April was wet indeed, but at least for Hays, it didnít break many records.
The same canít be said for other areas in northwest Kansas, notably Smith Center and near Plainville, where rainfall last month was the heaviest on record.
Some weather observers reported even larger rainfall amounts to the CoCoRaHS network. The largest in Kansas for April was 10.36 inches approximately 4 miles southwest of Ellis.
Another observer, 5.8 miles south of Ellis, reported 9.48 inches.
At least 33 northwest Kansas observers reported receiving more than 7 inches of rain in April.
As for rainfall at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center south of Hays, the total in April amounted to a whopping 7.46 inches, more than half of it ó 4.05 inches ó falling April 17 alone.
That April 17 rainfall was the biggest rain in a single day for April. The previous high was 3.09 inches. It also qualifies as the eighth-highest rainfall for a 24-hour period since records have been kept.
But the 7.46 inches that fell in April in Hays, during the course of nine days when measurable rainfall was reported, fell short of what was received in April 1897.
Thatís when 7.92 inches of rain fell, according to records maintained by the research center. The centerís rainfall records date back to 1868.
Last monthís heavy rain would be the second highest April rain on record, but itís further down the list for the most in a single month.
March 1973, for example, also had 7.92 inches of rain, according to research center records.
But May 1898 saw 10.42 inches and June 1951 had 13.13 inches. July 1993, when floods dominated the month in Hays and across much of the nation, 11.57 inches fell.
Even September 1963, with 8.54 inches, had more rain than last month.
But Aprilís showers brought not only enough moisture for May flowers, it was enough to push Hays, and likely the rest of northwest Kansas, into the plus side for rainfall ó a marked change from recent months when rainfall has been considerably less than normal.
At the end of April, for example, Hays was ahead of normal by 4.83 inches.
January and February of this year were slightly wetter than normal, according to the records, but March fell well short of what normally can be expected, putting the city into negative territory.
Although Hays didnít set any records for the amount of rain that fell in April, at least two area locations did.
Northwest of Plainville, 7.39 inches was measured by a National Weather Service cooperative observer. The previous record was 5.39 inches, measured in 1919.
At Smith Center, another cooperative weather observer reported 5.4 inches, breaking the old record of 5.06 inches set in 1944.
At the Northwest Research-Extension Service office outside Colby, rainfall in April stood at 5.43 inches ó most of it coming during the course of April 16 and 17 when 3.03 inches fell.