April 2013 weather summary
May 06, 2013 [
by Ken Scheeringa
Note: A PDF formatted summary with additional maps is
available at the Indiana State Climate office website: www.iclimate.org/summary.asp
Temperatures bounced high and low this month, keeping Hoosiers guessing which coat to wear each morning. There was no such uncertainty about precipitation. Storms produced large hail, high winds, and repeated drenching rainfall that lifted some Indiana rivers to their highest levels in over 50 years. A few hundred residents evacuated their homes. Two people died in submerged vehicles less than a mile apart within the same swollen creek.
Despite the swings in temperature April tallied only slightly cooler than normal. The state average temperature was 50.9°F, just 0.5°F colder than normal and the 56th coolest April since 1895. The most recent cooler April was in 2007 with a state average temperature of 49.5°F, coming in at the 33rd spot. Before that the 50.5°F average in 2000 landed into 47th place. April 1997 was colder at 46.9°F, good for 10th coldest. The coldest April on record was the 42.2°F reading in 1907. The day split in April 2013 was fairly balanced with 17 days of below normal temperature and 13 days at above normal. The daily state average temperature was 10°F or more above normal on 5 days and at least 10°F below normal on 6 days. The warmest temperature in the state this month was 88°F on April 17th at Boonville. Wanatah captured cold spot honors with 12°F on April 3rd.
This month was the 7th wettest April on record. The state average of 6.45 inches is 2.51 inches above normal. The most recent wetter April was two years ago when the state average was 9.42 inches, the wettest April on record since 1895. Another April with more precipitation than April 2013 was the 6.78 inch amount in 1996. Regionally April 2013 precipitation was close to double the 3.5 inch normal in northern and 3.9 inch normal in central Indiana, and near the 4.4 inch normal in the south. The highest daily cooperative station precipitation this month was 5.05 inches at Lebanon, measured on April 19th. That same day the heaviest CoCoRaHS single day precipitation amount was 5.39 inches at New Ross.. Precipitation generally fell on about 18 days this month.
The snow season typically winds up in Indiana by early April. This year the white stuff hung around to April 20th when it snowed in some of our far eastern counties. Richmond measured 0.6 inch that day, which was the most recorded in the state that day and for this month. Perhaps it is now safe to say winter is finally over? A total snowfall map for April is found later in this monthly report.
The soil moisture status in a few northeastern Indiana counties had been rated as abnormally dry by the US Drought Monitor at the start of April. The heavy rainfall this month eliminated this final pocket of soil moisture deficiency leftover from the 2012 drought. Soil moisture in all Indiana counties is now considered restored to normal status as the new planting season begins. The weekly set of April Indiana Drought Monitor maps can be found at the end of this monthly summary.
Two people died in Hamilton county in separate accidents this month when each drowned while trying to drive across the same flooded creek. The incidents occurred within a mile of one another. During this April 18th – 20th storm many residents were evacuated from their homes. Two other severe weather events occurred earlier this month resulting in large hail, wind damage, and flooded homes and roads. Details on all these storms are found in the weekly narratives which follow below.
April 1st – 6th
March is now history and hopefully gone also are the snowfalls of Indiana winter. The first days of April continued the cold trend of last month but snowfall was not in the picture. A cold front pushed through Indiana on April 1st ahead of high pressure centered in North Dakota. The state average temperature began at about 8°F below normal. Cold air poured into the state behind the front for two days, dropping temperatures to 12°F below normal. The high center perched overhead Indiana on April 3rd.
A return flow of warm southerly winds commenced as the ridge moved east of the state. Temperatures were now on the rebound towards normal. Indiana temperatures rose from 12°F below normal to just 1°F below normal by April 5th. A weak cold front crossed Indiana that day but dissolved once it reached Tennessee. The front had failed to slow the warm up that was underway. Warming continued with state temperatures reaching 5°F above normal to close out the interval. Overall state temperatures averaged nearly 6°F below normal over the first 6 days of the new month. Normally at the start of April daily maximum temperatures would range between 55°F and 64°F north to south across the state. Daily minimums typically vary from 34°F in far southern counties to 41°F in extreme northern Indiana.
Except for light showers at the very start of the month, it was a dry 6 day interval. Precipitation totaled only a few hundreths inch statewide, less than 5% of normal. The heaviest local daily and interval total precipitation in the state were not heavy at all. These numbers are not worthy of mention.
Again there were no changes in Indiana soil moisture status. According to the April 2nd edition of the US Drought Monitor, less than 3 percent of total Indiana land area was classified as abnormally dry (D0 category). The remainder of the state continues to be rated in normal soil moisture status for this time of year.
April 7th – 13th
Finally it began to feel like spring had arrived in Indiana. Temperatures warmed this week, April showers tallied into heavy rainfall amounts, and there was even a severe weather day!
Temperatures started the week at 10°F above normal. A weak cold front had crossed the state but stalled at the Ohio River. This front reversed direction and retraced its path northward to central Indiana before pausing again as a stationary front. Meanwhile warm air continued to flow into the state. The state average temperature peaked at 19°F above normal on April 9th. An approaching storm system unlatched the stationary front and it resumed northward into Michigan as a warm front on April 10th. State temperatures didn’t change much that day, holding at 18°F above normal. But this was a complex powerful storm with dual low pressure centers. The Michigan warm front now reverted to a cold front that would again pull stationary in central Indiana. The state average temperature fell to 7°F above normal by April 11th.
The next day an occluded front moved east through the state. Colder air now had a clear path into Indiana and temperatures plunged further to 8°F below normal, the coldest of the week. As the week ended a high pressure ridge spread into southern Indiana, ending this storm with its severe weather and precipitation. Temperatures remained at 8°F below normal to close out the week. For the week overall the state temperature averaged 7°F above normal. Typically in this second week of April daily maximum temperatures would range from 57°F in the far north to 66°F in extreme southwest Indiana. Normal daily minimums should vary from 37°F to 43°F north to south across the state.
Rain fell every day this week somewhere in Indiana. Before the complex mid-week storm, daily amounts were generally light with up to a half inch reported on April 8th between Vincennes and Brookville, and on the next day in north central areas. The heaviest rainfall of the week started late on April 10th and was reported the next morning. Amounts of 1 to 2 inches fell in the north half of the state while about a half inch was noted in the south. On the last day of the storm on April 12th, up to 0.8 inch fell in the southeast portion of the state, generally south of an Evansville to Richmond line. Lingering light rain fell across northern Indiana the final day as the storm raced to the Atlantic Ocean and fair weather built into our state. On average for the week about 2.1 inches was recorded in northern Indiana, 1.7 inch in central, and 1.5 inch across the south. These totals equate to about 250% of normal in the north, 180% in central, and 150% of normal in southern counties. The heaviest single day amounts were measured the morning of April 11th. Two CoCoRaHS observers in Marion noted 4.39 and 3.90 inches in their rain gages while two Bluffton volunteers measured 4.02 and 3.45 inches. The highest weekly rainfall totals in Indiana were very close to these one day amounts.
The powerful mid-week storm brought the first severe weather day of the year in Indiana. Storms developed on the afternoon of April 10th. Large hail damage was extensive in central Indiana affecting many homes, businesses, and vehicles. There were also some isolated reports of wind gusts. Flooded highways created problems for drivers in three counties. In west central Indiana hail up to 1.0 inch in diameter was reported in Tippecanoe, Montgomery, and Vigo counties. Hail sizes were larger in central Indiana at 1.0 to 2.0 inches, noted in Hendricks, Marion, Hamilton, Howard, and Miami counties. Roof damage was extensive in Marion county while in Hamilton county hail ripped holes in screen doors. High winds in thunderstorms brought trees down in Clinton county. In Howard county 50 mph wind gusts blew over highway construction barrels. Street flooding caused travel problems in Carroll, Clinton, and Boone counties with some power outages reported. In east central Indiana 1.0 to 2.0 inch hail also fell in Delaware and Randolph counties.
The storms roared through the overnight into early April 11th with more heavy rain, high winds, and hail. A tornado warning was issued in west central and central Indiana as heavy rain, gusty winds, and small hail persisted. No tornadoes were sighted however. The ground became so saturated that a county road collapsed in Tippecanoe county.
Earlier in the week soils in far northeast Indiana were on a drying trend. For the first time since January 8th of this year, the fraction of Indiana in normal soil moisture status dropped slightly, from 97% to 95% of total state area. The April 9th edition of the US Drought Monitor shows that all of Steuben, DeKalb, and Noble counties are now classified as abnormally dry (D0 category). Most of Kosciusko and small portions of Whitley and Elkhart county also joined abnormally dry status. Part of Lagrange county improved and has been removed from this category.
