Prepared by Florida Climate Center
The Florida State University
- Monthly average temperatures in April were near to above normal across the state; several locations in central and south Florida observed one of their top five warmest Aprils on record.
- Moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought conditions are impacting much of the southern Peninsula as of the end of April; however, drought removal is forecasted for most of this region by the end of May.
- During the first week of March, moderate drought (D1) impacted much of Florida, including the Panhandle and western Peninsula, with severe drought (D2) emerging in Dixie and Levy counties. By the end of March, drought had improved across the Panhandle and Big Bend regions as rainfall returned, but much of south Florida continues to experience moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions.
- La Niña conditions are favored to continue through fall, with a 59% chance of La Niña continuing through summer (June-August) and a 50-55% chance through fall.
Average temperatures in April were near to above normal across the state Average temperature departures from normal ranged from +0.1 ̊F in Jacksonville to +3.0 ̊F in Tampa for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). Many places in central and southern Florida recorded one of their top 5 warmest Aprils on record, including Tampa (3rd-warmest), Homestead (3rd-warmest), Perrine (4th-warmest), Orlando (5th-warmest), and Miami (5th-warmest). Several daily high maximum and high minimum temperature records were tied or broken throughout the month (see appendices 2 and 3).
Table 1. April average temperatures and departures from normal ( ̊F) for selected cities.
|Station||Mean Temperature||Departure from Normal|
Rainfall totals in April were mixed, with the Panhandle and Big Bend regions receiving below normal precipitation and much of eastern and central Florida above normal. The monthly precipitation departures from normal ranged from -1.49 inches in Pensacola to +4.21 inches in Tampa (Table 2 and Appendix 1). Year-to-date rainfall deficits exist for many locations, including Pensacola with 5.54 inches below normal to date, Venice with 5 inches of deficit to date, and Vero Beach at 4.4 inches in deficit to date. Due to persistent dry conditions, moderate to severe drought continues to impact much of the southern Peninsula as of the end of April (see below).
Table 2. April precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
|Station||Total Rainfall||Departure from Normal|
Figure 1. A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for April (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).
La Niña Advisory.
La Niña, the cool phase of the ENSO climate pattern, is favored to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer (59% chance during June-August), with a 50-55% chance of La Niña continuing through the fall. In early April, all of the Niño index regions were between -0.7°C and -1.1°C. Additionally, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system reflects the continuation of La Niña, though there is still much uncertainty given the combined 45-50% chance for ENSO-neutral or El Niño in the July-September period onwards.
Hazardous Weather Events in April.
According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 392 individual local reports of hazardous weather events recorded across the state during the month of April (see Table 4 for a breakdown by event type). April saw a lot of thunderstorm activity with strong wind gusts (up to 78 mph in Palm Beach on the 6th), and hail up to 2 inches in diameter (reported in St. Johns County on the 17th). Several Mesonet and CoCoRaHS stations recorded over 5 inches and as much as 6.83 inches of rain on the 7th in Nassau County. There were two fatalities due to rip currents during the month, one in Daytona Beach and one in Mayport.
Table 4. Breakdown of storm reports submitted in Florida during the month of April (compiled from Iowa State University/Iowa Environmental Mesonet).
|Report Type||Number of Reports|
|Marine Thunderstorm Wind||39|
|Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust||77|
|Non-Thunderstorm Wind Damage||3|
|Thunderstorm Wind Damage||41|
|Thunderstorm Wind Gust||95|
At the beginning of April, nearly 1% of the state was in severe drought (D2), about 21% was in moderate drought (D1), and another 21% was abnormally dry (D0), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As of April 26th, 5% of the state was in severe drought (D2), 19% was in moderate drought (D1), and 9% had abnormally dry conditions. Drought was concentrated in the southern Peninsula (Figure 2).
As of April 30, the Lake Okeechobee water level was 12.96 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is below average for this time of the year. The water level continued to decline throughout the month but remained well above the water shortage management threshold. At the first of the month, the water level was around 13.77 ft. above sea level.
