Tornadoes, Hail, and Winds Strike Northeastern United States

Tuesday May, 15th  started out as a quiet, albeit very warm and humid, day across the northeastern United States.  But towards the late afternoon, the Mother Nature unleashed her full fury across the region, with a large severe weather outbreak.  A line of very intense thunderstorms tracked from eastern Pennsylvania, through northern New Jersey, southeastern New York, and into Connecticut, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.  The storms produced hurricane-force winds, hail measuring over two inches in diameter, and even spawned several tornadoes.  At 8 P.M. Tuesday evening, close to half a million customers were without electricity.  Tragically, five people lost their lives as a result of trees falling on cars due to the storms.

 

 Source:  Connecticut Post

Source:  Connecticut Post

As of this writing, four tornadoes have been confirmed in New York State.  The strongest tornado was an EF2 that touched down in Kent, NY.  Two EF1 tornadoes were confirmed in Connecticut, one that went through Southbury and Oxford, CT and another that tracked from Beacon Falls to Hamden, CT.  Macrobursts with winds upwards of 110 mph were reported in Wappingers Falls, NY, Cherry Hill, NY, and Brookfield, CT, while a microburst with 80 mph winds was reported in North Salem, NY.

April 2018: Cold Locally, Warm Globally

Much has been written about the cold weather experienced during the month of April 2018 across much of the United States, especially the central and eastern United States.  Indeed, the country experienced its 13th coldest April since record-keeping started in 1895 and its coldest since 1997.  Two states, Iowa and Wisconsin, had their coldest Aprils on record and were colder than their respective previous records by more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  At the same time, April snow cover reached its fifth-highest level since records started being kept in 1966.

 

 Source: NOAA

Source: NOAA

However, April was far from a cold month across the rest of the globe.  Globally, April was the third warmest on record, with particularly warm anomalies present across Europe as well as the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

New York City Exceeds Five Inches of Rainfall Three Months in a Row

Precipitation has been in plentiful supply in New York City recently.  For the month of April, Central Park officially reported 5.78 inches of liquid, compared to 4.50 inches for a typical April.  The wet April came on the heels of a wet February and a wet March.  February saw 5.83 inches of liquid at Central Park – versus a normal of 3.09 inches – and 5.17 inches for March  -- which was above the normal of 4.30 inches.  The last three months are the first time that New York City has reported at least 5.00 inches of liquid in three consecutive months since August-October 2011.

 

 Source: Travel and Leisure

Source: Travel and Leisure

While February’s precipitation didn’t translate to a lot of snow in New York City, significant snowfall was observed during March and April.  11.6 inches of snow were measured at Central Park during March while 5.5 inches were reported in April.  Astonishingly, 13.9 inches of that snow were measured after March 20th, which was the most snow New York City had received after the start of meteorological spring since 1875.

Very Warm Weather Visits United Kingdom

While much of eastern North America has been dealing with very cold temperatures so far this April, it has been a different story on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recently, unseasonably warm temperatures have visited the United Kingdom, even breaking some records.  On April 19th, St. James Park in London recorded a temperature of 29.1 degrees Celsius (84.4 Fahrenheit), which broke the old daily record of 27.8 C (82 F).  Thursday was also the warmest April day in London since 1949, when the temperature reached 29.4 C (85 F).

 

 Source:  The Evening Standard

Source:  The Evening Standard

The warmth also impacted the London Marathon, held on April 22nd.  That day, the temperature rose to 24.1 C (75.3 F), the warmest temperature ever recorded at the London Marathon.   The previous record high for the marathon date was 22.7 C (72.8 F), which was set in 1996.