April 14 - 20
The Midwest is often an April battle ground where intense storms churn as cold and warm air masses clash for dominance. This was certainly the case in Indiana again this week as a slow moving system produced very heavy rainfall leading to near record flooding over a large portion of the state.
A warming trend was underway to start the week. Southerly winds on the backside of a high pressure center to the east lifted Indiana temperatures to 1°F above normal. A warm front crossed the state on April 15th and pushed the thermometer another 5°F higher. This narrow warm sector was overrun by a slow moving cold front the next day. The cold front lost momentum and stalled along the Ohio River on April 17th. Despite the frontal passage the state temperature continued to rise to 9°F above normal.
A triplet of low pressure centers now rode from Kansas into Illinois along the frontal boundary, again reversing its direction into a warm front on April 18th. The storm greatly intensified overnight as much colder air filled in behind it. The lagging cold front inched across Indiana on April 19th, allowing the storm ample time to squeeze tons of moisture from the atmosphere. Rainfall was very heavy and near record flooding was the result. State temperatures plummeted to 14°F below normal as the cold air moved in. The strong storm now picked up speed and moved quickly to the Atlantic coast on April 20th. High pressure finally moved into Indiana and shut down the persistent rainfall as the week closed with temperatures at 15°F below normal.
The week had begun mostly dry. The arrival of the initial low pressure center on April 15th generated moderate rainfall of about 0.7 to 1.3 inches. The triplet of low centers a few days later added to the misery, delivering another 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over already saturated ground. Regional total rainfall for the week averaged about 3.5 inches across northern Indiana, 3.8 inches in central, and 2.2 inches in the south. These totals equate to nearly 4 times the normal weekly amount in northern and central Indiana and twice normal in southern counties. Torrential rain fell in localized areas of central Indiana. The heaviest single day amount in the CoCoRaHS network was 5.39 inches reported the morning of April 19th at New Ross in Boone county. That morning two Lebanon volunteers measured 5.05 and 4.63 inches at their locations. Nearby Zionsville noted 4.57 inches while the Andrews observer reported 4.60 inches in Huntington county. Over the entire soggy week the New Ross total was 7.26 inches. Two Greencastle rain gages caught 6.93 and 6.59 inches while Jamestown had 6.83 inches and Zionsville collected 6.61 inches. A state map of the total rainfall this week is found at the end of this narrative. Note the heaviest bands of rain in a southwest to northeast pattern as storm cells rode the frontal boundary while the fronts themselves moved slowly eastward.
As the strong storm left Indiana on April 20th cold air poured into the state. There was enough moisture left in the atmosphere to produce light snowfall along the Ohio state line. Up to an inch of snow fell in extreme northeast Indiana but most other locations received a dusting. A snowfall map for the week can be seen at the end of this weekly narrative.
Indiana rivers responded immediately to the drenching rains with flash flooding. Some major rivers surged above flood stage to levels not seen in over 50 years. The Wabash River at Lafayette peaked at 25.61 feet on the evening of April 20th, the highest level since the 26.28 foot peak in 1958 and well above the flood stage of 11.0 feet. The all-time record there exceeds 33 feet which occurred during the infamous March 1913 flood. Several roads in the area were expected to be closed for several days.
Storm damage was reported over the duration of the 5-day storm. On April 16th large hail was reported primarily in southern Indiana. One inch diameter hail was seen in Gibson, Orange, Floyd, and Jefferson counties. Hail of 1.5 to 1.75 inch was noted in Knox, Johnson, Washington, and Crawford counties. The largest hail at 2.75 inches in diameter was reported in Orange county.
Large hail continued the next day. Hail between 1.0 and 1.5 inch was reported in Crawford, Floyd, Boone, Montgomery, and Shelby counties. Hail diameter reached 1.75 inch in Johnson county and up to 2.0 inches in Brown county.
The second more deadly phase of the storm arrived on April 19th. An Arcadia man drowned in a creek when he ignored high water signs. The car he was driving was swept off a Hamilton county road. Another man repeated this mistake about a quarter mile from the first fatality. He was rescued but later died in a hospital. Seventy Carroll county residents along the Wabash River and Deer Creek in Delphi and Pittsburg evacuated their homes as flooding commenced. A state of emergency was declared in Tipton county where more than 24 people trapped by flooding were rescued by boat. In Montgomery county two people stranded on the roof of their car in a Crawfordsville campground were rescued by boat. In nearby Darlington another boat rescue was launched for a person who tried to drive across a flooded county road but became stranded in high water. In northeast Indiana 60 residents of a mobile home park in Zanesville were evacuated when a local creek overflowed its banks The ground was so saturated in Tippecanoe county that a West Lafayette woman walking her dog fell 10 feet into a decommissioned covered lift station but was rescued without injury. High winds in Benton county caused loss of electrical power and toppled a grain bin. In Franklin and Hancock county large hail damaged a few homes. Many schools and roads were closed in northern and central Indiana the next day
Governor Pence surveyed the cities of Kokomo, Tipton, and Elwood to begin the assessment as to whether the flood damage may qualify for federal disaster assistance. In three counties more than 100 residents have been forced to evacuate their homes.
The heavy rains over the past two weeks have wiped out the remaining abnormally dry areas of northeast Indiana. The April 16th edition of the US Drought Monitor indicates that all of Indiana is now in normal soil moisture status, that is, no D-categories remain on the map. This is the first time since 27 March 2012 that no dry areas in Indiana have appeared on the US Drought Monitor map.
April 21st – 30th
Hoosiers just could not catch a break. The heavy rain and flooding wasn’t over. Another episode of rising rivers would occur into the final 10 days of this soggy April. But successive storms passing through Indiana these last days each seemed a bit weaker than the previous one.
Temperatures following the April 19th storm were quite cold as the state average temperature started off at near 12°F below normal. High pressure drifted east of Indiana on April 21st and 22nd, allowing a short warming trend. State temperatures managed to reach 2°F below normal by April 23rd. A new cold front moved into Illinois that day but was slowing down as low pressure centers southwest of Indiana were riding up the frontal boundary. The cold front did manage to pass through the state on April 24th, but its slow progress allowed rainfall in excess of 2.5 inches to drench central Indiana again.
A weaker storm quickly passed through the state on April 25th and 26th. Cooler air behind it dropped temperatures to 10°F below normal. The final warm up of the month started slowly, reaching normal by April 28th, then accelerating to end the month at nearly 10°F above normal. A weak warm front had vanished on April 27th. Another small storm over Indiana the next day dissolved on April 29th. Yet another warm front was attempting to reach Indiana the next day. Over the 10 day interval the state temperature averaged 3°F below normal. Typically in late April daily maximum temperatures should range from 64°F in far northern Indiana to 71°F in the extreme southwest. Daily minimums normally vary between 42°F and 48°F north to south.
The first storm of the interval was the most significant, dumping more than 2 inches of rain generally northeast across Indiana from Terre Haute to Angola. This is a similar path as taken by the heaviest rain areas of last week. Heavy single day CoCoRaHS rainfall reports on the morning of April 24th included 2.26 inches at Clay City, 2.06 inches in Reelsville, and 1.98 inches at West Terre Haute. The weak storms from April 27th to 29th added a little more rain to the 10 day totals. Regionally about 1.6 inch was noted in northern Indiana, 1.8 inches in central, and 1.1 inch across the south. These totals equate to about 140% of normal in northern counties, 120% of normal in central sections, and 70% of normal across southern Indiana. Some of the heavier local CoCoRaHS 10 day totals came to 2.74 inches in Lebanon, 2.67 inches at Rossville, and 2.57 inches in Reelsville.
Rivers had started receeding after crests on April 20th, good news for residents chased out of their homes by surging floods. Indiana rivers fell to moderate flood stage on April 21st, although many local roads bordering rivers remained closed through the next day. Then came the bad news as rivers surged once again on April 24th and roads just open a few days were re-shut. Residents who had just put away their boats used to ferry themselves between their homes and dry ground had to do it all over again.
The soggy conditions and cool temperatures of April are impacting Indiana farmers trying to start spring planting of their crops. As of the end of April the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service reports that only 1% of acreage to be planted is complete, about two weeks behind the average pace. The cool weather has slowed down pasture growth so that cattle producers have been forced to continue feeding hay to livestock. The excess moisture could be damaging some of the winter wheat acreage.
