Welcome to April! Spring is in full swing and many are excited for the warmer temperatures and longer days moving into the region.
Here is a look at how the pattern is looking across the United States and in Northwest Arkansas/River Valley region.
Keep in mind, this is an overall look at the pattern for April 2021. The daily/weekly variations in the forecast may not follow the outlooks exactly.
Model trends and weather observations are pointing towards a warm April for most of the United States.
The Central Plains and western Great Lakes region have the greatest probability of seeing above average temperatures for April.
The Pacific Northwest is the only place in the Lower 48 where temperatures are more likely to be below average for April.
Forecast models are showing an overall drier than average pattern for the Central Rockies and southeastern United States.
The far northern Plains in North Dakota and Minnesota are slightly more favored for above average precipitation in April.
Everywhere else in the Lower 48, including NW Arkansas and the River Valley, are expected to see average precipitation for April.
April Monthly Preview
To know what it means to be above or below average, we need to know what a “normal” April in NW Arkansas and the River Valley looks like.
Our average high in Fayetteville (NW Arkansas) will move from the 60s to the 70s by the end of the month. The average overnight low in Fayetteville will remain in the 40s throughout April.
With average temperatures likely to remain above freezing, many want to know when they can plant their spring and summer flowers! Generally, you will want to wait until at least the 2nd week of April to put your outdoor plants in the ground if you are worried about cold nights. Here’s why!
The average last hard freeze (temperatures between 25-28°F) for Fayetteville occurs on April 2 with the last light frost (29-32°F) occurring two weeks later, around April 16.
Two changes many of us will notice this month are the sunrise and sunset times. In the beginning of April, NW Arkansas’s sunrise will be after 7 A.M. CDT but occurs before 6:30 A.M. CDT by the end of April.
The sun will be in the evening sky longer too! Sunset in NW Arkansas will be after 8 P.M. by April 30. In total, we will gain 61 minutes of daylight between the start and finish of April.
In the precipitation department, Fayetteville typically sees a little more than 4.50″ of rainfall throughout the month of April. This is about 0.60″ more than what NW Arkansas generally sees in March.
Fort Smith and the River Valley spend the entire month of April in the 70s on average. However, average overnight temperatures increase from the mid-40s to the 50s.
If you are wondering about planting your outside plants in the River Valley, good news! The average last light freeze in Fort Smith is March 26. This is because the average overnight lows are generally 5°F higher than Fayetteville throughout April.
Just like NW Arkansas, the sun will rise after 7 A.M. CDT in Fort Smith on April 1 but before 6:30 A.M. CDT at the end of the month.
In the evening, the sunset will move from 7:39 P.M. CDT on April 1 to just after 8 P.M. CDT by April 30. Just like Fayetteville, Fort Smith will also gain a total of 61 minutes of daylight throughout the month.
The River Valley typically sees a little less rainfall in April than NW Arkansas. Throughout the month of April, Fort Smith generally receives 4.30″ of rain, compared to 4.57″ in Fayetteville.
As we go throughout the month, be sure to stay up to date with your Weather Authority team on all the forecast details on-air, online, and on social media!