Spring 2014 Central Indiana Climate Summary

Spring 2014 in Review

 

 

With June 1 comes the end of meteorological spring, a period defined as covering the months of March through May. The spring of 2014 in central Indiana started cold with a slower recovery than normal after the coldest winter for many in 35 years.  March 2014 saw average temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees below normal, with many locations recording single digit lows during the first week of the month. Most locations remained below 70 degrees all month, with several opportunities to add to the record snowfall experienced over the winter. Conditions finally turned milder and wetter in April, but persistent spring warmth largely held off until May as high temperatures finally warmed above 80 degrees with increased regularity. Despite near to slightly above normal temperatures throughout April and May, the spring season ended up running from 1 degree above normal to 2 degrees below normal.

 

The following is a review of weather conditions experienced in central Indiana during the 2014 spring season.

 

 

Temperatures

 

 

MARCH

 

The first week of March set the tone for the month with much of the week well below normal. The period of the 2nd through the 5th had average temperatures over 10 degrees below normal, with the 3rd having over a 20 degree below average temperature. The coldest temperature for the month was recorded during this period, with single digit temperatures recorded on the 3rd and 4th at many locations.

Readings rebounded the next week with highs in the 60s by the 11th, including a 68 degree high at Indianapolis. A roller coaster ride of temperatures continued for much of the rest of March, with near to above normal temperatures giving way to well below normal readings, before returning back up again. Another cold period occurred from the 23rd to the 26th with average temperatures again more than 10 degrees below average. Low temperatures were in the teens at some locations during this period. The month ended on a warmer note, with highs in the 50s and 60s on the 30th and 31st.

March ended up as the 20th coldest on record, but only the coldest March since just last year at Indianapolis.

 

 

APRIL

April started out on a warmer note for much of the area, especially in contrast to how cool temperatures were throughout most of March.  Southern portions of central Indiana made it to 70 degrees on the 1st but as a nearly stationary frontal boundary set up over the southern part of the state, high temperatures through the 3rd largely remained in the 50s and 60s. Cooler air returned with the departure of the front early on the 4th, with highs generally in the 40s and 50s over the next several days. A more substantial warmup commenced on the 9th as south-southwest winds developed on the back side of broad surface high pressure.  Many areas reached 70 degrees for the first time in 2014 on the 10th, beginning a string of four to five consecutive days with high temperatures into the middle and upper 70s. For Indianapolis, the high temperature of 74 on the 10th marked the latest first 70 degree day for a calendar year since 1984 and the 10th latest first 70 degree day on record.

The passage of a strong cold front on the 14th brought a rather abrupt end to the warmth enjoyed during the second week of the month, with winter once again returning. High temperatures on the 15th were 20 to 25 degrees below normal, with many locations remaining in the 30s with light snow showers. The coldest mornings of the month came during this stretch of cool weather, with most of central Indiana experiencing subfreezing temperatures on the 16th as lows bottomed out in the middle and upper 20s.  The return of high pressure and southerly winds kept the wintry weather short-lived, with high temperatures returning into the 70s by the 18th.  The remainder of the month was largely dominated by high pressure, with highs consistently in the 60s and 70s. A broad upper level low brought clouds and cooler weather at the end of the month as it meandered slowly east across the upper Mississippi Valley.

MAY

 

Temperatures were like a roller-coaster ride during the month of May. The month started out well below average, with highs in the 40s and 50s. By the second week of the month, temperatures rose to above average. Highs reached the 70s and 80s, with Indianapolis recording its first 80 degree or higher temperature on May 7th when readings topped out at 83 degrees. That day was the first 80 degree day at Indianapolis since the previous October. The warm air only lasted about a week though, with much colder air moving in behind a cold front mid-month. Highs only reached to around 50 degrees at some locations on the 15th. Low temperatures dipped into the 30s at times during the third week of May.

By the last week of the month temperatures returned to above normal, with highs in the 80s common across Central Indiana. Indianapolis reached its warmest temperature of 2014 (through May) on the 27th, when the high topped out at 85 degrees.

Indianapolis recorded its first above normal temperature month since September 2013.