With the ongoing excess in soil moisture around Indiana, the April 23rd edition of the US Drought Monitor reports no soil moisture shortages anywhere in the state.
April 2013 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
May 06, 2013 [
April 2013 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
Commercial Agriculture/University of Missouri Extension
Preliminary data from Missouri indicated April temperatures averaged nearly 3 degrees below normal for the state, and ranked as the coolest April since 1997. It was a continuation of a cool weather pattern, contrary to the recent trend, where March and April combined to be the coolest start to meteorological spring in nearly 3 decades, or since 1984.
With the exception of a few warm days during the second week of April, and a handful of mild days thereafter, maximum and minimum temperatures remained mostly cooler than normal, and abruptly fluctuated from one extreme to another as contrasting air masses swept through the state.
April temperature anomalies varied across Missouri with largest departures found across northwestern sections, averaging more than 5 degrees F below normal. The below normal temperature departures were not as large traveling southeastward through the state, where southeastern sections averaged only 1-2 degrees below normal for the month.
The clash of air masses contributed to an unsettled weather pattern during April with numerous periods of showers and thunderstorms impacting the region, including an unusual snow event during the last week of the month.
Preliminary data indicated a statewide average monthly rainfall of 6.22 inches, making it the fourth consecutive month with above normal precipitation. Total statewide precipitation for the first quarter of the year was 16.54 inches, more than 5 inches above normal for the period, and the 7th wettest January through April on record, or since 1895. It was the wettest first quarter of the year since 2008.
Precipitation varied regionally with heaviest totals, ranging from 6-10 inches, reported over parts of southwestern Missouri and extending into central and northeastern sections. CoCoRaHS observers in Boone, Cole, Marion and Randolph counties reported the highest monthly totals of 9.09, 9.34, 10.20, and 10.42 inches, respectively. The lowest precipitation totals occurred over parts of northwestern and south central Missouri where 3-4 inches were reported. The Farm Service Agency office in Platte Co. reported only 3.08 inches for the month.
A notable and widespread heavy rain event impacted much of the Midwest during the middle of the month and resulted in flooding along several streams and rivers in the Upper Mississippi River watershed. Several inches of rain fell over a 48-hour period, on April 17-18, and contributed to major flooding along the Mississippi River. It was the worst early spring flooding along the Mississippi River, north of St. Louis, since 1973.
In addition to flooding, severe thunderstorms with 7 documented tornadoes impacted the state during the month. Five tornadoes were reported on April 10, impacting east central (St. Louis and Franklin Co.) and southeastern Missouri (Butler and Stoddard Co.), and two were documented on April 17 in Monroe County. The strongest tornado was classified as an EF-2 tornado (115-125 mph) and impacted the St. Louis county communities of Bridgeton, Hazelwood and Florissant. Residential, structural and tree damage were observed with this tornado, but there were no serious injuries reported.
An unusual spring snow event impacted parts of northwestern and west central Missouri during the early morning hours of April 24. Several locations reported totals ranging from a trace to 2 inches of snow. The communities of Grant City and Conception, in far northwestern Missouri, reported 1 and 2-inches of snow, respectively.
The cool, wet weather during the month delayed spring tillage and planting opportunities across the state. According to the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service, spring tillage near the end of the month was 38% complete compared to the 5-year average of 56%. Only 15% of the corn crop had been planted and was more than 2 weeks behind normal. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions were mostly in adequate to surplus status.
April 2013 Societal Impacts Report
May 05, 2013 [
Rather dry and not as chilly as you might think: April 2013 Summary and 2012-2013 Snow Season Recap
May 04, 2013 [
While many wondered if spring would ever arrive across the Garden State, the average April temperature was actually close to the long-term mean. At 51.5°, the month was 0.3° above average, ranking as the 35th mildest April since statewide records were established in 1895. Using the central NJ city of New Brunswick as an example, 16 days were above average, 12 below, and two spot on average.
Precipitation was below average, coming in at 2.72", which is 1.34" below normal and ranks as the 40th driest since 1895. Fortunately, rainfall was distributed across each week, thus despite the dry conditions in a month that is traditionally prone to forest and brush fires, not too many blazes erupted. The year to date has seen an average of 11.94" of rain and melted snow fall over NJ. This is 2.69" below average and ranks as the 28th driest start of the past 119 years. The 3-month total of 9.02" was the 30th driest and 2.13" below average. The past six months have been the 46th driest (19.14") and the past 12 months 69th driest (or 50th wettest; 46.18"). Thus reservoir levels are near average, while short-term streamflow and groundwater levels are somewhat below average.
Returning to April, west central and far southern areas were wettest, with Franklin Township (Hunterdon County) topping the list at 3.50", Frenchtown (Hunterdon) next at 3.41", Blairstown (Warren) 3.38", Middle Township (Cape May) 3.31", and Wildwood Crest (Cape May) 3.27". It is notable that all of these totals are below the normal statewide April average. Bergen County in the northeast was home to the driest five April totals. Palisades Park received 1.08", Wood Ridge 1.41", Saddle Brook 1.48", North Arlington 1.51", and Glen Rock 1.52".
The first notable rainfall of the month occurred in Cape May County on the morning of the 5th, with 1.13" falling in Sea Isle City, 1.11" in Middle Township, and 1.07" at Wildwood Crest. Totals gradually decreased to the northwest, with no rain falling north of Monmouth and Burlington counties. Even with a little of this rain falling in the Pinelands, a 150-acre fire burned in a remote section of Wharton State Forest on the 6th-7th. That weekend saw approximately 40 other fires in central and northern NJ, though cumulatively, not more than 30 acres burned. Dry and increasingly warm conditions over the next several days led to a brush fire near the Lombardi rest stop at the north end of the NJ Turnpike on the 9th. The evening of the 10th into the early hours of the 11th saw drenching thunderstorms over much of NJ, the first significant outbreak of 2013. All but the extreme south received at least several tenths of an inch, with over 0.50" falling from Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties northward. Frenchtown (Hunterdon) received 1.33", Kingwood (Hunterdon) 1.15", and four CoCoRaHS stations in Blairstown (Warren) observing 1.19", 1.12", 1.11", and 1.11".
Another bout of rain occurred from the predawn hours of the 12th through predawn of the 13th. The entire state received at least several tenths, the most falling from Salem and western Cumberland counties northeastward to Monmouth, where generally 1.00"-1.50" was measured. The least rain fell in the far southeast and far northwest. Washington Township (Gloucester) caught 2.00", two Berlin (Camden) stations had 1.88" and 1.72", and 1.63" fell in Medford Township (Burlington).
Scattered showers and thundershowers on the afternoon of the 19th into the morning of the 20th resulted in a complex pattern of precipitation across the state. The northwest and southern quarter received 0.75"-1.00", while the least (several tenths) fell from the northeast into central areas, down into the Pinelands, and eastward to the northern coast. Two Franklin Township (Hunterdon) stations caught the most with 1.51" and 1.28, followed by Frenchtown (Hunterdon) 1.30" and Alexandria Township (Hunterdon) 1.28". The last notable April rainfall occurred from the early hours of the 29th to predawn on the 30th. Much as the month started, the heaviest rain was in the southeast, with 1.26" at Wildwood Crest and 1.21" in Middle Township and Stone Harbor, all in Cape May County. Only a few tenths fell over the remainder of southern and central NJ, with under a tenth across the northern quarter of the state.
Accumulating snow was not observed in April, and assuming none will fall in May, the 2012-2013 snow season concluded with a state average of 20.8" falling. This makes the season the 72nd snowiest of the past 119 seasons, coming in at 4.1" below average. The northern third of the state average 32.4" (2.2" below average and 63rd snowiest), the central area 24.7" (4.1" below average and 68th snowiest), and the southern third 12.7" (7.1" below average and 86th snowiest). There were 17 snowfall events from early November to late March where one or more locations in the state received 2.0" or more of the white stuff. The majority of these events were not particularly heavy, although three of them resulted in accumulations exceeding 10.0" in at least several locations. This includes the exceptional event on November 7-8 where locations in Monmouth and Ocean counties caught more than 10", including 13.0" at Freehold (Monmouth), right on the heels of Sandy. The largest storm of the season occurred on February 8-9, with eight counties catching more than 10.0" (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Union), topped by 16.8" in River Vale (Bergen). March 7-8 saw Highland Lakes (Sussex) receive 11.8" and at least 10.0" falling in higher elevations of Bergen, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex counties.
