April 2021 has been frigid in many parts of Europe. Data from the European agency Copernicus confirm that it has been the coldest April since 2003 in Western Europe. However, globally, it is consistent with the warming trend. April was 0.2º C above the mean of the historical series.
The month was marked by strong variability. However, a wide swath of western Europe between Iceland and the Black Sea, passing through the Iberian Peninsula had temperatures well below average, breaking some records.
France, where a few hot weeks had allowed many crops to flourish, declared a state of “agricultural calamity” after a series of brutal frosts. There were persistent north winds and the UK had its lowest average minimum temperature since 1922 and the highest number of frosts in April since 1960.
Other regions with lower-than-normal temperatures for this time of year were eastern Siberia, northwestern Canada, and many areas of Asia and Oceania.
The relative cold of this month of April does not prevent it from being in line with the trend towards global warming.
The temperatures instead were much higher than the average in Greenland and Canada or in western Siberia.
Air temperatures were below average over most of the eastern tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean, where the latest La Niña continued to weaken.
Europe also had a mixed picture in terms of rainfall, with a band that received less rain than usual at this time of year that includes France, the United Kingdom and parts of Scandinavia and the rest that had a little more humidity than usual.