February 2012 Central Indiana Climate Summary

Central Indiana
February 2012
Climate Summary
20th Warmest on record at Indianapolis
36th Driest on record at Indianapolis
37th Least Snowiest on record at Indianapolis
 
Temperatures
February continued the stretch of above normal temperatures, contributing to one of the warmest winters on record. The majority of February was dominated by ridges of high pressure with weak disturbances and associated frontal boundaries influencing the area. Several quick-moving stronger systems brought more varied swings in temperature to central Indiana during the last third of the month.  

The month started out with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal during the first week and trended to near normal by the 9th. Following a cold frontal passage on the 10th, a strong area of high pressure ushered in the coldest air of the month through the 13th with lows in the teens and highs in the 20s to mid 30s. The warm air returned to central Indiana from the 15th through 18th with broad ridging in place and only a weak low pressure system tracking across the area. A cold front brought a brief period of near normal temperatures through the 20th and strong southwesterly flow ahead of the next frontal system allowed temperatures to climb into the mid and upper 50s on the 22nd. Below normal temperatures and highs in the low to mid 30s were brought back into the region behind a strong departing low pressure system on the 25th. Yet another warm up wrapped up the month with many areas reaching highs in the 50s and even the upper 60s to low 70s by the 29th ahead of a strong low pressure system and associated cold front. The high temperature in Indianapolis on the 29th was 69 degrees, making it the warmest day since November 14th of 2011.       

 

Site
February 2012 Avg Temp
February 2012 Difference from Normal
Highest
Temperature
Lowest Temperature
Indianapolis
37.3
+5.2
69 on 29
14 on 11
Lafayette
34.9
+4.4
67 on 29
12 on 11
Muncie
34.2
+4.5
68 on 29
10 on 11
Terre Haute
36.7
+4.3
67 on 29
13 on 11
Bloomington
36.9
+3.8
68 on 29
15 on 11 and 13
Shelbyville
37.4
+5.7
71 on 29
15 on 12
Indy – Eagle Crk.
35.7
+3.7
67 on 29
13 on 11
 
At Indianapolis, there were 21 days with above normal average temperatures, 7 days with below normal average temperatures and 1 day with normal average temperatures.
 
February 2012 was the 20th warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.
 

 

 

 

Precipitation

Precipitation during February was below normal in central and southern Indiana for the first time since August. Precipitation in northern Indiana was normal to above normal. Melted precipitation ranged from less than an inch to nearly three inches. The most precipitation fell in northern Indiana and the least in central Indiana just south and southeast of Indianapolis. Much of February’s rainfall fell on the 29th. Precipitation during the month fell in the form of rain and snow. 

The warm and dry conditions prevailing during the month allowed flooding from January to end on the 9th. Rivers during the second half of February remained at normal levels. At month’s end, streams in central and southern Indiana were below normal for the season. Soils in portions of central Indiana had dried out enough to allow very early spring cultivation.
 
Site
February 2011 Precipitation
February 2011 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
Indianapolis
1.38
 -0.94
0.47 on 28-29
 4 days 17-20
Lafayette
1.24
 -0.52
0.29 on 28-29
 4 days 17-20
Muncie
1.48
 -0.83
0.43 on 29
 4 days 17-20
Terre Haute
1.40
 -0.53
0.40 on 28-29
 4 days 17-20
Bloomington
0.40*
 -2.36*
0.15 on 4*
 4 days 17-20
Shelbyville
1.06
 -1.30
0.23 on 29
 4 days 17-20
Indy – Eagle Crk.
1.52
 -0.61
0.52 on 28-29
 4 days 17-20
                           
February 2012 was the 36th driest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.
*Precipitation data is missing for Bloomington Feb. 29
 

 

 

Snowfall

 
Snowfall totals in February were also below normal and ranged from less than an inch in much of southern Indiana to nearly a foot near Lake Michigan in northern Indiana. Snowfall in central Indiana ranged from less than an inch to nearly 4 inches in the Lafayette area. Much of the winter precipitation fell on the 4th; 10th-11th and 14th in northern Indiana and on the 14th in central Indiana. Snowfall remained on the ground in central Indiana for less than a day and up to three days in northern Indiana.
 
Severe Weather
 
There were no severe weather events for central Indiana during February.

For information on severe weather in other areas during February, 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 44 mph out of the southwest, occurring both on the 22nd and 24th. Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 20 days during the month, with dense fog reported only on the 2nd. Thunder was reported on the 29th. Freezing rain or freezing drizzle was reported on 5 days during the month.
 
March 2012 Outlook
 
The official outlook for March 2012 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a greater chance for above normal temperatures for central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 42.2 degrees. The outlook also calls for a greater chance of above normal precipitation. The average precipitation for March at Indianapolis is 3.56” with 2.6” of snowfall.
  
 
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.
 


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