October 2010 Central Indiana Climate Summary

Central Indiana
October 2010
Climate Summary
34th Warmest on record at Indianapolis
31th Driest on record at Indianapolis
October 2010 continued the recent trend since the summer of warmer and drier than normal conditions. The month was relatively quiet as high pressure persisted across central Indiana and the Ohio Valley for much of the month. Many locations received less than 2 inches of rainfall with the drought worsening.  
An upper level disturbance moving across the Great Lakes during the first few days of the month brought the first days with highs below 60 degrees for parts of the region on the 2nd and 3rd. High pressure quickly reestablished across much of the eastern United States, with temperatures soaring back into the 80s over the Columbus Day weekend. High temperatures warmed into the middle and upper 80s from the 9th through the 11th, including a new record high of 88 on the 10th at Indianapolis.   The record high of 86 degrees from 1928 was tied on the 11th as well. 
Temperatures fell slowly back to more seasonable levels in the aftermath of a cold frontal passage on the 13th, but remained largely above normal until the last week of the month with highs in the 60s and 70s. In fact, the 21st was the only day that saw highs below the mid 60s from the 13th through the 27th. Lows varied from the upper 30s to the 50s for much of this period. The passage of a strong cold front on the 26th ushered in a cooler weather pattern for the last few days of the month, as highs fell back mainly into the 50s with lows ranging from the upper 20s into the 30s. Most locations across central Indiana experienced their first sub-freezing temperatures during the last ten days of the month.
October 2010 Avg Temp
October 2010 Difference from Normal
Lowest Temperature
88 on 10
35 on 22 and 30
87 on 9 and 10
30 on 22
86 on 10
31 on 22
Terre Haute
86 on 10 and 11
26 on 29
87 on 10
26 on 30
87 on 10
27 on 22
Indy – Eagle Crk.
86 on 10
32 on 30
At Indianapolis, there were 11 days with below normal average temperatures, 16 days with above normal average temperatures and 4 days with normal average temperatures.
October 2010 was the 34th warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.

October 2010 was another dry month for much of Indiana. Monthly totals ranged from less than 0.50 inches in portions of central Indiana to 3.50 inches near Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana and isolated portions of east central Indiana. This was 10% of normal in portions of central Indiana to 125% of normal in portions of northwest and east central Indiana. Nearly one half of the state received less than an inch of rain during October.
Measurable rain fell from only four precipitation events during October. These occurred on the 2nd, 13th, 18th and 24th-26th. The most significant and widespread rainfall occurred from the 24th -26th. Much of Indiana received 0.50 to over 1.50 inches of rainfall during this period.   
Drought conditions gradually deteriorated during October. The National Drought Monitor for October 12 depicted more than 50% of the state with moderate to severe drought conditions and remainder of the state at least abnormally dry.   A small bubble of extreme drought conditions was centered on Jackson County in southern Indiana. The following week the National Drought Monitor depicted 65% of the state in moderate to extreme drought conditions and the remainder of northern Indiana was shown as abnormally dry. Significant rainfall on the 24th near Lake Michigan and widespread rainfall on the 26th eased drought conditions for a few days. The National Drought Monitor for October 26 indicated 65% of the state remained in moderate to extreme drought conditions and all of northwest Indiana except for a small area near Lake Michigan remained abnormally dry.
Because of the continued low rainfall since late June in many areas of Indiana, numerous small watersheds in the state were at or near record low daily flow during the last half of October. Consequently the White, East Fork White, and Wabash Rivers were below normal with the lower portions of the East Fork White and White Rivers the lowest when compared to daily normal flows.
Much more information on the lack of rainfall and its effects can be found in this article.
October 2010 Precipitation
October 2010 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
0.42” on 13
9 days 4-12
0.34” on 26
9 days 3-11
0.69” on 26
10 days 3-12
Terre Haute
0.64” on 26
10 days 3-12
0.44” on 26
10 days 3-12
0.67” on 26
10 days 3-12
Indy – Eagle Crk.
0.32” on 2
10 days 3-12
October 2010 was the 31th driest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.
Severe Weather
A line of severe thunderstorms impacted central Indiana on the morning of the 26th. One tornado was confirmed over Howard County, briefly touching down just to the east of Kokomo. One home had significant damage and 6 other structures had minor roof or fence damage.   The tornado was rated an EF0. The line produced widespread wind damage across the area, with the most extensive wind damage taking place in Greenfield and Wilkinson in Hancock County and near Parker City in Randolph County. Subsequent storms surveys determined straight line winds of 80 mph were responsible for the damage in these areas.
The worsening drought conditions did lead to numerous field fires across central and southern Indiana, with field fires occurring on several days throughout the month.  These fires coincided with warmer temperatures during the month, and especially low relative humidity values and moderate to strong winds.

For information on severe weather in other areas during October, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/.
The maximum wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport was 54 mph out of the southwest on the 26th as an intense thunderstorm squall line approached. Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on eight days during the month. Thunder was reported on three days during the month.
November 2010 Outlook
The official outlook for November 2010 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a greater chance of above normal temperatures for central Indiana. At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 42.9 degrees. The outlook calls for an equal chance of near, above or below normal precipitation. The average precipitation for November at Indianapolis is 3.61” and 1.3” of snowfall.
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.

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