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How common is April snow?

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Snow In April
April Snow Single Day Records

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - After several days in the 70s and 80s earlier this month, winter returned in full force, dropping a little over four inches of snow in Fort Wayne. But how common is it for us to see this much snow in April?

It's actually fairly common for us to see some snow in April. On average, we see about an inch of snow every year through the entire month of April. In fact, the last five years have all brought us snow in April, including 1.5" in 2020 and 2.4" in 2018.

Heavier snow events can happen though. In 1961, nearly a foot of snow was recorded in Fort Wayne during the month of April. The event this week in particular was the sixth highest amount of snow recorded in a single day in April. The all-time record high amount happened on April 6, 1994, where 6.0" was recorded in Fort Wayne.

So, April snow is not uncommon, but high amounts of snow (like we saw this week) are fairly rare.

Why is that? Several ingredients are required for snow to actually accumulate. Temperatures must be at or below freezing, heavy snow needs to fall, and the sun angle needs to be low if the snow falls during the day.

This round of snow happened at night, so the snow was able to accumulate. However, you'll notice that most of the snow has already melted and/or evaporated thanks to the high sun angle this time of year. A higher sun angle allows more energy from the sun to reach the ground, causing more snow to melt and evaporate.

Will this be the last snow of the season? That remains to be seen. Let's not forget we had snow in early May last year!

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Gabe Prough

Gabe Prough is the Weekend Evening Meteorologist for ABC21. A northeast Indiana native, he joined the StormTrack weather team in December 2019.

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