Death Valley's 113°: hottest April temperature on record in U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:37 PM GMT on April 24, 2012

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An unprecedented April heat wave brought a second day of sizzling temperatures to the Western U.S. yesterday, where temperatures ranging 20 - 30 degrees above normal have toppled numerous all-time April heat records. Nearly every weather station in the Inter-mountain West has broken, tied, or come within 1 - 2 °F of their all-time record April heat record since Sunday. Most notably, the 113°F measured at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California on Sunday, April 22 was tied for the hottest April temperature ever recorded in the U.S. According to wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt, the hottest reliable April temperature ever measured in the U.S. was 113°F in Parker, Arizona in 1898. A 113°F reading was also taken at Catarina, Texas in April 1984, and at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley on April 24, 1946. A hotter 118°F reading measured at Volcano Springs, CA in April 1898 is considered unreliable, since we don't know much about the exposure conditions or if the thermometers were even in shelters at remote California desert stations back in the 1880s and 1890s. The previous hottest April day in Death Valley was 111°F. Yesterday, the high temperature in Death Valley "cooled off" to 110°F, merely the fourth highest April temperature ever measured there. The heat wave peaked Sunday and Monday, and temperatures will be closer to normal for the remainder of the week.


Figure 1. All-time heat records for the month of April were set at 56 stations April 21 - 23, including at seven major cities. Image taken from wunderground's new extremes page.

As is often the case when a major Nor'easter is affecting the Eastern U.S., the record-breaking heat is due to a contortion of the jet stream that has created a strong ridge of high pressure over the Western U.S. Wunderground's extremes page lists 56 stations in the West in the past four days that have tied or broken all-time heat records for the month of April, including:

Phoenix, Arizona: 105°F (previous 105° April temperatures occurred on 4/20/1989 and 4/29/1992)
Las Vegas, Nevada: 99°F (tying old record set 4/30/1981)
Reno, NV: 90° (old record 89° 4/30/1981)
Elko, NV: 87° (old record 86° 4/30/1981). This also beat the previous so-warm-so-early-in-the-season record by 4°
Ely, NV: 84° (old record 82° 4/28/1992)
Winnemucca, NV: 90° (tying old record set 4/30/1981)
Grand Junction, CO: 89° (tying all-time April record also set on 4/29 and 4/30, 1992)

Boise, ID (91°) and Salt Lake City (88°) both came within 1°F of their record April max.


Figure 2. A late-season Nor'easter on April 23, 2012 leaves heavy snow on a farm in Penfield, NY. Image credit: wunderphotographer tvsportsguy.

Late-season Nor'easter winding down
The powerful late-season Nor'easter that brought snow, high winds, and heavy rains to the Northeast yesterday is winding down as it moves northwestwards into Canada. The storm brought an unusual amount of snow for so late in the season to western Pennsylvania, western New York, and the higher elevations in West Virginia. An earlier report posted by the NWS of 23.7” at Laurel Summit, Pennsylvania (elevation 2,770’) has now been scaled back to just 13.7”, according to the latest NWS Storm Summary. Many other higher-elevation locations saw snowfall amounts in the 6 - 12 inch range. Snow amounts were considerably lower in the major cities of the region; Buffalo, New York got 0.9", Rochester, New York, 2.8", and Erie, Pennsylvania, 0.5". The wet, heavy snow fell on regions where trees had already come into leaf, thanks to the surprise "Summer in March" heat wave that brought 80° temperatures to the Northeast over a month ago. High winds that accompanied the heavy snow caused extensive tree damage and power outages to at least 75,000 people in the region. However, the storm may have done more good than harm--widespread rainfall amounts of 2 - 4 inches occurred across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Southeast New York, which is under moderate to severe drought. Rainfall deficits in the region were generally 5 - 10 inches, so the Nor'easter's rains will make a significant dent in the drought. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has updated his post on Record Late Season Snowfalls with information from this storm.

