April 2022 was slightly cooler and wetter than normal across the contiguous U.S., according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
What made the month standout was an early start to the wildfire season, several tornado outbreaks and a widespread Western drought.
Below are more takeaways from NOAA’s latest monthly U.S. climate report:
Climate by the numbers
The average April temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 50.7 degrees F (0.4 of a degree below the 20th-century average), ranking in the middle third of the 128-year record.
Temperatures from the Northwest to the Great Lakes and into the mid-Mississippi Valley were generally below average, while much of the Southwest, Deep South and portions of the East Coast saw above-average temperatures.
The average precipitation for the month was 2.58 inches — 0.06 of an inch above average — which places the month in the middle third of the historical record.
Above-average precipitation fell across portions of the Northwest, northern Rockies and Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast, while the Southwest and the central and southern Plains saw below-normal precipitation.
Year to date
The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (YTD, January through April 2022) was 39.9 degrees F (0.8 of a degree above average), ranking in the warmest third of the climate record. Temperatures were above average across parts of the West and also along the East Coast, with California seeing its sixth-warmest such YTD on record.
The average precipitation for the first four months of 2022 was 8.25 inches (1.22 inches below normal), which ranked as the 13th-driest January-through-April YTD on record. California had its driest YTD on record for this four-month period, while Nevada and Utah had their third driest.