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"April showers bring May flowers"
We’ve all heard this endearing saying that usually pops up in early spring. A rainy April, it says, paves the way for a blooming May. But is April actually the wettest month?
Statistically speaking, the answer is a resounding ‘not really’. May of 2015 was the wettest month in the history of the United States. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, April is on average the fifth wettest month in the United States, with June taking first place.
But, to be fair, the saying doesn’t say April is necessarily the wettest month– it simply refers to April’s trademark showers. This is actually a different story. April does in fact have more rain showers than any other month. During the month of April, a band of strong winds called the jet stream sweeps northward, changing air pressure and creating cumulus clouds. These clouds produce rain showers.
Rain is the result of a weather front that can span hundreds of miles and consist of many types of clouds, while rain showers are produced only by cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds and last far shorter in duration.
As for May: does April’s smattering of rain showers actually prime May for a big bloom? Well, yes. The showers combined with the warming temperatures and increased sunlight hours provides the necessary nutrients for plants to thrive. In some warmer climates, flowers will bloom before May, but you get the point.
So, do April showers really bring May flowers? We’ll have to wait and see this year!