If your flowers are blooming, thank April.

True to the old saying, last month served up showers aplenty. Precipitation totaled nearly three inches (2.97 inches to be exact), a mark 1.05 inches above normal.

Half the days in the month had measurable rainfall, at least 0.01 inch, with the heaviest downpour coming on April 8, when 0.66 inches fell.

The wetter-than-normal month brought the year-to-date precipitation for Walla Walla up to 8.5 inches, which is 0.01 inches below normal. Since October, the water year precipitation has been 13.86 inches, which is 1.67 inches below average.

The rains came to a halt starting April 21, with only trace precipitation on two days for the rest of the month. Fields statewide started drying out. Spring wheat in Columbia and Walla Walla counties was seeded, while peas and garbanzos were behind on seeding, according to the federal Department of Agriculture’s crop progress report.

The first full month of spring also included warmer daytime temperatures with the high mark, 77 degrees, coming on April 19. The overall average high temperature was 63.2 degrees, which was 0.7 degrees above normal.

Nights were also generally warmer as well, averaging 44.8 degrees which was 2.9 degrees above normal. But the lowest low still dipped to just above freezing on April 29, when the mercury sank to 33 degrees.

The highest wind gust, 45 mph, came on April 27, as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

The warming trend that started Sunday is expected to continue through this week, with highs in the low- to mid-80s expected through Thursday. The warm weather is in line with the forecast by the federal Climate Prediction Center, which calls for above-normal temperatures this month and below-normal rainfall.

Normal highs for Walla Walla in May rise from 66 degrees at the start to 74 degrees by Memorial Day. Normal lows rise from 45 degrees to 52 degrees by the end of the month.

Average rainfall for May is 2.13 inches based on a 30-year average.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

Andy Porter has been with the Union-Bulletin since October 2000. His beats include Walla Walla County, city of College Place, Washington State Penitentiary, agriculture, environment as well as a wide range of general assignment topics.

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