NJ residents had endured a rather chilly March, thus the first 70° day of 2013 was welcomed on the 4th by those in the southern half of the state. Those in the north would have to wait another five days for every area to top the 70° mark. There were nine April days when at least one of the 54 NJ Weather and Climate Network stations equaled or exceeded 75°. Mansfield (Burlington) hit 75° on the 4th. Red Lion (Burlington) at 80° on the 8th was the first to reach that threshold. Four other stations came in at 79° that day. On the 9th, 49 stations topped out between 80°-86°, the warmest location being Egg Harbor (Atlantic) at 86°. High Point Monument (Sussex) at 72° was the coolest of the five stations in the 70°s.
The 10th saw an enormous range of afternoon temperatures across NJ. Sicklerville (Camden) reached 91° and Egg Harbor, Red Lion, Oswego Lake (Burlington), and Cherry Hill (Camden) 90°. 29 stations were between 80°-89°, while Seaside Heights (Ocean) and High Point Monument only made it to 67°. Once a significant sea breeze kicked in the thermometer fell to 50° at Seaside Heights at 3PM while it was 90° just 30 miles to the west in Sicklerville!Some warmth lingered following the thunderstorms later on the 10th such that Upper Deerfield and Greenwich, both in Cumberland County, made it to 81° on the 11th.
The thermometer rose to 75° in Clayton (Salem) and Red Lion (Burlington) on the 16th, followed by this same value in Dennis Township (Cape May) and Hamilton (Mercer) on the 17th. Red Lion, Hillsborough (Somerset), and Hamilton reached 80° on the 19th. Basking Ridge (Somerset) topped out at 77° on the 24th, with four stations at 75°.
On the chilly side of the ledger, low temperatures were at or below freezing at one or more locations on 16 April days. Six days saw a location fall to 25° or colder. The first of these days was the 2nd, when cold air drainage resulted in the valley locations of Walpack (Sussex) dropping to 18° and Pequest (Warren) 20°. On the 3rd, Pequest reached 21° and Kingwood (Hunterdon) 22°. The coldest morning of the month was the 4th, with 53 of the 54 NJWxNet stations dropping to 32° or colder. Only West Cape May (Cape May) at 34° escaped a freeze, and was the only station remaining above freezing throughout April. Walpack chilled to 18° and Pequest 20° on the 4th. High Point Monument was 24° on the 6th and Berkeley Township (Somerset) 25° on the 7th. The 21st saw Walpack fall to 24° and 20 other NJWxNet stations drop below freezing.
March's eleven days with winds gusting to 40 mph or greater at one or more NJ stations was almost equaled by ten such April days. The first four days of April saw maximum gusts at High Point Monument of 43, 41, 48, and 42 mph, respectively. Seaside Heights reached 40 mph on the 1st and Sea Girt (Monmouth) 40 mph on the 3rd. High Point Monument reached 41 mph on the 6th. Wantage hit 44 mph on the 9th and High Point Monument 42 mph. Storms on the 10th brought gusts of 49 mph to Point Pleasant (Ocean), 47 mph to Wantage, and 40-42 mph gusts at four other locations. Kingwood (Hunterdon) had a 44 mph gust on the 12th. The 19th was the windiest day of April, with Upper Deerfield (Cumberland) topping out at 58 mph, Stewartsville (Warren) 53 mph, and four stations reaching 40-48 mph. Finally, a 55 mph gust was observed at High Point Monument and 46 mph at Wantage on the 25th.
The highest pressure of the month (and thus far 2013) occurred on the 22nd, with most barometers close to 30.65". Both the 1st and 19th saw the month's lowest pressure, each day close to 29.60".
For those seeking more detailed information on hourly, daily and monthly conditions, please visit the following Office of the NJ State Climatologist's websites:
NJ Weather and Climate Network
NJ Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
NJ Snow Event Reports
May 2013 Newsletter from the Florida Climate Center
May 02, 2013 [
The May 2013 edition of the monthly newsletter prepared by the Florida Climate Center is now available. To view and subscribe, please follow the link provided.
May 2013 Newsletter
Iowa April 2013 Preliminary Monthly Weather Summary
May 01, 2013 [
IOWA PRELIMINARY MONTHLY WEATHER SUMMARY – APRIL 2013
General Summary. Iowa temperatures averaged 43.5° or 5.4° below normal while precipitation totaled 6.63 inches or 3.12 inches above normal. This ranks as the wettest April among 141 years of records (old record 6.25 inches in 1999) and 9th coolest April. A cooler April has not been seen since 1983 while this was the ninth consecutive wetter than normal April.
Temperatures. The pattern of consistently lower than normal temperatures that began in mid-February continued through most of April. Daytime highs reached into the 80’s on only the final three days of the month. This was Iowa’s latest start to eighty degree weather since 1993. The month’s highest temperatures were 89° readings on the 30th at Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Stanley. Meanwhile, morning low temperatures dipped into the teens on six dates during the month. The month’s lowest temperatures were 11° readings at Little Sioux on the 1st and at Sibley on the 20th. Sibley’s temperature was the lowest reported so late in the season in Iowa since a 9° reading at Atlantic on April 24, 1956.
Heating Degree Days. Home heating requirements, as estimated by heating degree day totals, averaged 62% greater than last April and 29% more than normal. Degree day totals thus far this heating season (since Jul. 1, 2012) have averaged 24% greater than last season and 2% greater than normal.
Precipitation. A pair of large storm systems brought abundant heavy precipitation across Iowa. The first event on the 9th-11th brought a statewide average of 2.39 inches of rain with much of northern Iowa receiving two to three inches of precipitation. The second event, on the 17th-18th, brought a statewide average of 2.69 inches with very heavy rain across southeast Iowa where Centerville recorded 7.30 inches of rain. Snowfall was also frequent during the month with snow being reported on twelve dates between the 9th and 23rd. Heavy snow fell across northwest Iowa on the 10th-11th with six inches at Rock Rapids and Sibley. This first snow event followed a very destructive ice storm over the far northwest counties on the 9th. Additional storms brought three to five inches of snow to far northwest Iowa on both the 18th and 22nd. The statewide average snowfall for the month was 1.9 inches while normal is 1.6 inches. This was the 36th snowiest April among 126 years of record. Many central and southeast Iowa locations saw only trace amounts of snow for the month while Lyon County reported 17 inches. Monthly precipitation totals were near normal over the northwest and southwest corners of the state with record totals reported at several locations such as:
City April 2013 Total Old April Record Period of Record
Albia 10.10 7.44” in 1944 113 years
Williamsburg 10.09 9.01” in 1965 96 years
Cascade 9.13 8.98” in 2008 72 years
Anamosa 8.99 8.13” in 2008 84 years
Ottumwa 8.58 7.40” in 1927 126 years
Dubuque 8.54 7.80” in 1896 160 years
Cedar Rapids 8.39 7.82” in 1885 132 years
Britt 8.23 7.43” in 1999 112 years
Emmetsburg 7.94 6.96” in 1964 71 years
Cresco 7.48 6.99” in 1991 110 years
Osage 7.45 7.02” in 2008 122 years
Preliminary monthly precipitation totals varied from 3.19 inches at Sioux Center to 10.24 inches at Swisher.
Severe Weather and Drought Update. The prevailing cool weather pattern kept severe thunderstorm numbers less than usual. Nevertheless, there were 19 counties, mostly over northern Iowa, reporting large hail or high winds on April 8-9. A pair of severe weather episodes on April 29 over northern Iowa brought large hail to parts of 15 counties with tennis ball size hail reported near Dubuque on the evening of the 29th. Thanks to the widespread precipitation in Iowa during April the latest U.S. Drought Monitor depicts most of the eastern one-half of the state as drought-free. However, shallow aquifers largely have not responded to the recent rainfall over about the western one-third of the state. Hopefully another large storm system moving through Iowa during the first few days of May will finally begin to impact subsoil moisture in a substantial way across the west.
