 30° and 32°: 1st, 2nd, 10th, 13th (when the highest pressure of the month of approximately 30.50" was reached), 15th, 18th, 19th, 23rd and 29th. The 20s were reached on the 14th and also the 12th (29° at Pequest), 20th (29° at Pequest), 24th (28° at Pequest and 29° at Berkeley Township, Ocean), 27th (29° at Pequest) and 28th (27° at Pequest and 29° at High Point Monument, Sussex). It is worth noting that one of the frequently coldest stations, Walpack (Sussex) was out of service this month.

New Jersey dried out in April. While this gave a break to those who experienced flooding in March and also by farmers who wanted to get out into their fields, by the time heavier rain fell later in the month it was welcome. Statewide, precipitation averaged around 2.48", which puts it at a tie for 23rd driest (with 1988). This is 1.45" below average. Among the wettest stations were Long Hill Township and Kinnelon, both in Morris County where 3.81" and 3.75" fell, respectively, and Greenwich Township (Warren) with 3.72". On the low end was Stafford Township (Ocean) at 1.73" and Egg Harbor Township and Estell Manor, both in Atlantic County with 1.74" and 1.78", respectively. There was certainly a narrow range between the high and low ends. No snow was observed anywhere in the state in April.

The first significant rain event of the month was on the 8th-9th. Woodstown (Salem) at 0.86" and Woolwich Township (Gloucester) at 0.80" received the most, while totals dipped to just a few tenths of an inch in the northeast corner of the state. The 16th-17th brought 1.00" to Long Hill Township (Morris) and 0.84" to both Bethlehem Township (Hunterdon) and Greenwich Township (Warren), while the southern half of the state received only 0.10"-0.20".

The wettest storm of April saw Upper Township (Cape May) in south Jersey receive 2.29" and Kinnelon (Morris) and Wayne (Passaic) in north Jersey both catch 2.17". Two or more inches was measured at seven of the 150 CoCoRaHS stations reporting, with 60 between 1.50"-1.99", 60 between 1.00"-1.49", and at least 0.50" observed at the driest locations near the coast. The last event of the month on the 26th-27th saw Kearny (Hudson) receive 1.36" with 0.89" in both Oakland (Bergen) and Kinnelon. Central and northern areas caught at least a half inch. This was a relatively deep low pressure system, with values falling close to 29.25".

April was not a particularly windy month. Gusts of 40 mph or greater were observed at six stations on seven days. A 42 mph gust was felt at Wantage (Sussex) on the 7th, 40 mph at Atlantic City Marina (Atlantic) and Seaside Heights (Ocean) on the 8th, 43 mph at Wantage and 42 mph at Harvey Cedars (Ocean) on the 10th, 41 mph at High Point Monument and Cream Ridge (Monmouth) on the 22nd, 42 mph at High Point Monument on the 27th, 48 mph at the Monument, 45 mph at Wantage, 43 mph at Seaside Heights and 40 mph at Harvey Cedars on the 28th, and finally, 48 mph at the Monument on the 29th.

Fortunately, there were no major weather-related incidents in April. A forest fire impacted a 100 acre area of Sussex County on the 7th-8th without causing structural damage. Otherwise, it was a time to clean up from March and start outside yard and field work.

For those seeking more detailed information on hourly, daily and monthly conditions, please visit the following Office of the NJ State Climatologist's websites:

NJ Weather and Climate Network
NJ Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
NJ Snow Event Reports

Interested in receiving our monthly summaries at the end of each month? Send us your e-mail address here to join the mailing list.

Past Climate Summaries