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Originally published May 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM | Page modified May 1, 2011 at 11:25 PM

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April's cold days went on and on ... to a record

The Seattle area experienced the longest stretch of bone-chilling daytime temperatures for April in the 120 years since record-keeping began.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Freezing temperatures, snow flurries — now this was an April you probably want to forget.

But for weather trackers, the chilly 30-day span culminated with a surprise — the Seattle area experienced the longest stretch of bone-chilling daytime temperatures for April in the 120 years since record-keeping began.

Yes, our cold, wet April truly was as bad as it seemed. The average daily high temperature? 52.2 degrees. That beat the previous record of 52.6 in April 1970, according to the National Weather Service.

Seattle's typical average daily high for April is 58.2 degrees, weather-service meteorologist Dennis D'Amico said.

While things have been bad, even by traditional Pacific Northwest standards, D'Amico said it's no time to put away the down jackets and boots. Sunday's sunshine and warmer temps won't last — we'll be back in the 50s for much of this week.

D'Amico said the reason for the crummy spring is La Niña, the semiregular weather pattern created by unusually cold ocean temperatures near the equator in the Pacific Ocean.

Last month's cold made a nice companion for the soggy, with 21 days of rain. Total rainfall tracked at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was 4.47 inches, nearly twice the average for April. Last month was one of the seven wettest Aprils since 1891, according to the weather service.

As for the rest of spring?

"I wouldn't say there are any signs of improvement any time soon," weather-service meteorologist Gary Schneider said. "May, June, July are forecast to be below normal temps and normal precips for the three months."

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294

or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

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