MARIANNA, Fla. — April 2021 was a unique month with cooler than average temperatures and above average rainfall for much of Florida. In the map to the left above, you can see the estimated rainfall totals for April with areas in purple reviving more than 9.5″, blue shaded areas over 8″, green 6.5″- 8″, light green 5″ – 6.5″, yellow 3.5″ – 5″, and tan 2″ – 3.5″. All of these totals are put into perspective in the map to the right that shows departure from normal. Areas shaded in yellow were below average, but areas in green, blue and purple were above average. By far, the majority of the state of Florida was above average for the month of April, but the areas shaded blue were 3′ – 4.5″ above normal, and in purple 4.5″ – 6″ above normal. It is interesting how the totals were split along the Apalachicola River in the Panhandle, but it is common for fronts to move west to east and then shift north at some point.
The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations show this variation in rainfall more precisely for the month of April. Only the Monticello 2.7″ and Quincy 3.4″ stations were below average for the month. The wettest locations were DeFuniak Springs with 10.5″, Marianna 8.6″, and Jay 8.3″. The average for all six Panhandle FAWN stations was 6.3″, which was 4″ above normal for the region. Through the first third of 2021, only Monticello -3.2″ and Jay – 1.3″ were below average. So far in 2021, the DeFuniak station has recorded 25.8″, which is 6″ above normal, and Marianna with 23.9″ was 4.2″ above average. The average for all six stations was 21.1″, which is almost 2″ above normal from January through April.
April 2021 had pretty significant temperature swings with a high of 89° on 13th, and a low of 38° on April 3rd. Compare this to the last five years: April 2020 low was 48°, 2019 low 44°, 2018 low 40°, 2017 low 42°, and 2016 low 44°.
After a fairly cool start to the month, temperatures climbed quickly, so the average air temperature for the month was 66°, which was only slightly cooler than NOAA’s April 1901-2000 mean of 67° in Marianna. So 2021 was certainly cooler than recent years, but actually fairly close to historic average from the previous century.–
The daily average soil temperature dipped down to 63° on April 2, but warmed quickly and remained above 70° after April 18, which is the ideal temperature for peanut seed germination.
As compared to March, the average air temperature of 66°was only 2° warmer than the 64° average in March. The average soil temperature warmed 4° from 67° in March to 71° in April.
You can download the complete daily summary of temperatures and rainfall from the Marianna FAWN station, and the monthly rainfall summary from all six stations in the Panhandle in the following summary report: Jan-Apr 2021 Jackson County Weather Summary
For more information please click here!
–Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS