“April weather” – is it real?

“April weather”, we would say. It was a simple fact of life, as inevitable as death and taxes, and to be endured with the same humility. The weather in April just sucked. After March’s promise of spring, April was a throwback into darker, colder times.

We even have a country saying: “April, April, der macht, was er will” (“April, April does whatever it wants”). It conjures up the reign of a despotic weather god submitting the land to unpredictable conditions. And indeed, weather sites are happy to explain to you the exact meteorological constellations that make April as changeable and unpleasant as no other month (e.g. here).

It’s a strange truth that we often do not question things we’ve grown up with, as easy to test and as implausible they may seem once we think about them. It took me decades to question the validity of folk wisdom about the capriciousness of April, but, finally, here I am, armed with some data and a great program to analyze them! Continue reading