Mendenhall River. (Photo by Kerry Howard)

Mendenhall River. (Photo by Kerry Howard)

April finishes wetter, cooler than average in Juneau

April is normally the driest month of the year in Juneau, but this April will go into the books wetter and cooler than normal, according to measurements provided by the National Weather Service office here.

According to measurements taken at the airport — the city’s official measuring point — April temperatures averaged 39.9 degrees, or nine-tenths of a degree below normal for the month.

Instruments at the airport also measured 3.15 inches of rain, 0.21 inches above normal for the month. There was no snow in April; snow in that month is unusual but not unheard-of.

Much of the month’s rain came on a single day, April 23, when 1.02 inches of rain was recorded at the airport. That set a record for the day; the old record was 0.95 inches, set on that date in 1984.

The first two weeks of the month were mostly pleasant, bringing clear skies and higher temperatures. The month’s top temperature, 58 degrees, came on April 11 and remains the highest mark seen this year in Juneau.

No rain fell for the first seven days of the month, and through the first 17 days of April, only a quarter-inch of rain was measured at the airport.

Conditions changed halfway through the month as significant amounts of rain began moving into Southeast Alaska from the west.

That pattern continued through the first week of May, with a half-inch of rain coming on the first day of the month.

According to the National Climate Prediction Center, there is an equal chance of normal, above-normal and below-normal rainfall for May. There is a slightly greater than even chance of above-normal temperatures during the month.

In the near term, the Weather Service expects rain to continue through Wednesday, when the clouds will part and may allow the highest temperatures yet recorded this year. Juneau’s first 60-degree day of the year is a possibility.

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or 523-2258.

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