Near record amount of April showers drench US last month

In this photo taken April 25, 2017, the rain tarp covers the infield of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where the Philadelphia Phillies baseball game against the Florida Marlins was postponed due to bad weather. That whole April showers thing went bit overboard last month in the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculated that April 2017 was the country’s second wettest April on record, averaging 3.43 inches for the nation, nearly an inch above the 20th century average. Only 1957 had a slightly wetter April. Records go back to 1895. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

WASHINGTON (AP) — That whole April showers thing went a bit overboard last month in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday it was the second wettest April on record, averaging 3.43 inches for the nation, nearly an inch above the 20th century average. Only 1957 had more April rain.

Records go back to 1895.

Only 5 percent of the U.S. is in drought, the lowest drought footprint the 17-year-old U.S. Drought Monitor has recorded. NOAA calculates that 0.75 percent of the Lower 48 states are considered “very dry.”

NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch said many storms kept chugging over the U.S. in April from the Pacific.

Crouch said April fits global warming patterns of increasing heavy downpours interspersed with drought.