After a warm March, what kind of weather should we expect during April?

We’re looking ahead to the fourth month of the year from a weather and climate perspective.

April climate data (3/31/2020) (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s the final day of March and we expect cool and damp weather to end the third month of 2020. Today isn’t the best representation of the month as a whole though, because the stats say it was a warmer than average month and also a drier than average month.

March temperature calendar (3/31/2020) (WSLS)

21/31, or 68%, of the days during March featured warmer than average temperatures in Roanoke. The warmest day of the month was this past Friday, when the temperature rose to 86 degrees in the Star City, breaking a record for that day. March 15 was the coolest day of the month, when Roanoke recorded a chilly 46 degrees for the high. Overall, it was the 4th warmest March on record in Roanoke. Lynchburg, Danville and Blacksburg all recorded top 10 warmest Marches as well.

April temperature outlook (3/31/2020) (WSLS)

The average high during April increases from 63 to 72 degrees from April 1st to the 30th. We’ve had two April days reach 95 degrees for the high (April 25, 1925 and April 27, 1957). April Fools’ Day in 1923 was the coldest April day in Roanoke with a bone-chilling low of 15 degrees.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 30-40% chance of above average temperatures during the month of April, so perhaps that means we’ll see more days with highs in the 70s and 80s like we did during March.

March rainfall calendar (3/31/2020) (WSLS)

68% of the days during March featured at least a trace of rainfall at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. Despite that stat, we’re likely to fall short of the average monthly rainfall of 3.46 inches. The wettest day of the month was last Tuesday (March 24), when almost six-tenths of an inch of rain fell in Roanoke. We also received a trace of snow on March 6.

April rain outlook (3/31/2020) (WSLS)

The average rainfall during April in Roanoke is 3.37 inches, while the average snowfall is half an inch. The wettest April on record in the Star City was 1987, when 11.37 inches of precipitation fell. April 1971 was the snowiest April here with 7.3 inches.

There aren’t good signals right now as to whether it will be a wetter or drier April compared to average. The Climate Prediction Center expects the wettest spots in the country to be south and west of us. Our meteorologists can’t rule out the possibility of snow over the next month, but with how warm it’s been, the chances for measurable snow are low.

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