A Complete Summary of 2007

2007: A Year in Review
The year of 2007 will go down in the record books as a warm and dry year. Records began for Indianapolis in 1871. Since that time, 2007 finished as the 8th warmest year ever, and 40th driest year ever. It was the driest since 1999 and the warmest since 1998.
 
The following information will represent a very comprehensive look back on the year that was. The information is arranged in this order:
 
Whole Year Weather Stats
Monthly and Seasonal Conditions
Miscellaneous Weather Stats
Records Broken
Top 10 Weather Stories of 2007

 
For the whole year
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs of 80 or hotter
Lows of 0 or colder
2007
55.2
36.70
35.7
131
6
NORMAL
52.6
40.95
26.9
97
7
2007 Difference from Normal
+2.6
-4.25
+8.8
+34
-1
All-Time Rank
8th Warmest
40th Driest
14th Snowiest
Most Ever
54th Most
 
Note, for purposes of the above table, snowfall is referring to the calendar year period, from Jan 1 to Dec 31.
 
 
WINTER SEASON SUMMARY 2006-07
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs below Freezing
Lows Below Zero
Winter 2006-2007
30.7
12.42
24.8
26
6
Normal Winter
29.8
7.92
21.8
27
6
2006-2007
Difference from Normal
+0.9
+4.50
+3.0
-1
0
 
Winter Ranks:
31st Warmest
5th Wettest
16th Snowiest


SPRING SEASON SUMMARY
 
 Average Temperature
Total Precipitation 
 Total Snowfall
Highs of 80 or warmer
Lows of 32 or colder
Spring 2007
56.0
10.18
0.9
21
20
Normal Spring
52.1
11.41
3.5
11
22
2007 Difference from Normal
+3.9
-1.23
-2.6
+10
-2
 
Spring Ranks:
3rd Warmest
30th Driest
 
 SUMMER SEASON SUMMARY
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Highs of 90 or more
Summer 2007
76.1
7.55
30
Normal Summer
73.5
12.37
15
2007 Difference from Normal
+2.6
-4.82
+15
 
Summer Ranks:
16th Warmest
24th Driest

 
FALL SEASON SUMMARY
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs of 80 or more
Fall 2007
59.1
6.24
T
29
Normal Fall
54.6
9.25
1.7
15
2007 Difference from Normal
+4.5
-3.01
-1.7
+14
 
Fall Ranks:
4th Warmest
30th Driest
 

 
WINTER 2007-2008 SUMMARY SO FAR
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Lows of 32 or colder
December 2007
34.1
5.55
10.8
23
Normal December
31.6
3.03
6.4
24
2007 Difference From Normal
+2.5
+2.52
+4.4
-1
 
December 2007 Ranks:
55th Warmest
9th Wettest
15th Snowiest

 
Miscellaneous Information
 
Date of Final Spring Frost:       April 13
Date of Final Spring Snow:      April 14
 
Date of First Fall Frost:            November 6
Date of First Fall Snow:           November 22
 
Hottest High Temperature:      96 (August 12, September 5)
Coldest Low Temperature:      -6 (February 16)
 
Coldest High Temperature:      10 (February 5)
Warmest Low Temperature:    78 (August 9)
 
Heaviest Daily Rainfall:             2.22 (August 20)
Heaviest Daily Snowfall:            7.4 (February 13)
 
Wettest 7 day period:                2.85” (January 11-17)
Driest 7 day period:                   0.00” (Numerous Occasions)
 
Consecutive days with temperatures below freezing:      15 (January 28 – February 11)
Consecutive days with highs of 90 or hotter:                  14 (July 31 – August 13)
 

 
Records Broken
 
 
Date
Record Type
New Record Amount
Old Record Amount
Old Record Year
January 21
Daily Snowfall
3.5”
2.5”
1922
February 6
Daily Snowfall
5.2”
4.4”
1940
February 13
Daily Snowfall
7.4”
4.5”
1914
February 15
Daily Snow Depth
10”
9”
1979
February 16
Daily Snow Depth
9”
8”
1979
February 18
Daily Snow Depth
12”
10”
1979
March 13
High Temperature
80
78
1990
March 25
High Temperature
81
80
1939
March 26
Warm Minimum
61
60
1907
April 7
Coolest Max
32
36
1982
August 9
Warm Minimum- TIE
78
78
1896
August 20
Daily Precipitation
2.22
1.63
1924
September 23
High Temp. - TIE
90
90
1961
September 24
High Temperature
92
91
1891
October 5
High Temp – TIE
87
87
1922
October 6
High Temperature
89
88
1946
October 7
High Temperature
90
87
1916
October 8
High Temperature
81
89
1939
October 18
Warm Minimum
65
64
1877
December 5
Daily Snow Depth
3”
2”
1942
 

