An historical perspective of the climate statisticsfor Coventry during April 2024

Temperature

Mean monthly April temperatures did not vary much in the 20th century in Coventry, averaging 8.2C, ranging from 7.6C in the 1970s, up to 8.9C in the 1940s and 1990s.

There are signs of some considerable warming however during April in the 21st century in our region, with mean monthly temperatures averaging 9.5C (2001-2020), an increase of 1.3C, with only 8 April months recording below 30-year average temperatures (1991-2020) since the Millennium.

We enjoyed a warm first two weeks of April 2024 with a mean temperature of 11.9C, way above average for this period. However, the second half of the month was rather chilly, averaging just 7.9C, a fall of 4 degrees Celsius. It is 33 years since the end of April was that cold!

So, with such contrasts, the mean monthly temperature (9.9C) was close to average (+0.6C) and still well up to 21st century averages.

In fact, only 7 April months have been warmer than 2024 since the Millennium, and 13 since 1892.

6ththe warmest night of the month recorded a minimum temperature of 12.3C; this is the warmest April night in Coventry since 2018 (13.0C) – only 3 April nights have been warmer since 1892 (1994, 2007 and 2018).

The first 4 months of the year have averaged 7.6C, making this the warmest January to April in Coventry since 2020; in the past 132 years only 3 have been warmer than this in the first third of the year (1990, 2007 and 2020).

Rainfall

There was quite a lot of variation in mean monthly rainfall totals in Coventry in the 20th century, ranging from 33.6mm in the 1950s, up to 60.2mm by the 1990s. There has been a 25% decrease however, in April’s average monthly rainfall since the Millennium compared to the latter years of the last century.

This is a trend much in evidence in recent years, with April 2019 (28.2mm) and April 2020 (28.8mm) recording rainfall totals well below average, and April 2021 even drier with just 16.4 mm of rain.

However, April 2023 was wetter than average with 62.8mm rain, and so to has April 2024 with 80.6mm of rain, 165% of 30-year averages at Bablake 1991-2020.

It has been the wettest April in Coventry since 2012 (104.2mm). Only two April months have been wetter than 2024 since the Millennium ( 2001, 2012), and only 5 wetter in the past 40 years.

27ththis was the wettest April day in Coventry since 1991 (31.2mm); only 5 April months have had days with more rainfall since 1892 (1902, 1908, 1913, 1977, 1991).

The first four months of 2024 have seen 373.8mm of rain fall at Bablake; this is the wettest January to April period in the city since 1977, and this is the only first third of any year since 1870 that has been wetter than this year.

Sunshine

It would appear that the average April sunshine total in Coventry is now 15% higher than one hundred years ago, and 24% higher since the Millennium (170.0hr) than in the 20th century (137.0hr). It is far too easy to explain this increase in April sunshine by putting it down to the Clean Air Acts of the 1950s and 1970s, especially as there was a notable decrease in April sunshine between 1961 and 1980, by as much as 20%.

In April 2021 we enjoyed the second April in a row to record more than 200 hours of sunshine, so this year the April sunshine total was something of a disappointment with 139.5 hours of sunshine (88% of average).

It has been the dullest April in Coventry since 2018 (111.7 hours); only 5 April months have recorded less sunshine since the Millennium ( 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2018).