Harry J. Hillaker, State Climatologist
Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Wallace State Office Bldg.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Telephone: (515) 281-8981
ND Climate Impact Summary (April 2013)
May 01, 2013 [
April Climate Update
Apr 09, 2013 [
A Chilly Start to Spring: March 2013
Apr 08, 2013 [
While the core of the winter season (December-February) averaged quite a bit milder than usual across New Jersey (see winter summary in the February narrative), the broader cool season began with a November that was cooler than average with above-average snowfall and ended with a cooler and snowier than average March, making for what seemed to be a long winter. Looking more closely at March 2013, the statewide average of 38.3° was 2.8° below the 1981-2010 average and ranked as the 37th coolest since 1895. What a difference a year makes, as March 2012 was 11.5° warmer than this year! Precipitation (rain and melted snowfall) averaged 3.05", which is 1.18" below average and the 36th driest on record. Snowfall averaged 5.2", which is 1.0" above average.
Chilly conditions were rather consistent during March, with only six days where one or more observing stations in NJ reached a maximum of 60° or higher. There was an absence of excessive cold, with lows falling into the teens in some locations on 12 mornings, yet most of the state dropping no lower than the 20°s at any point. Beginning with the cold lows, the 3rd and 4th both dawned with the NJWxNet High Point and High Point Monument stations (Sussex County) at 18° and 19°, respectively. Walpack (Sussex) was coldest at 19° on the 9th. The 10th was one of the three coldest mornings statewide in March. Pequest (Warren), Berkeley Township (Ocean), and Walpack fell to 19°, with a total of 23 of the 55 stations in the NJWxNet at 25° or colder.
On the 14th, High Point Monument reached 17°. This station was joined by Walpack at 15° on the 15th and the Monument site chilled to 16° on the 17th. The 18th was the second broadly cold morning, when Walpack plummeted to 13°, the coldest NJ temperature of March, and 20 stations dropped to 25° or lower. High Point Monument was 19° on the 21st and Walpack 16° on the 22nd. Pequest and Walpack fell to 19° on the 24th, when 26 locations were 25° or colder, thus the third cold day of the month. The teens were last felt at Walpack on the 27th when the low was 18°.
The first two 60° afternoons in March were the 9th and 10th, days with morning lows in the upper teens at a few locations. The 9th was the warmest day of the month, with ten stations reaching 61° and 21 others between 58° and 60°. Walpack had a low of 19° and high of 60° on the 9th. Cherry Hill (Camden) took top honors on the 10th at 61°. Cherry Hill reached 63° on the 11th for the warmest NJ temperature of the month, on a day when four other stations got to 62°. Mansfield (Burlington) was 61° on the 12th, the last time the 60° mark would be touched until the 30th. On that day, Mansfield reached 61° and six other stations 60°. Clayton made it to 60° on the 31st, ending a March that left most NJ residents wondering if their vision of warm spring days would ever arrive.
The aforementioned below-average precipitation in March was most keenly felt in central portions of the state, with Jefferson Township (Morris) only totally 2.02", followed by 2.05" and 2.08" at two Bernards Township (Somerset) stations, 2.16" in Readington (Hunterdon), and 2.27" at one of the CoCoRaHS stations in Franklin Township (Somerset). Coastal counties had closest to average precipitation, with a few locations coming in as much as an inch above normal. This included Lacey Township (Ocean) with 5.39", Linwood (Atlantic) 4.75", Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic) 4.71", and Brick (Ocean) and Berkeley Township (Ocean) each at 4.70".
The first notable precipitation of March occurred on the 6th. It was primarily a coastal event, with heavy rains in the southeast totaling as much as 1.64" at Wildwood Crest (Cape May) and 1.46" in Middle Township (Cape May). The inch plus southeast amounts tapered off to little or no precipitation north of the Route 1 corridor. Winds gusted over 60 mph along the coast (more on this later) and coastal flooding breached some dunes and covered roadways in some locations, making this the most impactful coastal event since Sandy.
The morning of the 7th into the afternoon of the 8th brought the largest snow event of the month to NJ. Rain and melted snow exceeded an inch in some northeast locations, tapering to little to no precipitation in the far southwest. Saddle Brook (Bergen) received 1.18" and Kearny (Hudson) 1.09". Snowfall was measured in every county, but concentrated its punch in the northeast into the higher elevations of northwestern NJ. Highland Lakes (Sussex) with 11.8" had the top total, followed by West Milford (Passaic) 11.5" and Oakland (Bergen) 10.5".
The predawn hours of the 12th into the morning of the 13th saw rainfall exceeding 0.50" in most locations. Over an inch fell in northwest counties, topped by 2.06" in Blairstown (Warren) and 1.75" at Randolph (Morris). A minor snow event brought 2.1" to Hardyston (Sussex) and 2.0" to Millstone Township (Monmouth) on the 16th. Falling during the daylight hours, not much accumulated on roadways. The most rain and melted snow that day fell in along and just to the south of the Route 195 corridor, with 0.40" in Howell (Monmouth) and 0.36" in Robbinsville (Mercer). The afternoon of the 18th through the morning of the 19th brought heavy rain to coastal counties and a plowable snow to the north. Lacey Township (Ocean) received 1.56" and Berkeley Township (Ocean) 1.41" of mainly rain. Three different counties accounted for the four largest snowfall totals; West Milford (Passaic) 6.5", Hawthorne (Passaic) 5.5", Oakland (Bergen) 5.4", and Butler (Morris) 5.2".
The morning of the 25th into the pre-dawn hours of the 26th saw coastal areas again collecting the most rainfall. Lacey Township (Ocean) received 1.28" and Linwood (Atlantic) 1.19". Totals tapered to under a half-inch inland of the NJ Turnpike, with little to no precipitation in the far northwest. A burst of snow occurred in the south during this episode, with seven stations in Atlantic, Cumberland and Gloucester counties reporting 3.0". March ended with rain during the afternoon and evening of the 31st. Coastal areas saw the most, with 0.76" at Manalapan (Monmouth) and 0.62" at Brick (Ocean). Most of the remainder of the state received a tenth to several tenths.
The northern third of the state saw both the most snowfall during March with 9.0" and the largest positive departure of +2.9". Central snowfall averaged 6.3" and was 1.4" above average and southern snowfall was 2.7", which was 0.2" below average. The four largest monthly totals occurred in four different counties, including West Milford (Passaic) 18.4", Hardyston (Sussex) 16.3", Oakland (Bergen) 15.9", and Jefferson Township (Morris) 15.0". There were four snowfall events during March where at least 2.0" accumulated at one or more locations, making for a seasonal total (November through March) of 17 such occurrences. A summary of seasonal snowfall will be included in the April narrative.
As is often the case during this climate transition time of the year, strong winds were rather common in March. On eleven days, winds gusted over 40 mph at one or more locations. The first such day was the 3rd, when High Point Monument (Sussex) gusted to 46 mph. The next day this location reached 50 mph, with Wantage (Sussex) up to 52 mph. The Monument got to 43 mph on the 5th, with Wantage at 42 mph. The 6th was the windiest day of the month, with Harvey Cedars (Ocean) gusting to 64 mph, Sea Girt (Monmouth) 61 mph, and Atlantic City Marina (Atlantic) 60 mph. Six other stations gusted to between 50-59 mph and 17 between 40-49 mph. A windy week concluded with Harvey Cedars up to 48 mph on the 7th and Wantage to 41 mph on the 8th.
High Point Monument reached 43 mph on the 12th and Dennis Township (Cape May) hit 41 mph. The 14th saw 51 mph at the Monument, 47 mph at Wantage, and 45 mph in Sea Girt. The Monument station reached 41 mph on the 15th. Later in the month, this station got up to 46 mph on the 23rd and Seaside Heights topped out at 42 mph on the 25th.
The highest barometric pressures of the month occurred on the 10th and 18th with most stations close to 30.40". The 25th saw the barometer bottom out at close to 29.40" for the lowest pressure of March.
For those seeking more detailed information on hourly, daily and monthly conditions, please visit the following Office of the NJ State Climatologist's websites:
NJ Weather and Climate Network
NJ Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
NJ Snow Event Reports
Oregon March 2013 Newsletter Available for Download
Apr 08, 2013 [
March 2013 newsletter available for download, with a focus on the abnormally dry conditions across the state.
March 2013 Newsletter
March 2013 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
Apr 05, 2013 [
March 2013 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
Commercial Agriculture/University of Missouri Extension
The cold and unsettled weather pattern that set up in mid-February persisted for much of March. Preliminary March temperature data for Missouri indicated an average statewide temperature of 38.2°F, or nearly 6 degrees below normal. It was the coldest March in 17 years, when the average statewide temperature in 1996 was 38.0°F. March 2013 was also the largest monthly negative temperature departure since February 2010. With the exception of New England, below normal March temperatures were experienced across the eastern 2/3 of the country.