Top 10 Weather Stories of 2007
Like most years, 2007 was a year of extremes in Central Indiana. From frigid winter cold to blistering summer heat, Hoosiers got a little bit of everything this past year. As the calendar gets ready to slip into a new year, it’s take a trip down memory lane to recall the year in weather, 2007.
Here are the top weather stories for the year. Rankings of the first 5 were determined by votes from you, the citizens of Central Indiana!
Thanks to all of you who voted, and we really enjoyed hearing your personal stories of how these weather events impacted your life.
 
February Blizzard
          Your overwhelming favorite, by a 2 to 1 margin, was the Blizzard of 2007. This is undoubtedly a storm which will be talked about for years to come, and one by which storms of the future will be measured.
The largest snow event of the season struck central Indiana on February 12th through the 14th. The snow began during the evening of February 12th, and continued at Indianapolis for nearly 30 hours. When it was all done by the early morning hours of February 14th, Indianapolis had received 8.5 inches of snow.
Blowing and drifting of snow became problematic during the evening of February 13th and during the early morning hours of February 14th. Snow drifts caused the most problems in the areas that received the most snow, mainly north of Interstate 70.
The low pressure system that produced the storm tracked along and south of the Ohio River across Kentucky which is an ideal storm track for heavy snow in central Indiana. Snow amounts with the storm were heaviest along a Lafayette to Muncie line. Many cities along this line received over a foot of snow. The largest amount of snow was measured in Lafayette, where 17 inches was measured by meteorologists at a television station. This ranks a tie for the second largest snowfall over a three day period in Lafayette. The largest snowfall in Lafayette was 20.5 inches on December 19-20, 1929.
 
These are a few of the highest totals:
 
Inches of Snow
Location
County
17.0
Lafayette (WLFI-TV)
Tippecanoe
15.0
Alexandria
Madison
14.5
10 E Lafayette
Tippecanoe
14.0
Attica
Fountain
14.0
Frankfort
Clinton
13.0
1 N Winchester
Randolph
12.0
Kokomo
Howard
11.8
2.9 NNE Muncie
Delaware
11.0
Muncie
Delaware
11.0
0.5 SSE Lebanon
Boone
11.0
0.4 WNW Covington
Fountain
10.0
4.6 SE New Castle
Henry
10.0
4.5 NNE Lizton
Boone
 
A map of snowfall accumulations during the blizzard of 2007 in central Indiana is available at:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/ind/Feb12-14snow.gif
 
Many of you shared personal experiences and stories with us, as to how this blizzard impacted your daily life. We look forward to sharing many pictures and stories with you in a few months, when we commemorate the one year anniversary of this storm in February.
 
The Drought of 2007-
            Coming in second place from your votes was the drought of 2007. In most locations this drought was the worst since 1988, and in a few spots you would have to go back to the 1950s to find a drought where less rain fell. The impacts on agriculture and the economy of Central Indiana are still being calculated, but it is safe to assume that the livelihood of thousands of our residents was impacted.
            After a very wet winter in 2006-07 and a wet start to spring in 2007 in Central Indiana, things took a turn for the drier by April. While it had seemed impossible to stay dry for the six months prior to April, rain quickly became a precious commodity. The dry weather continued through the rest of the spring and barreled on into the summer months. Month after month recorded rainfall totals of well below normal levels. The situation was worst in southern and east central Indiana. In Indianapolis, the period from April 15 through July 15brought a mere 5.59 inches of rain. This was the 5th lowest amount ever during that three month time period, and least since 1988 when only 3.32 inches came.
            By August, the drought broke suddenly in northern and north central Indiana as heavy rainfall actually sent things into flood stage there. Farther south, the drought lessened at times, but still continued. D3 (Extreme Drought) took place in southern Indiana during portions of August and into September. To close out the summer, the mercury soared well into the 90s over and over again as the dry weather continued. Reservoir levels in the Indianapolis area reached into top five lowest levels ever.
 From April 15 through October 15, Indianapolis measured just 12.24 inches of rainfall. This is the second lowest amount ever during that six month span. The only time it has been drier was 1988, when 10.52 inches were recorded. The drought finally subsided during October and November, as more reliable rainfall returned. But the year of 2007 as a whole remained below normal at Indianapolis by more than 4 inches.
 
