April 2013 Central Indiana Climate Summary

                Central Indiana

April 2013

Climate Summary

Tied for 74th Coolest on record at Indianapolis

2nd Wettest on record at Indianapolis



The cool temperatures that were experienced across central Indiana in March continued into the first few days of April, as much of the area remained below 50 degrees through the 3rd. A warm-up commenced on the 4th as upper ridging expanded into the Ohio Valley. Many locations reached 70 degrees for the first time in 2013 on the 6th and 7th, with the warm temperatures continuing until a strong cold front arrived on the 11th. With the exception of Lafayette, all of the main climate observation locations in central Indiana experienced high temperatures above 80 degrees on the 9th and/or 10th ahead of the cold front.  For Indianapolis, April 9th was the first 80 degree day since September 13th of last year, a stretch of 207 consecutive days with highs below 80 degrees. This made for the longest consecutive stretch of highs below 80 degrees since 1995-1996 when the first 80 degree day was not recorded until early May.

Temperatures tumbled in the wake of the cold frontal passage on the 11th, with highs falling back into the 40s and lower 50s for the 12th and 13th.  The cool-down was brief however, as warmer air returned by the afternoon of the 14th.  A frontal boundary became nearly stationary across the region, with highs in the 60s and 70s through the 18th.  The front finally shifted south and east of central Indiana early on the 19th, bringing a return to cooler weather through the 21st as highs fell back mainly into the upper 40s and lower 50s.  Warmer air briefly returned for a couple days before yet another front brought temperatures back down on the 24th and 25th.  The last few days of the month saw a gradual warming as high pressure and an upper ridge built into the Ohio Valley. The month ended on a warm note as highs rose into the upper 70s and lower 80s on the 30th.

The last hard freeze for much of central Indiana occurred on the mornings of the 2nd and 3rd with lows falling into the lower and middle 20s.  Lows for most of the area never fell back below 30 degrees for the rest of the month, although cooler air in the wake of the number of frontal passages in April made for several frosty mornings where lows routinely fell into the 30s. 15 of the 30 days in April saw lows below 40 degrees in Indianapolis, the most since April 2007 which also experienced 15 days with lows below 40.


April 2013    

Avg Temp

April 2013 Difference from Normal



Lowest Temperature




82 on 10

24 on 2




80 on 30

21 on 3




83 on 9

24 on 3

Terre Haute



81 on 10

23 on 3




82 on 10, 30

20 on 3




83 on 10

24 on 3

Indy – Eagle Crk.



80 on 30

24 on 3


At Indianapolis, there were 14 days with above normal average temperatures, 15 days with below normal average temperatures and 1 day with normal average temperatures.


April 2013 was tied for the 74th coolest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.




Record to near record rainfall for April fell in much of west central and north central Indiana.  This included locations north and west of Indianapolis, where monthly rainfall totals ranged from 8 to more than 12 inches. For Indiana overall, there was a rather sharp cutoff for the heavy rainfall during April.  Areas south and east of a line from Vincennes to Richmond were relatively dry and received only 3 to 5 inches of rainfall in April.  Areas north and west of this line received excessive rainfall ranging from 6 to more than 12 inches. For Indianapolis, 8.59 inches of precipitation occurred in April, making it the second wettest April on record and just 0.01 inches short of April 1893 when 8.60 inches occurred.

Serious local flooding occurred in much of the area described above.  Some of the worst flooding in central Indiana struck the communities of Tipton, Elwood, Zionsville, Kokomo and Marion.   Flood levels along Wildcat Creek and Sugar Creek in west central Indiana were the highest in 100 years.  Other small streams, with period of records only from the 1950s or later, set record levels.

Indiana was on the eastern edge of serious Midwest flooding that developed during April.  River flooding in central and southern Indiana was the most widespread since the Great Mississippi River flood of May 2011.  The worst river flooding was along the Wabash River from Lafayette to Vincennes.  Flood crests were the highest in 55 to 70 years for much of this stretch of the river.  Significant flooding developed along the White River southwest of Indiana and extended through the Lower Wabash River.  Flooding from Centerton to Edwardsport was the highest since June 2008.  Flooding along the lower portions of the White and Wabash Rivers was the highest since May 2011.  Flooding continued into May along the Wabash River in western Indiana and the White River in southwest Indiana.  Little or no flooding occurred in the East Fork White River watershed in eastern and southern Indiana. More information on the river flooding across central Indiana can be found at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/?n=apr192013flood



April 2013 Precipitation

April 2013 Difference from Normal

Wettest Day

Longest Dry Stretch




2.29 on 18

 7 days 1-7




2.71 on 18

 5 days 1-5




1.08 on 16

 6 days 1-6

Terre Haute



2.21 on 18

 5 days 1-5




1.22 on 11

 5 days 2-6




0.74 on 16

 5 days 2-6

Indy – Eagle Crk.



3.14 on 18

 6 days 1-6


April 2013 was the 2nd wettest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.

(*) Precipitation missing at Indy Eagle Creek on April 16 and 17.



Severe Weather

Strong to severe thunderstorms developed ahead of an approaching cold front on the afternoon and evening of the 10th. The storms that developed during the afternoon primarily produced large hail. In particular, one severe thunderstorm moved from Hendricks County across the north side of the Indianapolis metro area, producing a swath of 1.75 to 2 inch hail from east of Brownsburg through Carmel and Fishers,  which caused extensive hail damage to homes and vehicles. After midnight on the 11th, a line of thunderstorms tracked out of Illinois, producing wind damage in locations to the northwest of Indianapolis.


Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms produced large hail during the afternoon and evenings of the 16th and 17th across central Indiana. A particularly intense thunderstorm developed over Lawrence County on the afternoon of the 17th, moving northeast across Brown, Jackson, southeast Marion and western Hancock Counties and producing hail from 1 to 2 inches in diameter.  The largest hail at 2 inches was reported in Nashville, with golf ball hail occurring from Nashville to Franklin and just east of Whiteland and Greenwood.


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/.




The maximum wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport was 41 mph out of the southwest on the evening of the 18th as heavy rain and thunderstorms moved into the Indianapolis metro area.  Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 13 days during the month.  Thunder was reported on 6 days during the month.


May 2013 Outlook


The official outlook for May 2013 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates an equal chance of above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures for central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 62.7 degrees.  The outlook calls for an equal chance of above normal, normal, or below normal precipitation. The average precipitation for May at Indianapolis is 5.05”.



Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.

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