The major contributor to the cold weather regime was an unusually strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AO index is associated with pressure anomalies in the arctic, where negative phases typically translate toward a southern migration of the polar jet into the central and eastern U.S., and a higher likelihood of arctic incursions into the region.
March precipitation was variable across the state, but the overall statewide average was 3.84 inches, or about 0.50 inches above normal. It was the third consecutive month with above normal precipitation for the state. A widespread rain event on March 9-10 brought 1-2 inches to much of the state, and when combined with snowmelt across portions of northern and central Missouri, resulted in notable recovery to surface water supplies. Another significant rain event impacted parts of south central and southeastern Missouri from March 16-18, when 1-3 inches fell over the region. Several locations in Ste. Genevieve County reported more than 4-inches during the event.
Regionally, precipitation was below normal across northwestern and extreme southern sections of the state. The northwest corner of Missouri received less than 1-inch, and severe hydrological drought persisted. Several counties in south central sections reported 5-6 inches for the month.
An early spring snowstorm impacted portions of the Ozarks on March 21st with 4-10 inches of snow falling from Springfield to Lebanon, MO southeastward into north central Arkansas. Thundersnow was reported in some of the heavier convective bands. The 4th major snow event of the season occurred on March 24-25 when 4-12 inches of heavy, wet snow fell across a large part of northern and central Missouri. Heaviest totals of around a foot of snow were reported around the St. Louis metropolitan area. Thundersnow was also reported in several locations, and it was the third thundersnow event of the season for Columbia, MO. Much of the state experienced a snowier than normal season, with many locations across northern and central Missouri reporting 25-35 inches of snow. Columbia, MO reported 35 inches, which was the 10th snowiest season on record, or since 1899.
Much below normal March temperatures minimized evaporative rates and slowed vegetative growth. These conditions, in combination with numerous precipitation events since the end of January have provided several opportunities for surface water recovery and soil moisture infiltration across much of the state. Anecdotal soil moisture improvement was noted for mid-Missouri when a hole was dug on March 20, at a research farm just southeast of Columbia, and moisture was found to a depth of 41 inches.
Accordingly, drought conditions have improved across the eastern 2/3 of Missouri. The Drought Monitor map for April 2, 2013 indicates only northwestern and far west central and southwestern sections of the state in moderate to severe drought. The rest of the state is essentially drought-free.
The biggest drought concern for Missouri lies across northwestern sections, where winter precipitation totals have been much lighter, and severe hydrological drought persists. Surface water recovery has been minimal and sub soil moisture conditions remain dry across the region. Climatology suggests there will be opportunities for moisture improvement across northwestern Missouri as we progress into spring. Average Mar-May precipitation ranges from 10-11 inches, compared to winter (Dec-Feb) totals that range from 3-4 inches.
March 2013 weather summary
Apr 05, 2013 [
by Ken Scheeringa
Note: A PDF formatted summary with additional maps is
available at the Indiana State Climate office website: www.iclimate.org/summary.asp
A year ago Indiana experienced its warmest March on record. This year March averaged 20°F colder than last and ranks among the coldest since 1895. The official start date of spring was ignored as the heaviest snow storm of the season slammed Indiana on Palm Sunday. One person died as a result of injuries sustained in an 8-vehicle pileup on I-65 that evening in Tippecanoe county.
March was very cold with a state average temperature of 34.8°F, the 14th coldest March on record in Indiana. The most recent March that was colder than this was the 11th place 34.3°F statistic in 1996. Some other recent colder Marches include a 32.4°F average in 1984, ranking at 4th coldest. The March 1978 average was 33.6°F, good for 8th place. The coldest March on record was long ago in 1960 with 26.3°F. The day split in March 2013 was hardly a split at all, leaning heavily to the cold side. There were 27 days of below normal temperature, 1 day at normal, and just 3 days with above normal temperature! The daily state average temperature was 10°F or more above normal on a single day while on 9 days the temperatures was at least 10°F below normal. The warmest temperature in the state this month was 70°F on March 15th at Myers Bridge near Hovey Lake. Elwood and Wanatah shared honors as the state’s cold spot with 5°F on March 3rd and 8th, respectively. There were two extended cold spells during the month. An 18 day stretch of subnormal cold ended on March 8th. A second cold spell 19 days long ended on March 30th.
March was drier than usual. The state average of 2.41 inches is 1.00 inch below normal. This ranks the month as the 27th driest March since 1895. The most recent drier March had 2.21 inches in 2005 in 24th place. Two years earlier 2.17 inches was recorded in 2003, good for 21st place. Go back another two years to 2001 to find one of the driest Marches on record, a 0.98 inch state average perched in 3rd place. The driest March on record was 0.23 inch in 1910. Regionally this month precipitation was close to half of normal in northern Indiana, right at two-thirds normal in the central section, and 90% of normal in the south. The highest daily cooperative station precipitation this month was 3.01 inches at Bedford, measured on March 18th. That same day the heaviest CoCoRaHS single day precipitation amount was 3.75 inches at Princeton.. Precipitation generally fell on about 13 days this month.
Snow totals in March ranged widely across the state. Between 10 and 18 inches fell in the northern third of Indiana. The observer in Mount Etna measured 25.1 inches, the highest March total in the state. Central Indiana snowfall ranged from 5 to 20 inches while in southern Indiana totals varied from trace amounts in the extreme south to 11 inches. Significant snows fell on about 7 days this month. Snowfall maps of March totals are found later in this report.
Soil moisture had been largely recharged in Indiana earlier in winter. There is little area that remains drier than normal as evidenced by the small change in Indiana status shown in the US Drought Monitor over March. At the start of March only 7% of the state was classified as abnormally dry (D0 category), but not in drought. Near the end of the month this dry region had been reduced slightly to cover just 3% of total Indiana area. Only parts of Lagrange, Steuben, Noble, and DeKalb counties are still rated as abnormally dry. The weekly set of March Indiana Drought Monitor maps are found at the end of this monthly summary.
A woman was critically injured and later died when her car was struck by a semi-truck on I-65 in Tippecanoe county during the Palm Sunday snowstorm. Earlier in the month many vehicles had slid off highways and semi-trucks jackknifed during a snow storm on March 5th and 6th. There were no deaths reported in that incident. Heavy rain fell in southwest Indiana on March 18th but no flood impacts were noted. Details on weather impacts this month can be found in the weekly narratives which follow.
March 1st – 9th
The longest cold spell of the winter was broken at the end of this week. Indiana daily state average temperatures had remained below normal for 18 consecutive days since February 19th. The longest warm streak of this meteorological winter, starting December 1st, had dominated the first 21 days of that month. The recent flip in Indiana’s winter temperature experience is largely due to a persistent high pressure block in the Arctic, shuttling cold air in our direction over several weeks. This is reflected in the recent strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) index, unusual for this late in the season. Only one significant storm impacted Indiana this first interval of March. Fronts passed nearby but not through the state this week. Several weaker troughs did move through, which reinforced the cold air already in place over Indiana.
Two troughs passed through Indiana on March 1st, extending the duration of the cold air push into the state. Temperatures started the month at about 5°F below normal. As high pressure moved towards and then overhead Indiana by March 4th, temperatures slipped a few more degrees each day, reaching its lowest point of the 9 days at nearly 10°F below normal. State temperatures crept upward so slowly, about 1°F per day, until returning to its starting point at 5°F below normal by March 8th. Two storm systems, one from Iowa, another from Oklahoma, had slowly transferred warmer air towards Indiana ahead of each storm. A high pressure ridge behind these storms then moved east of Indiana by March 9th. Warmer southerly winds boosted temperatures 7°F at the end of the interval to close out at 2°F above normal, the warmest day of the interval. Overall for the 9 days daily temperatures averaged 6°F below normal. Typically daily maximum temperatures range from 42°F in northern counties to 52°F in far southwest Indiana. Daily minimums normally vary from 25°F to 32°F north to south across the state.