The Relentless Summer Heat
Your votes placed the relentless summer heat of this year as the third place weather story. The hot weather went hand in hand with the drought that happened this year, as the dry conditions tend to help make temperatures hotter than in wet years. The summer this year started off with 5 days in the 90s in June, but then took a turn for the cooler in July when temperatures were below normal and only three days reached 90 or higher. However, this cool weather came to an end with the start of August, with a heat wave that smashed records and was the longest since the early 1980. It nearly ended up tied with heat waves of the 1930s dustbowl summers. From the first of August through the 13th, every single day reached or exceeded 90 degrees. Including the last day of July, this made 14 straight days of 90 or higher, tying the 1980 and 1983 heat wave length, and making this tied for fourth longest streak ever of highs in the 90s. The heat broke slightly in mid August but another 9 days in late August hit 90 or higher. This made a monthly total of 22 days in the 90s. The last year with more days in the 90s was August 1983.
            September felt like anything but the start of fall, as the heat kept on with 5 more days in the 90s. 96 on the 5th of September was the hottest September day since 1991. Not to be outdone, and perhaps most remarkable of the streak, was October of 2007. In the previous 136 years of temperature records at Indianapolis, only twice had it reached 90 degrees during the month of October. Until 2007, that is. This year alone saw two days in the 90s, and saw records broken for hottest October day ever (91 on the 8th), latest date to ever reach 90 (the 8th), and the only time that more than one day in the 90s has ever occurred in October.
            When the heat finally broke, the final tally left a yearly total of 37 days of 90 or hotter. The last year with more was 1988 with 49. 1983 saw 58 days of 90 or better, the record for the most in one year at Indianapolis. A normal year brings 18 days in the 90s.
 
Severe Clear
The number four weather story for this year is a little bit different than all the others on the list. While the other events are about things that have happened, this one is all about things that didn’t happen. Severe weather was not nearly as prevalent or widespread as in previous years. This is in large part due to the long term weather pattern from April through October, which was a powerful ridge of high pressure over the southeastern United States. In fact, this was the same ridge of high pressure that was in large part responsible for both the drought this year and the extreme heat.
            While this lack of severe weather was notable, it is certainly not unwelcome to residents of the area. While 2006 brought several large hail and wind storms causing extreme and widespread damage to major metropolitan areas, the severe season of 2007 never got into a sustained pattern. Most events this year were rather localized and few widespread outbreaks were noted in Indiana.
            The strongest tornado this year was an EF2, which touched down in extreme northern Hamilton County on the evening of April 11, 2007, and tracked into southeastern Tipton County. The April 11 mini-outbreak brought most of the tornadoes to central Indiana this season, as 4 tornadoes touched down that day, including an EF1 in Hendricks County. Outside of the storms on April 11, only EF0 tornadoes were reported in Central Indiana this year.
            So while 2007 may have brought us all a break from severe weather, it is important for all residents to continue to be on guard for whatever 2008 will bring. Severe weather can, and likely will, strike parts of Central Indiana in the months to come, and being prepared is your best line of defense.

February Deep Freeze
          The winter of 2006-2007 got off to a very mild note with no significant snowfall until the 21st of January. Temperatures had also reflected the lack of winter so far, with highs topping out near 60 degrees to close out December and start off the new year of 2007. Residents of Central Indiana even saw flowers poking up during late December, as some confused Crocuses thought that winter had already ended. But this stopped during the month of February, as epic cold and snow gripped Central Indiana, and plunged readings to levels not seen for years.
            The first 11 days of February in Indianapolis were bitterly cold, as highs never even reached the freezing mark once during that time. Four nights checked in with lows below zero at night, and five inches of snow on the 6th really made things feel frigid. There was a brief warm up ahead of the storm that came to be known as the Blizzard of 2007 as highs reached a “mild” 36 degrees on the 12th. But following the storm, the snow depth at Indianapolis reached to between 10 and 12 inches for several days. This deep snow helped low temperatures plunge to -6 degrees on the 16th of February. In total, the month checked in with an average temperature of 19.7 degrees. This made it the third coldest February ever and the coldest since 1978 and 1979, which are number one and number two coldest ever. In addition, six days saw a low temperature of 0 degrees or colder, and this was the most since 1979 saw 11. February 2007 was a month that sent heating bills rising and conjured up old memories of those harsh winters of the 1970s for many residents.
 