Jeff Masters

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Hurricane Wilma..luckily it didn't meander around like Mitch did in that area
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Quoting nigel20:

Reasonable numbers for the atlantic if we get an el nino, but I think we would also have more storms in the pacific


Yup, that one is probably under. These are my first attempts at a prediction.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


I saw the ones they mentioned earlier. I am thinking 12/6/2 for Atlantic
and 16/10/6 for EPAC

Reasonable numbers for the atlantic if we get an el nino, but I think we would also have more storms in the pacific
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Pretty simple riddle, the house is on the north pole. That way, regardless of where you are on the planet, when you walk toward your house you are always heading due north. Also when you walk due east or west, your distance from the poles remains the same.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting nigel20:

Agreed...have you seen TWC predictions for the hurricane season?


I saw the ones they mentioned earlier. I am thinking 12/6/2 for Atlantic
and 16/10/6 for EPAC
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Sounds more like a path to integrate along using line integration techniques to me.
You know spheres are really magical objects.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
A fellow took a morning stroll. He first walked 10 mi South, then 10 mi West, and then 10 mi North. It so happened that he found himself back at his house door. How can this be?

Little math problem my teacher gave us. The answer is rather simple. Have fun and don't cheat.



Sounds more like a path to integrate along using line integration techniques to me.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Yes, we need something for amusement.

Agreed...have you seen TWC predictions for the hurricane season?
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Quoting aspectre:
207 hurricanehunter27: Yah my first guess was that he was on a moon with a 10 mile diameter.

That's no moon...

How are you aspectre?
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Quoting nigel20:

I see that we may get a western pacific storm


Yes, we need something for amusement.
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207 hurricanehunter27: Yah my first guess was that he was on a moon with a 10 mile diameter.

That's no moon...
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting PedleyCA:


Just kicking back waiting for something to happen.

I see that we may get a western pacific storm
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Quoting nigel20:

whats up pedley?


Just kicking back waiting for something to happen.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Somebody giving us something to play with. Cool.....

Hey Nigel....

whats up pedley?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Troll spray! Get your troll spray here! Free for a limited time only.

Am I missing something?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Troll spray! Get your troll spray here! Free for a limited time only.



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..does anybody remember laughter?..

Currently Active Tropical Cyclones

Western Pacific

WP972012 - INVEST

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093


Somebody giving us something to play with. Cool.....

Hey Nigel....
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Troll spray! Get your troll spray here! Free for a limited time only.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32531
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Get your Watch People Squirm with solving Non-Euclidean Geometry Popcorn Here!!!



I'll save it for Hurricane season.
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URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
700 PM EDT TUE APR 24 2012


PAZ004>006-010>012-017-018-024-025-033-034-037-04 1-042-251200-
/O.NEW.KCTP.FZ.W.0012.120425T0400Z-120425T1200Z/
WARREN-MCKEAN-POTTER-ELK-CAMERON-NORTHERN CLINTON-CLEARFIELD-
NORTHERN CENTRE-CAMBRIA-BLAIR-SOMERSET-BEDFORD-TIOGA-
NORTHERN LYCOMING-SULLIVAN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WARREN...BRADFORD...COUDERSPORT...
ST. MARYS...RIDGWAY...EMPORIUM...RENOVO...DUBOIS...CLE ARFIELD...
PHILIPSBURG...JOHNSTOWN...ALTOONA...SOMERSET...BE DFORD...
MANSFIELD...WELLSBORO...TROUT RUN...LAPORTE
700 PM EDT TUE APR 24 2012

...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM EDT
WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM EDT
WEDNESDAY.

* TEMPERATURES...29 TO 32.

* TIMING...3 AM TO 8 AM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FREEZE WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE
FORECAST TO THREATEN OUTDOOR PLANTS. THOSE WITH AGRICULTURAL OR
GARDENING INTERESTS IN THE WARNED AREA ARE ADVISED TO HARVEST OR
PROTECT TENDER VEGETATION. POTTED PLANTS NORMALLY LEFT OUTDOORS
SHOULD BE COVERED OR BROUGHT INSIDE.

&&

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41002
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
700 PM EDT TUE APR 24 2012


PAZ004>006-010>012-017-018-024-025-033-034-037-04 1-042-251200-
/O.NEW.KCTP.FZ.W.0012.120425T0400Z-120425T1200Z/
WARREN-MCKEAN-POTTER-ELK-CAMERON-NORTHERN CLINTON-CLEARFIELD-
NORTHERN CENTRE-CAMBRIA-BLAIR-SOMERSET-BEDFORD-TIOGA-
NORTHERN LYCOMING-SULLIVAN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WARREN...BRADFORD...COUDERSPORT...
ST. MARYS...RIDGWAY...EMPORIUM...RENOVO...DUBOIS...CLE ARFIELD...
PHILIPSBURG...JOHNSTOWN...ALTOONA...SOMERSET...BE DFORD...
MANSFIELD...WELLSBORO...TROUT RUN...LAPORTE
700 PM EDT TUE APR 24 2012

...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM EDT
WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM EDT
WEDNESDAY.

