Kalispell’s Coldest April On Record
For large portions of North America, spring 2022 has been something of a no show–and the data proves it.
With an average temperature of 36.3F, last month was the coldest April on record in Kalispell, Montana, 6.4F below normal; while the average low for the month came out at 24.1F, also 6.4F below the norm.
The previous coldest April on record was held by the year 1982.
Nearby Butte and Missoula also flirted with their records for the coldest April, according to dailyinterlake.com. The Mining City averaged just 32.4F last month–6.7F below normal; while in the Garden City, April’s average was 40.2F–4.1F below the norm.
All this late-season cold has helped preserve Northwest Montana’s mountain snowpack.
The Flathead River Basin’s snowpack typically peaks on April 14, but this year the peak came more than a week later, on April 22. Snowpack at Flathead is holding strong at 112% of the average; with nearby Kootenai holding at 114%.
Looking ahead, forecasts call for continued colder-than-normal weather for much of the West. Locations in Northwest Montana can expect temperatures below normal through at least May 12; it is also predicted to be wetter than average across the region — conditions that will further delay spring planting efforts.
May Starts With a Snowstorm… In Hawaii
Hawaii has kicked off the month of May with an impressive snowstorm.
The NWS in Honolulu placed portions of the Hawaii island under a Winter Weather Advisory Tuesday, with the agency expecting inches of additional snow atop Mauna Kea, adding to Monday’s flurries.
The Advisory warned of “dangerously slick” roads and visibility dropping to near-zero, and the elements didn’t disappoint:
Hawaii’s higher elevations are no stranger to winter snow, but the past few years have witnessed a noticeable uptick in accumulations: A storm in Jan 2020 dropped 3 feet of snow on the Big Island, forming drifts that were far deeper; while another storm last January “brought snowboarders and skiers out to the mountain by the dozens,” reports weatherboy.com.
Then in Dec 2021, a significant system known locally as a “Kona Low” tore through the entire state, bringing heavy rains, blizzard conditions and heavy, record-breaking snow to the mountains.
And now most recently, of course, we have substantial snow in the month of May — a rare feat.
“Deep moisture reaching the Big Island Summits, where temperatures are below freezing, has led to a wintry mix of precipitation,” wrote Hawaii-based NWS meteorologist Tom Birchard in his latest forecast.
And for any natives hoping to see the rare late-season snowfall in person, you may be out of luck — the pass to the summit of Mauna Kea has been closed to the public. The Rangers tasked with managing the roadway said in a statement that due to “extensive fog, ice and snow on the road, high humidity with freezing temperatures and thunderstorms” the pass has been shut with no date given for when it will be plowed and/or reopened.
“Rangers will continue monitoring road and weather conditions and will reopen the road to the public when the conditions are safe,” concluded the statement.
Record Books Rewritten In SE Asia
Asia’s severe polar blast continues to knock-out many longstanding records, and by a large margin, too.
Today, May 4 (my birthday btw) is proving a record cold day in Thailand. With a minimum temperature of 13.6C (56.5F) logged at Umphang, Thailand has just set its lowest ever reading for the month of May in an inhabited locale.
Also, Mount Ang Khang observed 10.2C (50.4F); while a record 16.1C (61F) was registered at Kamalasai.
Many, many records were broken, according @extremetemps on Twitter, and “with a great margin”, too.
SE/E Asia can expected intermittent pockets of polar cold up until May 12. Then, another powerful Arctic invasion is due, one that is currently on course to drive the mercury some 20C below the seasonal average for hundreds of millions of people.
The Sun X-Flares
A new, emerging sunspot announced itself on May 3 (13:25 UT) with an X1.1-class solar flare:
Radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean and Europe (see map below). Signals below 30 MHz were attenuated for more than an hour.
In Argentina, photographer Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau was already pointing his solar telescope at the sun when the flare occurred.
“At that very moment I was trying to photograph new sunspot AR3004,” says Poupeau. “Suddenly I received an X-flare alert on my smartphone. I quickly switched to the sun’s southeastern limb where debris thrown up by the flare was still very bright.”
The sunspot responsible for the blast has been visible for less than a day, writes the excellent Dr Tony Phillips over at spaceweather.com, yet already it has unleashed 9+ solar flares (more than six Cs, two Ms and one X):
Future flares will become increasingly geoeffective as the active region turns to face Earth, explains Dr Phillips.
Stay tuned for updates.
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