 

 

Temperature Data for Sites in Central Indiana

 

Site

Spring 2014 Temperature

Normal  Temperature

Diff. From Normal

Indianapolis Int’l Airport

50.6

52.6

-2.0

Lafayette

48.6

51.5

-2.9

Muncie

49.7

50.9

-1.2

Terre Haute

52.0

53.0

-1.0

Bloomington

52.4

53.0

-0.6

Shelbyville

53.4

52.5

+0.9

Indianapolis – Eagle Creek

50.7

52.8

-2.1

 

 

Spring Extremes Across Central Indiana

 

Site

Warmest Temperature

Coldest Temperature

Indianapolis Int’l Airport

85 on 5/27

7 on 3/3 and 3/4

Lafayette

87 on 5/8

2 on 3/3

Muncie

88 on 5/27

2 on 3/3

Terre Haute

87 on 5/27

6 on 3/4

Bloomington

87 on 5/21

4 on 3/4

Shelbyville

89 on 5/27 and 5/30

6 on 3/4

Indianapolis-Eagle Creek

85 on 5/27 and 5/30

6 on 3/4

 

 

Precipitation

 

 

MARCH

 

March precipitation was below normal across all of Indiana.  Much of the state received between 1½ to 3 inches of liquid precipitation during March, with some areas of south central Indiana seeing over 4 inches.

There were only two significant rain events during March.  The first was on the 12th when rainfall of ½ to nearly 2 inches fell in central Indiana.  The second was from the 28th through the 29th when ½ to slightly over 2 inches fell in central and southern Indiana.  Prior to the 28th-29th rainfall, central and southern Indiana had been mostly dry for 15 to 24 days.  Portions of northern Indiana ended March without significant precipitation in the last 19 days.

Many areas of central Indiana received near normal monthly snowfall of 1 to 3 inches. However, portions of Carroll, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Howard and Boone counties measured upwards of 8 to 9 inches of snowfall. The 3.1 inch total at Indianapolis made March 2013 the 46th snowiest March on record. Most of the monthly total at Indianapolis fell on the 2nd, when 2.4 inches fell. This set a daily snowfall record for the date.

APRIL

 

April rainfall was normal to much above normal across almost all of Indiana.  Monthly totals measured from 2 inches in northern Indiana to over 12 inches in southwest Indiana.  Much of the state received between 3 to 8 inches of rain during April.

The Indianapolis area received the most snowfall for April since 1994.  Snow from a few tenths of an inch to slightly more than an inch fell in central Indiana late on the 14th through early afternoon on the 15th.  This was the latest measurable snow for Indianapolis since 2001.  Snow of 1 to 5 inches fell in northern Indiana and up to an inch in southeast Indiana.

There were two major rain events during April.  Storms from the 2nd through the 4th dumped 2 to 6 inches of rain on central and southern Indiana.  Mudslides and flash flooding closed portions of I-64 in southern Indiana with widespread local flooding in central Indiana.  Ensuing river flooding along the Wabash, White and East Fork White Rivers lasted from 7 to 15 days in southern Indiana. 

After a 24-day span when little significant precipitation in the state, storms brought 3 to 4 inches of rain to southern Indiana on the 28th. The heaviest rainfall was along and south of US Highway 50.  The lowest reaches of the White and Wabash Rivers approached bankfull levels.

MAY

 

May rainfall was normal to above normal in much of Indiana with below normal rains noted in portions of southwest and southeast Indiana. Monthly totals measured from near 2 inches in southeast Indiana to over 8 inches in south central Indiana.  Much of the state received between 3 and 6 inches of rain during May.

May began dry and remained dry in much of central and southern Indiana through the 8th. At Indianapolis, the 0.04 inches for the first 10 days of May was the 7th driest of record and the driest in 34 years. Most of the precipitation for May in central Indiana fell from the 11th through the 21st, when 3 to 6 inches of rain fell across the area. Southern portions of the Indianapolis metro area received 2 to 3 inches of rain on the afternoon and early evening of the 21st as thunderstorms repeatedly moved across the same area.

 

 

Spring Precipitation Data for Sites in Central Indiana

 

Site

Spring 2014 Precipitation

Normal Precipitation

Diff. From Normal

Indianapolis Int’l Airport

12.64

12.42

+0.22

Lafayette

9.49

10.40

-0.91

Muncie

11.81

11.03

+0.78

Terre Haute

10.98

14.15

-3.17

Bloomington(*)

13.95

13.82

+0.13

Shelbyville

11.61

13.03

-1.42

Indianapolis – Eagle Creek(**)

12.07

12.47

-0.40

 

 

 

Severe Weather

 

No severe weather was reported across central Indiana during March. Thunderstorms brought small hail to some areas on the 25th.

