March 2010 Climate Summary

Central Indiana
March 2010 Climate Summary
 
22nd Warmest on record at Indianapolis
60th Driest on record at Indianapolis
March 2010 saw a transition to a milder, slightly wetter pattern for central Indiana. Many locations received two to five inches of precipitation during the month, primarily in the form of rain. For the second consecutive March, very little snow impacted central Indiana throughout the month. Temperatures also modified with the first 60 and 70 degree readings of the year being recorded in quick succession between the 8th and 10th for most of the region. The month saw a mixture of extended dry periods with mild temperatures and shorter stretches of cool, wet weather that often lasted no more than two or three days at a time.
 
 
Temperatures
After a cool start to the month, temperatures warmed above 50 degrees for the first time in six weeks on the 7th as a ridge of high pressure aloft built into central Indiana. Southerly winds pumped increasingly warmer air into the region over the next several days, providing the first major spring preview as temperatures climbed in the low 70s across all of central Indiana on the 10th.
 
Temperatures cooled back down into the 40s in the wake of a strong low pressure on the 12th, but the return of upper level ridging brought a stretch of beautiful weather with abundant sunshine from the 16th through the 20th with high temperatures mainly in the 60s. High temperatures oscillated between the 40s and the 60s over the next week as three successive low pressure systems moved through the region. Deep upper level ridging and southerly winds brought a significant warming trend for the last few days of the month with highs rising from the 50s on the 27th and 28th into the mid and upper 70s on the 31st. High temperatures on the 31st were the warmest of 2010 to date.
 
Low temperatures were generally warmer than normal for much of the month. After the morning of the 8th, temperatures were rarely below 30 degrees for the remainder of March.
 
Site
March 2010 Avg Temp
March 2010 Difference from normal
Highest
Temperature
Lowest Temperature
Indianapolis
45.9
 +4.2
79 on 31
23 on 5 and 6
Lafayette
44.8
 +6.0
78 on 31
21 on 6
Muncie
42.9
 +4.1
74 on 31
20 on 5
Terre Haute
45.0
 +2.5
76 on 31
19 on 6
Bloomington
45.2
 +3.2
79 on 31
18 on 6
Shelbyville
44.6
 +3.2
75 on 31
20 on 5
Indy – Eagle Crk.
45.0
 +3.3
79 on 31
21 on 6
 
At Indianapolis, there were 9 days with below normal average temperatures, 20 days with above normal average temperatures and 2 days at normal average temperatures.
 
March 2010 was the 22nd warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.
 
Precipitation
 
Most of the rain during March fell between the 11th and the 28th.   Monthly rainfall departures ranged from 50% of normal to 200% of normal.   Monthly amounts varied from of 1.50 inches to nearly 6 inches. The wettest areas were generally north of Interstate 74.
 
Lowland flooding affected much of central and southern Indiana as result of the numerous rain events. Most streams and rivers rose to their highest levels since the late winter and spring of 2009.   Lowland flooding continued at the end of the month in western and southern Indiana.
 
The Indiana agricultural season will not get an early start as a result of March’s rain and high water. Field conditions were improving at the end of March because of warm and windy conditions.
 
 
Site
March 2010 Precipitation
March 2010 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
Indianapolis
3.09
-0.35
0.75” on 22
6 days 1-6
Lafayette
3.22
+0.38
0.89” on 28
6 days 1-6
Muncie
4.25
+1.15
1.12” on 12
6 days 1-6 and 15-20
Terre Haute
1.58
-2.10
0.88” on 25
6 days 1-6 and 15-20
Bloomington
3.62
-0.04
1.17” on 25
5 days 2-6 and 16-20
Shelbyville
3.57
+0.15
1.01” on 25
6 days 1-6
Indy – Eagle Crk.
3.34
-0.10
0.75” on 22 and 28
6 days 1-6
 
March 2010 was the 60th driest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.
 
 
Snowfall
 
Similar to March 2009, the month almost saw no snowfall recorded in Indianapolis. The only instance of snow across central Indiana occurred on the back side of low pressure that moved through the Ohio Valley on the 25th. Colder air rushed into the region during the evening, with rain changing to snow for a short period of time to the northeast of the Indianapolis metro area.   Accumulations ranged from a trace in Indianapolis, to around one inch from Muncie south towards Rushville.
 
 
Severe Weather

No severe weather occurred in central Indiana in March. A few strong thunderstorms developed on the evening of the 12th across east central Indiana.
 
For information on severe weather in other areas during December, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/
 
 
 
Miscellaneous
 
At the Indianapolis International Airport, the peak wind gust this month was 41 mph from the northeast on March 25. Fog or haze was observed on 17 days. Dense fog was observed on just two days; the 12th and the 23rd.  
 
 
 
April 2010 Outlook
 
The official outlook for April 2010 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a greater chance of above normal temperatures across central Indiana. At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 52.0 degrees. An equal chance of above, near, or below normal precipitation exists across central Indiana. The average precipitation at Indianapolis is 3.61” and the average snowfall is 0.4”.
 
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.
 


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