During mid-April, topsoil moisture conditions were adequate in 64% of the state, short in 23%, and very short in 5% of the state; 8% of the state had a surplus. By the end of April, topsoil moisture declined slightly with levels adequate in 60% of the state, short in 32%, and very short in 5% of the state, while 3% of the state was in surplus. For more information, consult the Crop Progress and Conditions report, which is published by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Additional April departures from normal data for select Florida locations (Source: NWS).
|Station||Average Temperature (˚F)||Departure from Normal (˚F)||Total Rainfall (in.)||Departure from Normal (in.)|
|West Palm Beach||77.1||+2.2||6.40||+2.72|
Select daily record high maximum temperatures broken or tied during April (compiled from NOAA).
|Key West||1||90||Broken||88 in 2011|
|Fort Myers||4||90||Tied||90 in 2017|
|Bradenton||5||89||Broken||88 in 1999|
|Pensacola||5||80||Broken||79 in 2009|
|Key West||5||90||Broken||87 in 1977|
|Orlando||6||93||Broken||90 in 1956|
|Vero Beach||6||92||Broken||91 in 2012|
|Key West||6||90||Broken||88 in 2009|
|Orlando||6||91||Broken||89 in 1956|
|Crestview||6||86||Broken||85 in 2006|
|Clermont||7||92||Broken||91 in 2019|
|Fort Lauderdale||7||91||Broken||90 in 2009|
|Kissimmee||7||91||Broken||89 in 2019|
|Perrine||7||90||Broken||89 in 2017|
|West Palm Beach||7||90||Tied||90 in 2018|
|Key West||7||90||Broken||87 in 2020|
|Hialeah||8||92||Broken||90 in 1998|
|Stuart||8||91||Tied||91 in 2018|
|Lakeland||11||92||Broken||91 in 1965|
|Key West||14||90||Broken||89 in 2020|
|Bradenton||17||90||Broken||88 in 1994|
|Canal Point||17||95||Broken||91 in 1972|
|Clermont||17||90||Tied||90 in 1967|
|Lakeland||17||91||Broken||90 in 1995|
|Clermont||18||93||Broken||91 in 1968|
|Cross City||18||90||Broken||89 in 1970|
|Tampa||18||91||Broken||89 in 2013|
|Key West||18||90||Broken||89 in 2020|
|Fort Myers||19||93||Tied||93 in 1972|
|Tampa||24||90||Tied||90 in 2002|
|Key West||30||89||Broken||88 in 2020|
Select daily record high minimum temperatures broken or tied during April (compiled from NOAA).
|Bartow||1||71||Broken||70 in 1998|
|Fort Lauderdale Beach||1||77||Broken||75 in 2016|
|Tampa||1||71||Broken||70 in 1998|
|Venice||1||75||Broken||72 in 1973|
|Fort Myers||1||74||Broken||72 in 1998|
|West Palm Beach||1||76||Tied||76 in 2016|
|Key West||1||81||Broken||78 in 1975|
|Kissimmee||2||71||Broken||70 in 1970|
|Key West||2||82||Broken||78 in 2016|
|Key West||4||80||Broken||79 in 1973|
|Key West||5||82||Broken||78 in 2008|
|Bradenton||6||74||Broken||69 in 1982|
|Fort Lauderdale||6||76||Broken||75 in 2017|
|Lisbon||6||69||Broken||68 in 1969|
|Perrine||6||71||Broken||70 in 2009|
|Tarpon Springs||6||75||Broken||74 in 1982|
|Titusville||6||72||Broken||70 in 1958|
|Venice||6||76||Broken||70 in 1958|
|Miles City||6||69||Broken||68 in 2020|
|Ochopee||6||72||Broken||69 in 2020|
|Gainesville||6||73||Broken||66 in 1999|
|Key West||6||79||Broken||78 in 1982|
|Miami||6||78||Broken||75 in 2003|
|Orlando||6||74||Broken||72 in 1933|
|Tampa||6||77||Broken||70 in 1991|
|Key West||6||82||Broken||77 in 2020|
|Pensacola||6||74||Broken||70 in 1954|
|Cross City||7||74||Broken||67 in 1964|
|Fort Lauderdale||7||77||Broken||74 in 2003|
|Glen St. Mary||7||70||Broken||65 in 1999|
|Jacksonville Beach||7||74||Broken||71 in 1956|
|Lake City||7||70||Broken||67 in 1956|
|Lisbon||7||72||Broken||70 in 1964|
|Melbourne||7||73||Broken||71 in 1954|
|Perry||7||75||Broken||68 in 2003|
|Sanford||7||76||Broken||70 in 1997|
|Usher Tower||7||74||Broken||69 in 2003|
|Miami||7||78||Broken||76 in 2020|
|Key West||7||81||Broken||78 in 1973|
|Key West||16||80||Broken||79 in 2020|
|Jacksonville Beach||17||73||Broken||70 in 1982|
|Usher Tower||17||67||Broken||66 in 2015|
|Jacksonville Beach||18||76||Broken||70 in 2020|
|Daytona Beach||18||71||Broken||70 in 2020|
|Key West||18||80||Broken||79 in 2020|
|Fort Lauderdale||22||75||Broken||74 in 2018|
|Naples||28||76||Broken||73 in 1960|
|Naples||29||75||Broken||73 in 2017|
|Key West||29||80||Broken||79 in 1991|