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Kalispell’s Coldest April On Record; May Starts With a Snowstorm… In Hawaii; Record Books Rewritten In SE Asia; + The Sun X-Flares

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:

With the sun starting to rise in Hawaii, the latest webcam view shows more snow atop Hawaii Island's tallest peaks. Image: CFH Telescope
A recent webcam screenshot shows fresh snow atop Hawaii Island’s tallest peak [CFH Telescope].

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.

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) May 12 [tropicaltidbits.com].

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.

New active region visible on the southeastern limb. Other than that, though, the sun is looking relatively uneventful.

Stay tuned for updates.

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18 Thoughts to “Kalispell’s Coldest April On Record; May Starts With a Snowstorm… In Hawaii; Record Books Rewritten In SE Asia; + The Sun X-Flares”

  1. Wizard

    Happy birthday, Cap! Live long, and may your harvests be bountiful!

  2. Lestonio

    Ditto, & all the best for you & family….

  3. Martha Appelman

    Van harte Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag Cap.

  4. Dallas Schneider

    Happy Birthday Cap!

    Southwest Florida S. Sarasota county has received rain 4 of the last 5 days.
    One day was the tropical downpour of 1 in. typical for a June 1st, not May 1st.
    The total of 1.7 inches is more than FOUR 4 times the ENTIRE Month of May for 2021. In the previous years rain in May did not even start until towards the middle of the month, and not even reaching this year’s total for the entire month.
    Truly the tipping point reached in 2020 has tipped for good!
    DS (Not BS, that’s my cousin)

  5. Bwana Neusi

    We are starting to feel the bite here in Oz. Not only the cold weather either, we now have APW (Anthropogenic Price Warming)

  6. saveenergy

    “Today, May 4 (my birthday btw)”

    Happy birthday from Anglesey, thanks for all you do .
    (remember – A man’s only as old as the woman he feels. )

  7. Rudolf Vijlbrief

    Happy Birthday Cap, have a beautiful day with your family.

  8. Andy l

    Happy birthday Cap, hope you enjoyed your day doing whatever you wanted. By the way it’s certainly getting much colder down here in Oz for sure

  9. Alex

    A warm and happy birthday to you, Cap! I hope you find yourself in excellent health and spirit, surrounded by good fare, good cheer, and the very best of company.

  10. Earl Otto

    Happy belated Birthday

  11. John Galt's Offspring

    Happy Birthday Cap! And many more.

  12. Michael Peinsipp

    Happy Birthday Cap!
    You’re work is worth more than Gold to us who follow you.
    Hopefully you have many more Bdays and we will be here to spread your Wisdom Cap!

  13. Noel

    Happy birthday Cap. Wishes from Belgium.

  14. Martin

    With so many cloudy days…or with rain, where are the records of the hottest (catastrophic) days ?
    Happy birthday Cap. Wishes from South Brazil.

  15. Linda

    Happy Birthday, thank you for your work, great info.

  16. Baba Looey

    Cheers Cap’n, best of luck/wishes, from Alberta, Canada.

  17. Balboa

    Happy birthday Cap from Madistan, Wisconsin, U.S.A. daughter turns 13 tomorrow, worry, worry, worry. Everything is atleast 2 weeks colder and wetter. Today 1st mid 60s day without 30 mph winds. No garden planting for atleast 2 weeks , still frost this am

  18. Deb

    Happy belated b’day, Cap. Best wishes for the next year.
    You missed Cinco de Mayo by one day!

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