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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • April one of the coldest on record

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  • It's official. April 2013 in Pratt was the third coldest April on record since the state started keeping statistics back in 1895.
    In Pratt, the mean temperature for the entire month was 48.2 degrees, said Extension State Climatologist Mary Knapp.
    State wide, April was the fourth coldest since record keeping began.
    The record for the coldest April in Pratt was set back in 1898 when the mean temperature for the whole month was 46.7 degrees. Second place goes to 1983 with a mean temperature of 47.4 degrees, Knapp said.
    On the other end of the scale, the warmest April on record was set in 2001 with a mean temperature of 66.1 degrees.
    While residents were waiting for warmer temperatures after a cold April, they were surprised to see snow falling in Pratt on May 2.
    That snowfall was recorded as a trace amount. While it was a surprise, it was not the first time snow has fallen in May and it was nowhere near the record for the most snow in May.
    The record was recorded in May 1932 when eight inches of snow was recorded on Sunday, May 22. Weather records back then revealed that a cold front came through the area on Saturday, May 21 and snow started to fall that night and continued to fall after midnight into Sunday, May 22.
    The high temperature on May 21 was 37 degrees and the low temperature was 33. The temperature continued to fall on May 22 reaching a low of 27 degrees.
    But then things began to warm up quickly and the high temperature on May 22 got all the way up to 65 degrees, Knapp said.
    The record for the biggest snowfall in April in Pratt was fairly recent. On April 14, 2007, a 17-inch snowfall was recorded on a day when the temperature range was from 38 to 32 degrees.
    "That is exactly the temperature range for heavy snows," Knapp said.
    Finding actual snowfall amounts in the state records is a bit tricky. Sometimes hail is recorded in the snow category. However, looking at other records can help clarify is the precipitation being recorded is snow or hail.
    For example, on May 6, 1955, precipitation records show a trace of snow. However, looking at the temperature records on that date reveals a range of 90 degrees for a high and 55 degrees for a low temperature so what fell that day was hail, Knapp said.
    On April 27, 1954 a trace amount of snow was reported but the temperature extremes that day were 79 for a high and 26 for a low. What fell on that day was probably also hail.
    Other records also show snow amounts in June, July and even August but the temperatures were too warm for snow.
    "I guarantee it was hail," Knapp said.
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