The two troughs which visited Indiana at the start of the month reinforced cold air already in place. The lack of temperature contrast limited the amount of precipitation to just a few hundreths inch each day. Then the midweek storm brought significant moisture over the top of a warm front located south of Indiana. The precipitation began as snow on March 5th in northern Indiana and rain in the south until colder air wrapped into the storm, changing precipitation to snow state wide that afternoon. By the end of the storm the next day nearly a foot of snow had fallen in northeast Indiana and along the shores of Lake Michigan. The CoCoRaHS station in North Webster reported 11.6 inches of snow, the largest amount in the state. Other heavy CoCoRaHS snowfalls that day included 11.3 inches in Leesburg, and 11.0 inches at Fort Wayne, Mount Etna, and in Chesterton. Only minor snowfall amounts fell during the other 8 days of the interval across the state. Over the 9 days about 6 to 12 inches of snow was measured across northern Indiana, about 3 to 6 inches in central areas, and none to 3 inches in southern Indiana. In northern Indiana the heaviest 9 day totals were observed mostly north of a Kentland to Rochester to Winchester line. Some of the largest weekly totals included 12.0 inches at Mount Etna, 11.9 inches in North Webster, and 11.7 inches at Fort Wayne. A snowfall map showing the total 9 day amounts around Indiana can be seen at the end of this narrative.
With temperatures near freezing during the heavy snowfall, its water content was high. This water content counts towards precipitation. In the CoCoRaHS network the largest precipitation total was 1.28 inches at the Mishawaka location. Three volunteers in Fort Wayne recorded precipitation on March 6th at 1.21 inch, 1.20 inch, and 1.16 inch. Considering all precipitation for the 9 days, the Connersville observer summed the most at 1.87 inch. Some other precipitation totals came in at 1.48 inch at Burnettsville, 1.32 inch in Gas City, 1.28 inch at Mishawaka, and 1.18 inch at Plymouth. Yet overall precipitation totals were below normal across Indiana. Regionally about 80% of normal precipitation was received in northern Indiana, 70% of normal in central counties, and 55% of normal in the south. Normal totals range between 0.8 inch and 1.1 inch.
The moderate to heavy snowfall on March 5th and 6th created hazardous road conditions. Many slide-offs and vehicle accidents were reported statewide. Some counties posted travel restrictions allowing only essential travel. Northbound I-65 was closed for a time in Jasper county after a semi-trailer accident. Jackknifed semi-trailers on other interstates interrupted traffic flow there as well. Conditions worsened after the snow ended and high wind speeds began to drift snow and ice over highways. Fortunately there were no reported fatalities with this storm. Rural schools cancelled classes for the day or declared two-hour delays.
Abnormally dry soils in far northern Indiana left over from the 2012 drought continue to disappear as snow keeps falling. The March 5th edition of the US Drought Monitor eliminated the abnormally dry rating in most of Lake, Porter, and DeKalb counties, and in small parts of other counties. The net result was a 5% improvement in Indiana since a week ago. The new rating revises the abnormally dry coverage in Indiana to just 7% of total state area. This portion consists primarily of Lagrange and Noble counties, and the west halves of Steuben and DeKalb counties. About 93% of Indiana land surface has returned to normal soil moisture status for this time of year.
March 10th – 16th
A pause in the 18-day run of below normal temperatures was brief. For the next 3 days average daily temperature finally poked into the warmer than normal category. On March 10th the daily state average temperature peaked at 12°F above normal! High pressure had passed to the east allowing its warmer southerly winds to lift our temperatures. Then the temperature fell a few degrees the next day to 9°F above normal as two storms, one from Canada, and another from Missouri, attempted to merge over Indiana.
A strong cold front now passed through the state, forcing temperatures downward again to 2°F below normal. The bottom was reached at 10°F below normal by March 13th. The weather stayed cold the next day as high pressure passed overhead. On March 15th the high center drifted east of Indiana and began another temperature bounce, ending the week at 1°F below normal. Finally an Alberta clipper moved through Indiana on March 16th, its cold front tapping more cold air from western Canada as the week closed. The warm start of the week nearly balanced the mid-week cool down. The weekly state temperature averaged to less than 1°F below normal. Daily maximum temperatures in Indiana around mid-March should vary between 45°F and 56°F north to south across the state. Daily minimums normally range between 27°F in the northernmost counties to 34°F in the far southwest.
The March 11th cold front began as a rain event, changing over to snow late in the day as colder air filtered into the state. The heaviest one-day rainfall amounts were reported that day by CoCoRaHS observers in south central Indiana. Gages which caught the most rainfall measured 1.54 inch at Mauckport and 1.41 inch at Leavenworth. The Marengo volunteer collected 1.26 inch that day while the Birdseye and Leopold gages each held 1.20 inch. This storm had moved off the Atlantic coast by March 13th but cold air and moisture was wrapped around its north side and gave Indiana another dose of precipitation, this time as all snow. North central Indiana counties received the heaviest amounts. Three Goshen observers recorded 4.9 inches, 3.2 inches, and 2.8 inches of the white stuff on the morning of March 13th. Granger noted 3.8 inches and Middlebury 3.5 inches of snow. The storm finally moved away for good.
The late week Alberta clipper storm finished off the week with rain statewide but amounts were generally light. For the full week the largest precipitation totals were measured as 1.49 inch in Batesville and 1.40 inch at Floyds Knobs. Charlestown had 1.35 inch, and two Milltown observers had 1.36 inch and 1.34 inch. The highest snowfall totals for the week were essentially the same as the single day maximums stated above. State maps of total weekly precipitation and snowfall can be found at the end of this narrative. Weekly precipitation was again less than normal, at about 70% of normal in northern and southern Indiana and 55% of normal across the middle. Weekly normals range from 0.5 inch in the north to 0.9 inch in the south.
For the second straight week soil moisture conditions improved across far northern Indiana. According to the March 12th US Drought Monitor, all of Laporte, St Joseph, and Elkhart counties have been restored to normal soil moisture status for this time of year. Small parts of Lake, Starke, and Marshall counties that were rated abnormally dry (D0 category) the week prior were also taken off the abnormally dry list. Only 3% of Indiana area continues to be rated as abnormally dry, which includes the west half of Steuben county, the north half of Noble county, and the northwest corner of DeKalb county. The remaining 97% of the state is now classified in normal soil moisture status as we move closer to the start of the April planting season. Weekly US Drought Monitor maps for Indiana can be seen at the end of this monthly summary.
March 17th – 23rd
Spring officially began this week on March 20th but apparently nature didn’t get the memo. Another stretch of subnormal cold is underway. Since March 12th the daily state average temperature has persisted below normal. Recall a year ago this week when daily maximum temperatures were hitting the 80s in Indiana, about 50°F warmer than this week!
Indiana temperatures actually rose slightly to start the week at about 4°F below normal.
A stationary front was located in Tennessee, its moisture being transported into southern Indiana over the top of cold air near the ground. Low pressure moved into Kentucky on March 18th, bringing heavy rain to southwest Indiana, a little bit of snow to the east, and light freezing rain to central counties. A strengthening storm system in Minnesota moved east to upper Michigan on March 19th. Its cold front rushed through Indiana and wrapped around and far ahead of the storm center. State temperatures slid to 8°F below normal.
High pressure dived south from central Canada behind the storm, delivering more arctic air to Indiana over the next 3 days. State temperatures hit bottom by March 21st at 16°F below normal. The ridge pushed southeast of Indiana and weakened. Two days of warming lifted state temperatures to 8°F below normal to close out the week. Clouds now thickened over the state. A heavy snow producing weather system was moving this way out of Colorado as the week ended. Overall for the week the daily state temperature averaged to about 9°F below normal. Typically in mid-March daily maximum temperatures should range from 48°F in far northern Indiana to 58°F in the far southwest. Daily minimums normally would vary between 30°F and 36°F north to south across the state.
The southern storm produced about a third of an inch of rain in southwest Indiana on March 17th but the heaviest rainfall of the week came the next day. Two to 3 inches of rain drenched southwest and parts of south central Indiana while 1 to 2 inches covered the rest of the south. Among the heaviest CoCoRaHS rainfall reports on the morning of March 18th were 3.75 inches at Princeton and 3.63 inches in Patoka. The CoCoRaHS observer in Francisco had 3.02 inches while the rain gage at Melody Hill collected 2.91 inches. Evansville noted 2.85 inches that morning. Rainfall in the second storm this week wasn’t nearly as heavy. Less than 0.2 inch fell in east central Indiana with less than 0.1 inch elsewhere. Some of the larger precipitation totals for the full week include 3.45 inches in Petersburg and 3.37 inches at Francisco. The Poseyville observer tallied 3.35 inches while Evansville had 3.27 inches and Boonville 3.03 inches.
