April 2011 Climate Summary

Central Indiana
April 2011
Climate Summary
 
16th Warmest on record at Indianapolis
4th Wettest on record at Indianapolis
 
Temperatures
The roller coaster ride of temperatures from March evened out more during the month of April, leaving the month warmer than average across the area, with most areas averaging 3 to 4 degrees above average for the month.
The month started on a cold note, with many areas seeing the coldest temperatures of the month on the first of the month. Up and down temperatures continued for the first week of the month, then a substantial warm spell occurred for the second week. Highs reached the lower to middle 80s on the 10th, with average daily temperatures about 20 degrees above average for the date.
Most of the remainder of the month saw near or above average temperatures. Cold air did return on the 21st, giving some areas another freeze.
Site
April 2011 Avg Temp
April 2011 Difference from Normal
Highest
Temperature
Lowest Temperature
Indianapolis
55.8
+3.8
83 on 10
30 on 1
Lafayette
54.5
+4.4
84 on 10
25 on 1
Muncie
52.5
+2.5
84 on 10
23 on 1
Terre Haute
56.3
+3.7
81 on 10
31 on 21
Bloomington
56.7
+4.0
83 on 10
31 on 21
Shelbyville
56.2
+4.1
85 on 10
28 on 1
Indy – Eagle Crk.
55.5
+3.5
82 on 10
30 on 1
 
At Indianapolis, there were 7 days with below normal average temperatures, 21 days with above normal average temperatures and 2 days with normal average temperatures.
 

April 2011 was the 16th warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.

 
Precipitation

Central Indiana saw a very wet month, with more than half of the days of the month receiving at least a trace of rainfall.  Much of the southern half of Indiana received over 10 inches of rain for the month, which caused extensive flooding along rivers and streams.
The rain was caused by fronts that stalled out in our area, allowing thunderstorms with heavy rain to move repeatedly across the same areas. On the 19th, numerous thunderstorms with heavy rain moved through, giving many sites their wettest day of the month. On that day areas around Indianapolis and Shelbyville received over 3 inches of rain. The average rainfall for the entire month of April is around 3.5 inches, meaning that some areas saw nearly the average monthly rainfall in a single day.
The longest dry stretch during the month was only 3 days, which gave the ground little time to recover from the rain. This meant that the heavy rain from thunderstorms ran off quickly into streams and rivers, causing extensive flooding. Major to near record flooding of rivers occurred across the area, with the worst flooding across the southern half of the state. Flooding was the worst since 2008 in many areas, with southwest sections of the area seeing the worst flooding since January 2005.
Site
April 2011 Precipitation
April 2011 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
Indianapolis
7.98
 +4.37
3.06 on 19
 3 days 5-7 and 12-14
Lafayette
7.89
 +4.32
1.86 on 27
 3 days 12-14
Muncie
6.53
 +2.93
1.47 on 19
 3 days 12-14
Terre Haute
11.01
 +6.89
2.49 on 19
 3 days 5-7 and 12-14
Bloomington
11.14
 +6.85
1.94 on 19
 3 days 5-7 and 12-14
Shelbyville
11.13
 +7.19
3.37 on 19
 3 days 12-14
Indy – Eagle Crk.
8.07
 +4.46
3.26 on 19
 3 days 5-7 and 12-14
                           

April 2011 was the 4th wettest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.

 
Severe Weather
 
Severe weather impacted many areas in Central Indiana during the month of April. Four tornadoes touched down during the month, with 3 of the 4 happening on the 19th.  On that day a strong storm system moved through the area, bringing multiple lines of strong to severe thunderstorms. Widespread wind damage also occurred, in addition to the 3 tornadoes.
 
The fourth tornado touched down on April 23 when additional strong to severe storms were moving across the area.  Strong storms moved across the area at times during the last week of April as well, with wind damage occurring across southern sections of the area on the 28th.
 
Severe weather occurred on 9 days during the month across Central Indiana.
 
For information on severe weather in other areas during April, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/.
 
Miscellaneous
 
The maximum wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport was 53 mph out of the west early on the morning of the 27th in the wake of a line of thunderstorms along a cold front. Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 19 days during the month, with dense fog not being reported during the month. Thunder was reported on 10 days during the month.
 
May 2011 Outlook
 
The official outlook for May 2011 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates an equal chance for above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures for central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 62.6 degrees. The outlook also calls for an equal chance for above normal, normal, or below normal precipitation across central Indiana. The average precipitation for May at Indianapolis is 4.36”.  
 
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.


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