An historical perspective of the climate statistics for Coventry during April 2019

Temperature

Thanks to the warmest and sunniest Easter in Coventry for over 40 years, the public and media impression of April 2019 is that it has been a “hot month”, quoting local outlets.

Sorry to ruin a good story, but with a monthly mean temperature of 9.2C, it has actually been a very average April month (+0.3C) temperature-wise, though 0.5C cooler than average by night.

So, April 2019 was our coolest April since 2016 (7.9C), though looking further back in Bablake records, we find that only 5 April months have been cooler than this year since the Millennium.

There were 4 air frosts mid-month, the most in any April in Coventry since 2013 (6).

12ththe coldest night of the month recorded a minimum temperature of -2.1C, making this the coldest April night in the city since 2013 (-3.6C).

In the first 4 months of 2019, temperatures have averaged 7.1C in Coventry, the warmest first third of any year since 2014; only 7 such 4-month periods have been warmer than 2019 since 1892 (1961, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2014).

Rainfall

In recent years, April rainfall totals have been rather variable in Coventry; April 2011 was the driest April (3.8mm) in Coventry since 1938, whilst in 2012, we recorded 104.2mm of rain, double the city’s 30-year average rainfall for April.

In the years since the Millennium, Coventry’s April rainfall totals have fallen by 32%. Prior to April 2018, only five April months had been wetter than average in Coventry since 2001.

Although wetter than average in April 2018 (72.0mm), this year we returned to the drier than average April theme (28.2mm) with 46% less rain than Bablake 30-year averages (1981-2010).

Only 5 April months have been drier than this year since the Millennium (2007, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017) with 30 Aprils drier since 1870.

The January to April four month rainfall total of 156.4mm is 23% below the 30-year city average for this period; the first third of this year is the driest since 2011, with only 5 drier since 1976 (1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2011).

Sunshine

Thanks to Clean Air Acts, April’s sunshine average is 11% higher than one hundred years ago.

April 2019 (171.7hr) recorded 13% more sunshine than average, though only the sunniest since 2017.

However, in the first four months of 2019 (508.6hr), we find that it has been the sunniest first third of any year in Coventry since 2015, with only four January to April sunshine totals higher than this year since 1895.

20ththe sunniest day of the month recorded 12.7hr of sun, making this the sunniest April day in Coventry since 2011.

Also of note, on the 27th April, we recorded the strongest April wind gust in the city (45mph) since 1991 (50mph).