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TERRY’S TAKE: April showers bring May flowers…right?

Posted on: 5:14 pm, April 18, 2013, by , updated on: 10:32pm, April 18, 2013

Terry Swails Weather Blog

It may not feel like it today given the harsh winds and snow showers that dot the upper Midwest, but spring has arrived. And while we’re all dreaming of warmer weather, we could do without some of the “April showers” that have been so frequent and plentiful!

Speaking of April showers, have you ever wondered where the popular phrase “April showers bring May flowers” comes from? And secondly, does the month of April really deserve its soggy reputation?

APRIL SHOWERS, THEY DO BRING MAY FLOWERS

APRIL SHOWERS, THEY DO BRING MAY FLOWERS

Most sources trace this saying back to the mid-1500s. In 1557, a man named Thomas Tusser compiled a collection of writings he called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry. In the April husbandry section he wrote: “Sweet April showers ? do spring May flowers”.

BRIGHT AND SHINY

BRIGHT AND SHINY

Depending on the type of flowers you’re growing in your garden, the poem is essentially true, but April isn’t, on average, as rainy as people often believe.

Here in the Quad Cities, we only average 3.59″ of rain during the whole month, that’s about 3/4″ per week. In fact, compared to all month’s, April is just the 7th wettest month well behind the 4.49″ that typically falls in June.

APRIL SHOWERS, THE END RESULT, PERFECTION!

APRIL SHOWERS, THE END RESULT, PERFECTION!

Numbers aside, the springtime phrase is still commonly used to remind people that after months of dark, chilly days there is a bounty of May flowers to look forward to. As another saying goes, patience is a virtue, and we’ve needed plenty of both this year!

But warmer weather will get here eventually — along with beautiful flowers and the occasional rain shower. I’m counting the days!