In the United Kingdom and Ireland, an April shower is rain during the month of April. One of the major causes of the often heavy downpours is the position of the jet stream. In early spring, the jet stream starts to move northwards, allowing large depressions to bring strong winds and rain in from the Atlantic. In one day the weather can change from springtime sunshine to winter sleet and snow. The track of these depressions can often be across Ireland and Scotland bringing bands of rain followed by heavy showers (often of hail or snow) and strong blustery winds.
The proverb "March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers", first recorded in 1886, and the shorter, trochaic version "April showers bring May flowers" (originally "Sweet April showers/Do spring May flowers", part of a poem recorded in 1610) are common expressions in English speaking countries. The phrase is referenced in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales: "Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote".
- "April Showers". BBC Weather centre. 2008. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
- Apperson, George Latimer; Manser, Martin H (2006). Dictionary of Proverbs. Wordsworth Editions. p. 372. ISBN 1-84022-311-1.
- Northall, G. F. English Folk-Rhymes: A collection of traditional verses relating to places and persons, customs, superstitions, etc. 1892. p. 430
- "The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue". Librarius. 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
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