Wednesday 2 May 2012

April Summary

Click to enlarge
     With an average mean of 5.8°C, April 2012 was 1.8°C above normal, and tied for 30th warmest April on record since 1872.

     The month started off very mild in the mid to high teens, and on some occasions near 20°C. The month came on the heels of the warmest March on record, meaning an early start to green lawns, buds on trees, bugs, grass fires, and ice-free lakes.
Both taken on April 5. Plants and buds already starting to come out in spots. (right pic is mine) (left pic is by Amazis Louka, pic sent to TWN)

     3 days in the month saw temperatures over 20°C, which is bang on normal. The monthly high was 21.5°C on the 23rd.

     As for precipitation, rainfall was above normal, which is a misleading figure considering how dry it actually was. Two major rainfall events, on the 13th and 17th accounted for most of the rainfall. No thunderstorms were seen in the city this April; strange when you consider we had 2 or 3 storms in March! With only a trace of snowfall, April 2012 is one of the least-snowy Aprils in history. Only 21 Aprils (out of 139) since 1872 have had a trace of snow or no snow at all. The last time we've been this deprived of snowfall was back in 2006, when no snow fell in April.

     Everything was early this spring. Nowhere is that more true than on the Manitoba lakes. The south basins of both Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg became ice-free mid month, making it the earliest ice-breakup in recent memory. ''In my time I have never seen it (ice breakup) as early'', said Robert Kristjanson, 78, to CBC Winnipeg on April 9. Kristjanson's family has been commercial fishing on Lake Winnipeg for more than 120 years. Kristjanson mentioned that in a normal year people would still be ice fishing on the lake until mid April. (Full story by CBC here)

     Grass fires were a problem this month. Dozens of grassfires sparked throughout the month, some damaging property, and some were within Winnipeg city limits. One fire took the life of a man trying to fight a grass fire near Portage.

April 19. (left: visible satellite showing ice-free lakes) (right: Gimli Harbour web cam)


  1. Would have posted this summary yesterday, but I thought it was more important to spend yesterday updating the thunderstorm potential.

    Next bigger thunderstorm potential looks like this upcoming weekend, although it is a little too early for specifics. So far, it isn't looking overly significant with the main potential being a lot of plain rain. Will keep an eye out.

    Tomorrow's rainfall is actually still a bit uncertain as well, with a variety of solutions presented by the models. It will become clearer once the precipitation begins to form to our west and southwest tonight. Currently it looks like the most likely scenario is for the heaviest rain to remain to our south, but we'll see.

  2. We'll get a few sprinkles this morning in the city, though nothing significant. Clearing skies this afternoon, with a high only around 10 or 11°C. Winds will be from the NE at about 20 km/h.

    Mainly cloudy day in store for tomorrow, with a few showers possible, especially in the evening with 1 or 2 mm possible, though the most likely scenario appears to be next to nothing right now. Again, doesn't look significant at this point, with heaviest amounts in southwestern/western Manitoba.