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April 2014 Panhandle Weather Summary

Rainfall totals for April 2014, estimated by the National Weather Service ranged from 10-12" in the drieer locations to well over 20" along the coastal regions of the Western Panhandle.

Rainfall totals for April 2014, estimated by the National Weather Service, ranged from 8-10″ in the drier locations,  to well over 20″ along the coastal regions of the Western Panhandle.

If the old adage about April Showers bringing May Flowers holds true, the Florida Panhandle will become a beekeeper’s paradise in 2014.  Intensive, heavy rains set records all across the Panhandle for the month of April.  Terrible flooding occurred at the end of the month along the coastal region of the Western Panhandle.  Most of the agricultural regions of the Panhandle did not experience the serious flooding issues, but are still dealing with washed out roads, minor flooding and very saturated fields.

The FAWN weather station at Carrabelle collected the lowest April rainfall with 7.1″, the wettest location by far was DeFuniak Springs which recorded 19.1″ for the month.  The average across all six locations was 13.5″, which was well above the average of 3-5″ that normally falls in April across the Panhandle.

The six UF/IFAS Fawn weather stations located across the agriultural regions of the Panhandle recorded an average of 13.5" of rainfall in April, with a wide range from 7-19".

The six UF/IFAS Fawn weather stations located across the agricultural regions of the Panhandle recorded an average of 13.5″ of rainfall in April, with a wide range from 7-19″.

Not only was April wet, but also abnormally cool.  Average soil temperatures did not climb above 65 degrees this year until April 24th.  Multiple cold fronts and extended cloudy, rainy weather kept soil temperatures from reaching the optimal growing temperatures for cotton and peanuts.

Average soil temperatures for April 2014.  Marianna FAWN Station

Average soil temperatures for April 2014. Marianna FAWN Station

The weather summary from the Marianna FAWN Station shows the extremes that came in April 2014.  Air temperatures ranged from the low of 39 degrees on April 16th to the high of 87 degrees on April 28th.  The 13.2” recorded in April 2014 by the University of Florida FAWN Weather station was the most ever recorded in the 62 years of rainfall records kept at that location. The previous record, since they started keeping records in 1952, was 10.4” back in 1975. 14 Marianna FAWN Jan-Apr Summary Of course the question that is on every farmer’s mind is, what the weather will be like in May.  NOAA is forecasting above average rainfall for May in the central Panhandle, but not the western region.  May is typically one of the driest months of the year, so this forecast does not necessarily mean more of the excessive rainfall, but at least the continued trend of above average.

May 2014 Precip Outlook