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April saw below normal precipitation on Long Island

Taking its farewell bow, the month of April is likely to be remembered, weather-wise, for its temperature swings and dry conditions, said Joe Pollina, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton.

With one day yet to go, April's monthly precipitation average was 1.53 inches, which is 2.68 inches below normal, according to the weather service. That's in keeping with January and March, which also registered precipitation deficits.

Still, don't look for complaints from the agricultural community. While a "good, soaking rain" would be welcome, if given a choice of too wet or too dry, "farmers would prefer it to be dry," as they can always opt to irrigate, said Joseph M. Gergela III, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau.

An abundance of rain can lead to disease problems, soil compaction and fertilizer washed too quickly down into the soil, he said.

When it comes to April's temperatures, Long Islanders "may have noticed colder conditions more than warmer," Pollina said, but the average monthly temperature is expected to come in at slightly above normal.

As of day-end Monday, the average temperature for April was 49.6 degrees, that's .6 degrees above normal.

If that's surprising, just remember back to the second week of the month, he said, with its four above-normal days, including a record-breaking 82.

Looking ahead to May? There's an equal chance of above, below and normal temperatures and precipitation levels, says the weather service's Climate Prediction Center. That's with 58.6 the normal temperature and 3.78 inches the precipitation norm.

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