April third-wettest on record for Walla Walla

May is expected to be drier, officials say, after a thorough dousing last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- If the old rhyme about April showers holds true, this should be one flowery month.

In fact, forget showers. April delivered rain by the bucketful, delivering 3.73 inches, an amount 1.81 inches above normal. As a result, the month went down as the third wettest April on record, according to the National Weather Service. (The highest mark was set in 1978 when 4.01 inches fell.)

Overall April had 16 days with measurable rainfall, defined as .01 inch or greater. The heaviest downpour occurred on April 25-26 when 1.02 inches fell at Walla Walla Regional Airport. Total precipitation for the year now stands at 11.16 inches, a mark 2.65 inches above average.

The copious precipitation also boosted the total for the water year, which runs from October through September, to 14.75 inches. That amount, however, remains below the normal mark of 15.53 inches due to the months of below-normal snow and rain between October and February.

In terms of temperature, April was a typical spring month with daytime highs starting to climb into shirtsleeve range while nights mostly remained cool enough to keep windows closed. The warmest day was April 23 when the mercury hit 85 degrees and the coldest night came on April 7 when the low dropped to 32 degrees, the only freezing night of the month.

The average temperature was 53.3 degrees, a mark that was 1.1 degrees above normal. The highest wind gust was 54 mph on April 23 as measured at the airport. It was the only day the wind speed exceeded 50 mph.

According to the national Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for May calls for near-normal temperatures and near to below-normal precipitation. Normal highs for Walla Walla rise from 66 degrees at the start of the month to 74 degrees by the end. The normal rainfall amount is 2.13 inches based on a 30-year average.

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