* TEMPERATURES...29 TO 32.

* TIMING...3 AM TO 8 AM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FREEZE WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE
FORECAST TO THREATEN OUTDOOR PLANTS. THOSE WITH AGRICULTURAL OR
GARDENING INTERESTS IN THE WARNED AREA ARE ADVISED TO HARVEST OR
PROTECT TENDER VEGETATION. POTTED PLANTS NORMALLY LEFT OUTDOORS
SHOULD BE COVERED OR BROUGHT INSIDE.

&&

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41002
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I liked my answers better :)

Night all

Night MAwb1
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Ok gentlemen. Time to make you feel rather stupid or smart.
The house is located at the north or south pole.


Considering the north pole is ice? I guess south

I feel dumb
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Quoting Tribucanes:
lol was on the tip of my tongue, promise :)
Yah my first guess was that he was on a moon with a 10 mile diameter.
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lol was on the tip of my tongue, promise :)
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


How do you walk south from the south pole?
Well....ummmm....damn.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Ok gentlemen. Time to make you feel rather stupid or smart.
The house is located at the north or south pole.

I liked my answers better :)

Night all
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Ok gentlemen. Time to make you feel rather stupid or smart.
The house is located at the north or south pole.


How do you walk south from the south pole?
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Ok gentlemen. Time to make you feel rather stupid or smart.
The house is located at the north or south pole.
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Get your Watch People Squirm with solving Non-Euclidean Geometry Popcorn Here!!!

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Quoting Tribucanes:
Was he on a treadmill?
Well actually that is very good answer but no.
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I will take a weather change please, 90 today and in 90s Wed and Thursday, no rain in 36 days, seems the drought has returned to South Central Texas and I am hating it. We average 5 inches of rain in May and I hope we get it.
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198. MTWX
Work isn't going to do itself!! Be back in a few!!
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Quoting Tribucanes:
I'm sure the answer is astonishing simple, looking forward to it
Loads of fun to figure out and watch people try desperately to figure it out.
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Quoting MTWX:


Yes that is cheating!


Some of us already got it, but it is fun watching others squirm!
It really is. I have a bowl of popcorn right now.
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I'm sure the answer is astonishing simple, looking forward to it
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Was he on a treadmill?
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
193. MTWX
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I googled it... that's probably considered cheating though


Yes that is cheating!

Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Sure why not.

Nope :D.

Nope.

You guys are gona be mad when I tell you. I'll give u guys 10 more min.

Some of us already got it, but it is fun watching others squirm!
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Hint: Think about the earth.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Sure why not.

Nope :D.

Nope.

You guys are gona be mad when I tell you. I'll give u guys 10 more min.


OHHHHHHHH I THINK I GOT IT NOW!!!!

Is his house at a certain place on the planet?
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Quoting MTWX:


There are a few responses that should help you out....

I googled it... that's probably considered cheating though
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Does this fellow have a white beard?
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Ooh I have a better answer... I give up if this isn't right: He lives in the world's biggest house and has two front doors 10 miles apart! Genious!
Quoting WxGeekVA:


No, like were the 10 miles in each direction in a completely straight line? Or did he bear off course any because the roads weren't straight?
Sure why not.

Nope :D.

Nope.

You guys are gona be mad when I tell you. I'll give u guys 10 more min.
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188. MTWX
Quoting WxGeekVA:


No, like were the 10 miles in each direction in a completely straight line? Or did he bear off course any because the roads weren't straight?

Due South, Due West, Due North. No roads...
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Quoting kipperedherring:
I'm good, hope you are too. What do you think of the Weather Channels hurricane prediction?

Yes i'm good...i think their forecast is based on prediction conditions during the hurricane season, they also stated that their forecast is subjected to change...if ENSO and SST anomalies changes
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.