Central Indiana May 2013 Climate Summary

Central Indiana
May 2013
Climate Summary
34th Warmest on record at Indianapolis
60thDriest on record at Indianapolis
After a warm start to the month, a slow moving upper level low moved across the region with highs falling back into the upper 50s into the 60s from the 4th through the 6th. Temperatures recovered to near to above normal levels in the days that followed, with highs peaking around 80 degrees on the 9th ahead of a cold front. A strong upper trough built across much of the eastern U.S. in wake of the frontal passage, with highs falling back into the upper 50s and lower 60s across much of central Indiana on the 11th through the 13th. The coldest lows were experienced during this time period as well, with many locations across the region experiencing frosty lows in the mid and upper 30s on the mornings of the 12th and 13th, with Lafayette dropping all the way down to 31 degrees on the 13th.


Broad high pressure and upper ridging expanded into the Ohio Valley beginning on the 14th, bringing the first extended period of highs in the 80s for the Hoosier state. The passage of a strong cold front on the 22nd brought daytime temperatures back down into the 60s through much of the Memorial Day weekend as cool high pressure tracked through the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Much warmer temperatures with highs in the lower and middle 80s returned beginning Memorial Day and continuing through the end of the month as south-southwest flow developed on the back side of the departing high pressure.

May 2013     Avg Temp
May 2013 Difference from Normal
Lowest Temperature
86 on 30
37 on 12 and 13
86 on 19
31 on 13
90 on 20
39 on 12
Terre Haute(*)
87 on 15, 29 and 30
36 on 13
87 on 15 and 29
35 on 13
89 on 15 and 30
38 on 13
Indy – Eagle Crk.
85 on 15
39 on 12 and 13
At Indianapolis, there were 21 days with above normal average temperatures, 9 days with below normal average temperatures and 1 day with a normal average temperature.
May 2013 was the 34th warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.
(*) Low temperature missing at Terre Haute on 5/21.

The first four weeks of May were relatively dry for most of Indiana.   Rainfall during this period ranged from around one-half of an inch in northeast sections to over 7 inches in small areas of southwest and southeast Indiana. However, central and southern Indiana dried out slowly in May because rain free periods lasted only 2 to 3 days. The month of May ended wet. Widespread one to two inches of rainfall occurred on the last day of May.
Monthly rainfall totals for May ranged from around an inch or two in northeast Indiana to more than 8 inches in portions of southwest Indiana. Most areas received between 3 and 5 inches of rainfall during May.
Flooding along the Wabash River came to a close after five weeks on the 15th. Rainfall of one-half to more than 2 inches from the afternoon of the 8th through the morning of the 11th in central and southern Indiana had prolonged flooding along the Wabash River south of I-74. The White River in southwest Indiana approached flood stage as a result of this rain.
River levels along the Wabash remained at normal levels for about a week before rising again. Rainfall of one to more than three inches in northern Indiana from the 25th through the 27th caused bankfull conditions on the Tippecanoe River downstream of Oakdale Dam and along the Wabash from Lafayette to Vincennes. Thunderstorms produced one to two inches of rainfall across the Wabash Valley early on the morning of the 31st, contributing to additional lowland river flooding along the Wabash and lower White Rivers.
May 2013 Precipitation
May 2013 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
1.08 on 9
 3 days 12-14 and 28-30
1.25 on 27
 5 days 10-14
1.59 on 27
 4 days 1-4
Terre Haute
0.99 on 31
 4 days 12-15
0.95 on 5
 4 days 11-15
0.53 on 9
 3 days 1-3 and 11-13
Indy – Eagle Crk.
0.82 on 9
 3 days 12-14 and 28-30
May 2013 was the 60th driest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.
(*)Precipitation missing at Bloomington on 5/27.
Severe Weather
Much of May was quiet in terms of severe weather across central Indiana. A few severe thunderstorms developed on the evening of the 9th ahead of an approaching low pressure. Two brief EF0 tornadoes took place in Vigo County, the first to the south of Terre Haute and the second near the town of Riley. Several trees were knocked over and with the tornado near Riley, a shed sustained damage. Additional reports of trees blown down and small hail occurred further east across Bartholomew and Decatur Counties. For more information on the May 9 tornadoes in Vigo County, please visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=ind&storyid=94530&source=2
The largest severe weather event occurred during the late evening of the 20th and early morning of the 21st. A line of severe thunderstorms developed to the west of the region ahead of a cold front during the evening. The storms maintained their intensity as they moved across central Indiana after midnight on the 21st, producing wind damage throughout the area. Two EF0 tornadoes occurred along the line of storms to the west of Indianapolis. The first tornado occurred near Roachdale in Putnam County, with the second tornado near North Salem in Hendricks County. Both tornadoes had peak winds of 85 mph. Damage to a barn and home occurred with the tornado near North Salem. Additional damage in southwest Hendricks County near Hazelwood offered evidence of a microburst. For more information on the May 21st tornadoes, please visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/?n=may212013tors.
Isolated thunderstorms on the afternoon of the 27th developed in the vicinity of a warm front over northern portions of central Indiana. Gusty winds associated with one of the storms as it moved across Madison County took down trees, power poles and power lines. The towns of Elwood, Frankton and Alexandria were impacted.
For information on severe weather in other areas during May, 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 55 mph out of the west in the early morning of the 21st as a line of thunderstorms moved through the area. Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 18 days during the month. Thunder was reported on 8 days during the month.
June 2013 Outlook
The official outlook for June 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 72.0 degrees. The outlook also calls for an equal chance of above normal, normal or below normal precipitation. The average precipitation for June at Indianapolis is 4.25”.
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.

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