The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 2, 2013

Clinton drenched from the April rain

CLINTON —What a difference a year makes.

April almost became a record-breaking month this year, but in a much different way than last year’s spring months.

The area’s rainfall amounted to the second wettest April since record-keeping began in 1878. The month ended with 7.55 inches of rain, just off the record of 7.72 inches from 1909.

Jim Blaess, official weather observer with the U.S. government, said the weather difference between years was quite a turnaround.

“You go from the warmest spring ever, and turn it around to go to one of the cooler ones,” Blaess said. “That’s a big drop from last year.”

The dropoff didn’t just happen in rainfall. April registered 10 days with high temperatures in the 40s, giving it an average temperature of 48.9 degrees, down from the normal temperature of 51.3 degrees.

That average temperature was helped by the last day of April, with an official high of 87 degrees, 3 degrees off a record-high. Despite the added lift from April’s last day, the month was the coldest April since 1997.

Last year’s April had two days with high temperatures in the 40s, with an average temperature of 52.9 degrees.

But the biggest difference between the two years has been rain.

From January to April last year, rain amounted to 8.22 inches, slightly above normal. This year, though, the area has registered 13.63 inches of rain, making the first four months of 2013 the sixth wettest on record.

The last time the area has experienced a wetter first four months of the year was in 1973, when the area received 16.73 inches of rain.

“This is what it took to beat the drought,” Blaess said.

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