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Pleasant April at Lake Almanor

Submitted by Dale Knutsen

After several stormy and very cold winter months, April brought much-needed moderate weather to the Lake Almanor basin.  Precipitation was light, a mix of rain and snow, depositing 6.5 inches of snowfall and 1.15 inches of water content during the month.  That brings our season total precipitation to 44.27 inches (150% of average) and snowfall to 313 inches (248% of average).  That 26 feet of snowfall moves this season into third place for all-time deepest annual snowfall.  The only seasons with greater amounts were 332 inches in 2010-2011 and 362 inches in 1952-1952.

What made this season’s snowfall especially troublesome were the persistently cold temperatures, which limited winter melting and produced lots of ice.  But April did bring the onset of warmer temperatures and the start of spring runoff.  Our average April low temperature was 24.5 deg. F., which is almost 4 degrees colder than the long-term figure for the month.  We had an extreme low of 8 deg. F. early in the month, and even with gradual overall warming there were 28 mornings with lows at or below 32 degrees.

Our average high for April was 59.2 deg. F., which is about a degree warmer than the norm.  When you combing the daily lows and highs to get a composite average for the month, the figure comes out about a degree and a half lower than the norm.  Cool, but not extreme.

May should accelerate spring runoff conditions and continue the process of refilling the lake.  The lake level rose three feet in April, and it will be interesting to see what May brings.

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