April 2008 Climate Summary

April 2008 - Mild and Very Dry
April 2008 continued on the theme of highly variable, up and down temperatures from week to week. Some weeks ended up much above normal with temperatures near 75, only to be followed by highs in the 40s and patchy frost at night just a few days later. One thing that was constant this month was the lack of rain, as the month finished up tied for the 8th Driest April on record. The following is a summary of weather conditions observed at the Indianapolis International Airport during the month of April 2008.
The average temperature for the month of April was 53.8 degrees. This was above the normal April value of 52.0 degrees by 1.8 degrees. It ended a two month stretch of cooler than normal weather that was observed at Indianapolis during February and March, and was the first above normal month for temperatures since January.
The month saw a continued up and down ride on temperatures, similar to what happened during the winter time. The month started out near normal, but shifted sharply warmer between the 6th and 11th of the month, as highs peaked out as warm as 73 degrees on the 8th. This warmth subsided by mid-month and was replaces by a brief cool spell, when the 13th only reached a chilly 42 degrees for a high, after an overnight low of 35 degrees. Frost and freeze conditions were observed during this mid-month cool spell, but quickly the warmth returned as the temperatures reached well into the 70s and then to the low 80s by the 23rd. The warmest temperature of the month came on the 23rd, when the high temperature reached 82 degrees.
April was also significant in that it brought the end of a long-standing cool period dating back to October 2007. On the 21st of October last year the high reached 79 degrees, but then failed to reach 70 degrees again until April 7, 2008. This was a streak of 168 consecutive days with a high not reaching 70 degrees, the 10th longest streak of its kind ever.
April 2008 brought a mere 1.54 inches of precipitation measured at the Indianapolis International Airport. This value was below normal by 2.07 inches. This was the first month since January to be drier than normal. The lack of thunderstorms this month certainly helped to contribute to the less than normal amounts of rain.
1.54 inches of precipitation made this the 8th driest April on record at Indianapolis, tying it in a three-way tie with the Aprils of 1935 and 2004. The driest April on record was April of 1976 with 0.98 inches of precipitation.
Severe Weather
April 2008 was remarkable in that there was no severe weather reported to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis during the entire month. While statistically not the peak of the severe weather season, April does usually bring an increase in hazardous weather. While this season has been quiet so far, residents are reminded to keep an eye to the sky and an ear to their weather radio, as conditions can and will change rapidly here in Central Indiana.
The peak wind gust measured this April was 41 mph from the Southwest on April 11. Thunder was reported on 2 days during the month. Fog or haze was observed on 16 days, and dense fog occurred twice. Sunshine this month was 61% of the possible maximum.
Outlook for May 2008
The official outlook from the Climate Prediction Center at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov  for Indiana calls for an enhanced likelihood of below normal temperatures. The precipitation outlook indicates an enhanced likelihood of wetter than normal conditions.

Data Prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point
With assistance from National Weather Service Forecast Team

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