(WGHP) – Overall April has seen over a dozen days with above-normal temperatures, several of which reached 80 degrees or warmer. 

However, since Saturday, April 22, temperatures have been below normal and the cooler trend is forecast to continue through the end of the month. 

Cooler-than-normal temperatures likely as May approaches

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 60% to 90% chance of below-normal temperatures for the majority of the eastern half of the United States through the end of April.

The 8-to-14-day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows that the cooler-than-normal temperatures will likely remain in the same area into the first week of May. 

The reason for the cooler temperatures to end the month and kick off May is due to the position of the jet stream. 

According to the National Weather Service, the jet stream is a narrow band of strong winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Over the United States, the jet stream winds blow from west to east, also known as the “prevailing westerlies.”  

The jet stream follows boundaries between warm and cold air and shifts north and south depending on the season. 

When a dip in the jet stream occurs, cooler temperatures are able to reach further south than they normally would, bringing a cooldown. When there’s a ridge in the jet stream, temperatures in that area are typically warmer than normal. 

With the dip in the jet stream occurring throughout this week, cooler than normal air is being “spilled” into the eastern half of the United States while a ridge builds over the West Coast, resulting in warmer temperatures. 

In the Triad, the last week in April looks to be approximately 5 to 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. 

Our normal high temperatures are in the mid-70s for late-April but this week, our high temperatures will mostly remain in the 60s. 

Rain chances return for the end of April 

Not only will the Triad experience cooler temperatures this week, but we’re also expecting quite a bit of rainfall to end April. 

Rain chances returned on Wednesday, April 26, and they’re expected to stick around through Monday, May 1. 

After getting some showers in parts of the Triad earlier in the week, more widespread rainfall looks likely on Friday. The heavy rain will move out of the FOX8 viewing area before 8 a.m. Friday morning, giving way to a break in the rain until the afternoon commute. Then, this afternoon and evening bring a Level 1 Marginal Risk of severe weather with the primary threats being damaging winds and large hail.

Saturday is expected to be a beautiful day, starting with mostly cloudy skies and turning to partly cloudy. 

Our next cold front arrives Sunday and will bring showers and thunderstorms to the forecast. At this point, as of Friday morning, the severe weather threat is forecast to stay east of the FOX8 viewing area.

Are rainy weekends the new thing in the Triad? 

If it feels like it’s rained almost every weekend then you’re actually not entirely wrong. In 2023, we have observed at least a trace or more of rain for 13 of 16 weekends. 

If you include Friday as part of the weekend, then we have seen a trace or more every weekend since the start of the year. 

This weekend will make 14 of 17 weekends in 2023 with observed rainfall. 

A few inches of rain possible in the Triad

As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” and, with the way this month is going, it looks like we’ll see lots of flowers by next month. 

As of Tuesday, the Piedmont Triad International Airport, where records are kept, had already observed 4.44 inches of rain this month, nearly an inch more than normal. 

In the final week of April, rainfall totals of up to 3 inches are possible. 

While data is not in 100% agreement about how much rainfall to expect through Sunday, at least three different models show the possibility of one to three inches of rain in the Triad. 

The European model is forecasting between one to three inches of rain in the Triad through early Monday morning. 

The American model depicts the possibility of around two or more inches of rainfall over the same area and in the same timeframe. 

Over the next seven days, the Weather Prediction Center is forecasting the Piedmont Triad will receive between two to three inches of rainfall. 

Based on the above data, the Triad can expect between one to three inches of rainfall, with the possibility of some areas seeing locally higher or lower amounts.  

It’s looking soggy for the last week of April, so be sure to have the rain gear with you!