Has the cold weather this month caused any positive effects?

Rick Fink of Mayville blows snow April 19 in front of his tractor and pulls his planter behind, for fun!
(Photo credit: Ryan Andres, Agri-View)

As a very unusual month of April comes to a close, it may be of interest to note some of its ramifications across the country, both good and bad.

Among the headaches that have resulted from the unrelenting wintry nature of the month was the cancellation of 28 Major League Baseball games through the late part of the month — an all-time record.

To put this number in perspective, 2016 suffered only 25 cancellations through the entire season!

And, of course, a large number of these cancellations were a result of cold and snow.

Other ramifications of the weather this month include a late start for farmers, some of whom are as much as two weeks behind as a consequence of low soil temperatures brought on by the persistent cold.

On the other hand, it may be somewhat comforting to know that the unseasonable coolness of this month has also had a few positive aspects to it.

To this point in the month, not a single tornado has been reported in Oklahoma — the longest the state has ever gone into a year without a tornado.

The dearth of tornadoes is widespread across the Plains as only 229 have been reported across the country so far, about 33 percent fewer than in an average year.

The continued cold through most of the month has been the result of frequent invasions of Arctic air from the north. Such air is relatively dry which has prevented the moist air necessary for the development of severe thunderstorms from pooling over the Plains.

So, as we finally rid ourselves of a notably cold April, it is only fair to remember that it was not all bad.

Steve Ackerman and Jonathan Martin, professors in the UW-Madison department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, are guests on WHA radio (970 AM) at 11:45 a.m. the last Monday of each month.

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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