Do April showers actually bring May flowers?

We’ve all heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers,” but how much truth is there to the popular saying?

The saying comes from Thomas Tusser, an English poet, who wrote "sweet April showers, do spring May flowers" in the late 1500’s. Rather than being backed by science, this expression was born out of observation.

In England, Spring often arrives in May, later than what we see here in Michiana due to the difference in climates. Tusser wanted to give people hope that brighter days were ahead.

Even after our rainy weekend, April showers didn't amount to much - we’ve only seen 2.3” of rain which is 1.19” less than average.

You may be wondering why “if April showers bring May flowers”, we’ve already seen blooms popping up across Michiana, even with this past month’s underwhelming rain totals. The popular phrase may have some truth, but there’s more to Spring flowers than just April rainfall.

So, do April showers bring May flowers? Sort of. Rain is certainly an important factor when looking at Spring blooms, but temperatures are actually more influential.

Think of warmer temperatures as a signal to flowers as to when Spring is on its way and it’s safe to bloom, but as we’ve seen from April’s rollercoaster of temperatures, this is not always how it goes. We can get big temperature swings this time of year which can result in early blooms, even when the last freeze is still yet to come.

Typically, right now in late April and early May is around the last time we see temperatures drop below freezing, but that doesn't mean it can't happen again this Spring.

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