Winter’s Last Hurrah
          While the winter of 2006-2007 had a tough time of getting started, it had an even tougher time coming to an end. By the end of March, it seemed certain that spring had arrived early, with a high of 81 degrees near the end of the month. But April had a different plan for those who already had their summer gear out of storage.
            The first three days of April soared into the 70s and seemed to pick up where March left off. But by the 4th it became evident that things would be different. The high struggled only to 46 degrees that day, and then over the next 4 days things got progressively colder. The peak of the April cold snap came on the 7th when a high of 32 degrees and a low of 23 degrees meant that the entire day stayed below freezing. This was particularly devastating to tender vegetation and early blooming trees and plants that had been coaxed out of hibernation by the earlier warmth. It was, in fact, the most severe April cold since April of 1982. In addition to the cold this year, each day on the 4th through the 9th saw a trace of snow. This April cold had lingering impacts on agriculture, which were further compounded by the drought of the late spring and summer.
 
April 11 Tornadoes
            While 2007 did not bring many tornadoes or severe weather in general, there was one day this year which had a significant impact on the lives of many residents in Central Indiana. April 11 brought four tornadoes to the area, including the strongest of the year, an EF2 tornado in Hamilton and Tipton Counties. In addition to that tornado, there were EF0 tornadoes reported in Clay and Hendricks Counties. An EF1 tornado was also reported in Hendricks County. Damage from the Clay County EF0 tornado was minor and limited to primarily just tree damage. The EF0 in Hendricks County touched down in open fields and caused no significant damage.
            The EF1 in Hendricks County touched down just 2 miles southwest of the town of Lizton. The tornado fortunately missed the town of Lizton, but did cause damage to several homes and destroyed several garages and barns in the area. Winds from this tornado were estimated at 90 mph.
            The strongest tornado on the 11th of April was an EF2 which touched down 3 miles east of the town of Arcadia in northern Hamilton County. Significant damage to a barn, damage to some homes, and the fact that the tornado moved a tractor trailer truck with its strong winds, lead to the EF2 rating. Winds from this storm were estimated at 120 mph.
            Even in a year with relatively little severe weather, it becomes evident that it only takes one event to cause damage and make a large impact on the lives of those who are impacted.
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/?n=apr1107
 
Strong Damaging Cold Front Winds
            On the early morning hours of December 23, 2007, a strong low pressure system moved rapidly northeast into the Great Lakes region. And as it did, it sent a cold front across Central Indiana, which was accompanied by very strong and damaging winds. Between 3 and 5 AM as the front passed, winds gusted between 50 and 60 mph. The strongest measured wind gust in Central Indiana that morning was 60 mph at Bloomington. Winds of up to 55 mph were recorded in the Indianapolis area. These winds, which were as strong as those that could accompany a severe thunderstorm, caused numerous power outages and fallen trees across the region. At the peak of the event, several thousand people were without power in Central Indiana. Fortunately, the winds to 60 mph were brief and only lasted a few hours, and thus spared more significant damage to the area.
 
Torrential Downpours in Late August
            Even though Indiana was deep within one of the worst droughts in decades, there were some significant and torrential downpours. The most notable of these was on the 20th of August. A day that peaked at 91 degrees was followed by heavy thunderstorms. These storms left an 2.22 inches of rainfall at Indianapolis. This was a record rainfall for the date, and also one of the wettest August days ever. The previous rainfall record for August 20th was 1.63 inches, set back in 1924. Fortunately, the fact that it had been so extremely dry meant that the 2.22 inches of rain did not send area waterways into flood status. This one day in August accounted for 65% of all the rain that fell during the entire month, and was an aberration in an otherwise extremely dry summer.

If you enjoy reading about significant weather events in Central Indiana, you should frequently visit the National Weather Service, Indianapolis web page at www.weather/gov/ind. Summaries of significant events are frequently posted in our top news stories. In addition, we maintain a news archive of these signficant events at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crnews/display_archive.php?wfo=ind

Prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point
Assistance provided by National Weather Service Indianapolis Forecast Team
For questions or comments please contact w-ind.webmaster@noaa.gov


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