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Weather roundup: April showers bring flooded flowers


Rain was the word of the month.

The 6.38 inches of precipitation that fell made it the wettest April on record in Buffalo. Record-keeping started in 1870.

Scajaquada Creek in Depew at Transit Road is colored deep red from a spill of "magic ruby red" mulch dye in Lancaster after heavy rain on April 25. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

There were 13 days with measurable precipitation in Buffalo during April. That's right about average.

Far from average, however, were the significant rain events.

There were three days with rainfall amounts over an inch. That's a new record in Buffalo.

Of the rain that fell in April, 72 percent of it fell during those three days -- April 6, 20 and 30.

Above-average precipitation during March brought the region out of an 11-month drought. But, April's record-setting rains added to excess water.

The deluges meant lots of swollen creeks and streams, wet basements and flooded farm fields across the Buffalo Niagara region.

Nearly all of April's precipitation came in the form of rain.

Only 2.3 inches of snow were recorded, which was below average for April.

Raindrops, April 6. #EveryDayAPhoto (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

By the numbers:

Total precipitation (rain and snow): 6.38 inches, (3.37 inches above normal).

Total April Snowfall: 2.3 inches, (0.4 inches below normal).

April 2016: 7.1 inches. April 2015: 0.3 inches.

Daily highs: Snowfall, 1.6 inches, April 7. Precipitation, 1.95 inches, April 20.

Historical records: Snowfall, 15.7 inches, April 1885. Precipitation, 6.38 inches, April 2017. (5.90 inches, April 1961).


  • Three days with precipitation over 1 inch were recorded, setting a new all-time record in Buffalo. The previous record was two, set in 1903, 1929, 1977, 1991 and 1996.
  • The 6.38 inches of rain during April set a new monthly mark, breaking the former record of 5.90 inches set in 1961.
  • April 6: 1.58 inches of precipitation broke the former daily record of 1.22 inches, set in 1886.
  • April 20: 1.95 inches of rainfall broke the former daily record of 1.77 inches, set in 1903.
  • April 20: 1.95 inches of rainfall set a new one-day precipitation mark for April, breaking a record of 1.27 inches, set in 1893.

Record rainfall sparks flood warning for Ellicott Creek around Williamsville



After a cooler than average March, the monthly temperature for April 2017 -- 50.5 degrees -- returned Buffalo to above-normal territory.

Over the last 21 months, 19 of them have been warmer than average, according to National Weather Service data.

Bob Ross enjoys a cold beverage in front of the Swannie House on a warm day in Buffalo on an 85-degree day, April 27. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Highs and Lows

HIGH: 85 degrees, April 27.

LOW: 31 degrees, April 8.

Monthly Averages for April

HIGH: 60.3 degrees (5.3 degrees above normal). Last year: 52.3 degrees.

LOW: 40.8 degrees (4.0 degrees above normal). Last year: 33.9 degrees.

MEAN: 50.5 degrees, (4.6 degrees above normal). Last year: 43.1 degrees.

Daily highs

30s: 1 day // 40s: 4 days // 50s: 8 days // 60s: 12 days // 70s: 4 days // 80s: 1 day


  • The low temperature of 58 degrees on April 10 set a new mark for a maximum daily low mark, breaking the previous record of 54 degrees set in 1945.
  • A record high temperature of 85 degrees was set April 27, breaking the old daily high record of 84 degrees set in 1984.

Heat sets a new April 27 record; thunderstorms en route



The peak wind gust for the month was 53 mph. It was a west wind recorded on April 16.

April 16 was the breeziest day of the month, with an average wind speed of 17 mph and maximum sustained wind of 40 mph.

It was one of two days with gusts of 50 mph or more.

There was also a 50 mph gust out of the southwest on April 4.


Lake Erie

There was no ice on Lake Erie during April.

(Only limited ice [less than 1 percent] on Lake Ontario was recorded for the first five days of the month before it also became ice-free.)

Lake Erie's water temperature at Buffalo warmed up considerably during April -- 12 full degrees, in all.

It started April at its lowest point -- 36 degrees -- broke the 40-degree mark on April 11 and ended the month at 48 degrees.

Craig Brown of Tonawanda prepares to go wind surfing as waves break off Lake Erie at Hamburg Beach, in Hamburg on Easter Sunday, April 16,. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)


April 1: 36 degrees / April 30: 48 degrees

Highest temperature: 48 degrees, April 30. (Historical High: 50 degrees, April 30, 1938.)

Lowest temperature: 36 degrees, April 1-3.

Average temperature: 41.5 degrees.

Lake Erie Ice Cover

April 1: 0.00 percent (normal: 15.41 percent) // April 30: 0.00 percent (normal: 0.29 percent)

Highest percentage: 0.00 percent, all of April.

Lowest percentage: 0.00 percent, all of April.

Average percentage in 2017: 0.00 percent, all of April.


Three other interesting facts from April 2017:

  • More rain fell in April 2017 than March, April, May and June 2016 combined.
  • When combining April's 6.38 inches of record-breaking precipitation with March's above-average 4.36 inches, the 10.74 inches of total precipitation for the first two months of meteorological spring ranked second on the all-time list behind only the 11.80 inches recorded in 1991.
  • The 85-degree day on April 27 was the city's warmest April day since April 19, 2008 when it hit 87 degrees and the first time it broke the 80-degree mark since April 18, 2013 (82 degrees).

Sources: National Weather Service, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory


Past 2017 Weather Roundups:

Weather roundup: A March back to winter

Weather roundup: Buffalo's February was one for the record books

Buffalo's January weather roundup


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