 

April was a relatively quiet month for severe weather across central Indiana.  A nearly stationary frontal boundary set up across the Ohio Valley during the first three days of the month.  As waves of low pressure tracked along the boundary, central Indiana experienced periods of showers and thunderstorms through the 3rd.  Storms on the evening of the 2nd and early morning of the 3rd were strong with numerous reports of small hail, especially across southwest parts of central Indiana. Additional strong thunderstorms on the 28th and 29th produced a few reports of small hail, mainly across southern and eastern portions of central Indiana.

 

Scattered severe thunderstorms developed on the afternoon and evening of May 11th as a warm front lifted north across the region.  A remnant outflow boundary extending west to east near Interstate 70 was a catalyst in thunderstorm coverage and intensity.  The most intense storm was over Rush County, producing large hail and a funnel cloud.  Other storms produced wind damage and large hail up to half dollar size. For more information on this event, please visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/?n=may112014svr

 

The combination of weak instability, steep lapse rates and low freezing levels due to very cold air aloft set the stage for extended period of small hail from showers and a few thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening of May 16th. A few cold air funnel clouds were spotted as well, a typical feature with showers under an upper level low pressure system.

 

The biggest severe weather event during May took place on the afternoon and evening of the 21st into the early morning of the 22nd as severe thunderstorms developed along a cold front. Wind damage and large hail were common with the storms, with baseball sized hail confirmed in Waveland in Montgomery County. Numerous reports of half dollar to golf ball size hail along with flash flooding came from the southern Indianapolis suburbs as storms repeatedly tracked across the area and produced up to 3 inches of rain. For more information on this event, click the link provided. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/?n=may212014svr

 

 

Indianapolis Data

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS MARCH 2014 SUMMARY

 

 

Average Temperature

Total Precipitation

Total Snowfall

Highs at or above 70°/80°

March 2014

35.7

2.38

3.1

0/0

Normal March

42.2

3.56

2.6

3/0

Difference from Normal

-6.5

-1.18

+0.5

-3/0

 

March 2014 All-Time Ranks:

Temperature: 20th Coolest

Precipitation: 40th Driest

Snowfall: 46th Snowiest

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS APRIL 2014 SUMMARY

 

 

Average Temperature

Total Precipitation

Total Snowfall

Highs at or above 70°/80°

April 2014

53.0

5.39

0.3

11/0

Normal April

53.0

3.81

0.2

10/2

Difference from Normal

0.0

+1.58

+0.1

+1/-2

 

April 2014 All-Time Ranks:

Temperature: 59th Warmest

Precipitation: 26th Wettest

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS MAY 2014 SUMMARY

 

 

Average Temperature

Total Precipitation

Total Snowfall

Highs at or above 70°/80°

May 2014

63.1

4.87

0.0

21/12

Normal May

62.7

5.05

Trace

20/8

Difference from Normal

+0.4

-0.18

0.0

+1/+4

 

May 2014 All-Time Ranks:

Temperature: Tied for 71st Warmest

Precipitation: 45th Wettest

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS SPRING 2014 SUMMARY

 

 

Average Temperature

Total Precipitation

Total Snowfall

Highs at or above 70°/80°

Spring 2014

50.6

12.64

3.4

32/12

Normal Spring

52.6

12.42

2.8

33/10

Difference from Normal

-2.0

+0.22

+0.6

-1/+2

 

Spring 2014 All-Time Ranks

Temperature: Tied for 41st Coolest

Precipitation: 53rd Wettest

Snowfall: 53rd Snowiest

 

 Indianapolis Spring Temperature Graph
Indianapolis Spring 2014 Temperature Graph (Click to Enlarge)

 

  ;Indianapolis Spring Temperature Graph
Indianapolis Spring 2014 Temperature Graph (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

Summer 2014 Outlook for Central Indiana

 

The official outlook for the 2014 summer season (June-August) from the Climate Prediction Center, indicates a slightly greater chance of near to below normal temperatures across central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the summer season is 73.9 degrees.  An equal chance of above, below or near normal precipitation exists across central Indiana through the summer.  At Indianapolis, the average precipitation for the fall season is 11.93”.

 

 

 

Data prepared by the NWS Indianapolis Climate Team

Questions should be referred to w-ind.webmaster@noaa.gov

 

 



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