Colder air poured into Indiana the second half of the week with all precipitation in the form of snow. There were no storm systems in the area but cold north winds picking up moisture from Lake Michigan generated lake effect snows in northern Indiana. A half to one inch of snowfall was common. Some of the heavier amounts reported on the the morning of March 21st included 3.5 inches at South Bend and 2.6 inches in Granger. As the cold air flow off the lake continued, northeast Indiana received a dusting of new snow on March 22nd. Weekly totals were close to these amounts as only minor events of new snowfall bumped these readings up a tad.
As shown in the weekly precipitation map which follows this narrative the distribution of water contributed by snowfall and rainfall was not uniform across the state. Regionally only about a tenth inch of precipitation fell across the north, a half inch in central, and 1.9 inch in southern Indiana. These totals equate to about 10% of normal precipitation in northern Indiana, 60% across central areas, but nearly double the normal amount across the south.
Though little precipitation fell across northern Indiana this week, the unusual cold has suppressed natural water loss through evaporation. This also is reflected in the March 19th edition of the US Drought Monitor. The Indiana drought map is unchanged from the previous week. The abnormally dry (D0 category) rating continues to be limited to Lagrange county and parts of Noble, DeKalb, and Steuben counties. Together these areas represent less than 3 percent of total Indiana acreage. Weekly Indiana drought maps are shown at the end of this monthly report.
March 24th – 31st
The heaviest widespread snowfall this winter in Indiana arrived on Palm Sunday, well after the official start of spring! It is rare in Indiana weather history that a significant snowfall occurs so late in March. Yet the persistent cold this month would support the chance of this late season event. State average temperatures this week were again cold, running at 8°F to 11°F below normal over the first 6 days. Then a late week warm up booted the thermometer to 4°F below normal by March 30th. The next day the state temperature recovered to normal to close out the month. For the 8 day interval state temperatures averaged about 7°F below normal. Typical daily maximum temperatures near the end of March range from 52°F in far northern counties to 61°F in the extreme southwest. Daily minimums normally vary between 32°F and 39°F north to south across the state.
The Palm Sunday storm center slid just south and along the Ohio River on March 24th and 25th. The snow generally began in late afternoon on March 24th and produced waves of heavy snow in Indiana until about noon the next day. At times the snowfall was so intense thunder was heard. By the end of this storm 7 to 12 inches of snow had fallen across most of central Indiana, the heaviest totals centered along a line from Attica to Hartford City. Amounts tapered off into northern and southern Indiana where 1 to 3 inch amounts were common. Some locally heavy snow amounts reported by the CocoRaHS network on the morning of March 25th included 12.4 inches at Attica, and 11.0 inches in Indian Heights. Both Covington and Hartford City had collected 10.5 inches by that morning.
On March 26th the storm left the Midwest and quickly reached the Atlantic Ocean. A ridge of high pressure stretching from Canada to Texas brought dry but cold conditions to Indiana over the next 5 days. About an inch of lake effect snow fell in north central Indiana as the ridge moved in. On the last day of the month two new storm systems approached Indiana, one from the north and the other from the south, with Indiana squeezed between. A little more precipitation fell, lifting the total snow and precipitation totals a bit more. For the entire 8 day interval, the largest snowfall totals in Indiana were 13.0 inches at Hartford City, 12.8 inches in Attica, and 12.5 inches at Galveston. Both New Ross and Indian Heights reported in with 12.0 inches.
It was warm enough at the end of the month for light rain to fall in southern Indiana. This rainfall and the water equivalent of the early week snowfall counts toward precipitation. Regional precipitation for the 8 days averaged about 0.3 inch across northern Indiana, and 0.7 inch in central and southern areas. These totals represent about 40% of normal precipitation in the north, 75% of normal in central Indiana, and near 60% of normal across the south. The highest local precipitation totals over the 8 days came to 1.46 inch at Galveston and Attica. Two Hartford City volunteers measured 1.30 inch and 1.11 inch at their locations. Meanwhile the Indian Heights reading came to 1.23 inch of liquid.
Indiana highways became hazardous during the Palm Sunday snowstorm. A few western counties declared snow emergencies. Many vehicle slide-offs and jackknifed trucks were reported late on March 24th. An 8-vehicle pileup on I-65 in northern Tippecanoe county caused several serious injuries. A woman in this accident died the next day. Nearby in West Lafayette a pedestrian was injured in another accident late in the storm.
There were no changes in Indiana soil moisture status this week according to the March 26th edition of the US Drought Monitor. Less than 3 percent of total Indiana land area remains classified as abnormally dry (D0 category). The remainder of the state is rated in normal soil moisture status for this time of year.
March 2013 Societal Impacts Report
Apr 04, 2013 [
April 2013 Newsletter from the Florida Climate Center
Apr 04, 2013 [
The April 2013 edition of the monthly newsletter prepared by the Florida Climate Center is now available. To view and subscribe, please follow the link provided.
April 2013 Newsletter
Apr 03, 2013 [
Our April newsletter is now available on our site (http://www.climate.washington.edu/newsletter/) and features the March climate summary, a review of WA tornadoes, a summary of the dry conditions since Jan 1, a snowpack update, and the temperature and precipitation outlook for spring.
Iowa March 2013 Preliminary Weather Summary
Apr 02, 2013 [
PRELIMINARY IOWA WEATHER SUMMARY – MARCH 2013
General Summary. Iowa temperatures averaged 28.5° or 7.4° below normal while precipitation totaled 2.19 inches or 0.04 inches above normal. This ranks as the 17th coldest and 49th wettest March among 141 years of state records. A colder March has not been recorded since 1975.
Temperatures. Cold weather was very persistent during March with statewide temperatures being below normal on all but five days during the month (9th/10th, 15th, 29th-30th). Elkader recorded the lowest temperature of the month with a -7° report on the morning of the 7th while subzero readings came as late as the 21st at Cresco (-4°). Cresco’s reading was the latest subzero temperature for the winter season in Iowa since March 26, 1996. On the other extreme the temperature reached 70° at Bedford and Lamoni on the 15th and at Shenandoah on the 30th. This month was a huge contrast to the record warm March of last year with a statewide average temperature 22.6° lower than a year ago. At Ames, for example, the highest temperature recorded in March 2013 was 60°. Last March Ames recorded 23 days with highs of 60° or greater during the month.
Heating Degree Day Totals. Home heating requirements, as estimated by heating degree day totals, averaged 153% greater than last March and 25% greater than normal. Heating requirements so far this season (since July 1, 2012) are running 21% greater than last season at this time and the same as normal.
Precipitation. Much of the month’s precipitation fell during one event from late on the 8th into morning of the 11th. Rain fell statewide which transitioned to heavy snow over about the northwest one-half of the state. Mason City reported the most snow with 13.5 inches while rain totals of more than two inches occurred in southeastern Iowa with a maximum amount of 2.58 inches at Donnellson. Overall this storm brought a statewide average of 1.60 inches of precipitation for the largest storm total since mid-April 2012. There were several other snow events during the month with one on the 4th-5th bringing snow to the eastern two-thirds of Iowa with an eight inch maximum at the Dubuque Lock & Dam. Another storm on the 23rd-25th brought snow statewide with greatest amounts in the southeast with 6.7 inches at Donnellson. Generally precipitation for the month was well below normal over the southwest one-quarter of the state and slightly above normal elsewhere. Monthly totals varied from 0.68 inches at Red Oak and Shenandoah to 3.62 inches at Burlington. Snowfall totals varied from only 1.5 inches at Rock Valley to 23.6 inches at Mason City. The statewide average snowfall was 9.6 inches or 4.9 inches above normal. This was the state’s snowiest March since 1998. Soils were still frozen over most of the northern one-half of the state at month’s end. Thus, little of the March precipitation would have soaked into the ground. However, abundant runoff did boost the levels of lakes and farm ponds. At Saylorville Reservoir the lake level had been below the normal conservation pool since August 26, 2012 and reached a record low of 829.26 feet (6.74 feet below normal) on March 8. However, runoff from the early month storm system quickly brought the lake back to normal levels by the 16th where they remained through the end of the month.
Harry J. Hillaker, State Climatologist
Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Wallace State Office Bldg.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Telephone: (515) 281-8981
ND Climate Impact Summary (March 2013)
Apr 01, 2013 [
February 2013 weather summary
Mar 07, 2013 [
by Ken Scheeringa
Note: A PDF formatted summary with additional maps is
available at the Indiana State Climate office website: www.iclimate.org/summary.asp
The monthly statistics suggest that February weather was quite normal in Indiana. But masked by these numbers are the swings in temperature and precipitation as storm systems raced across the state riding a fast jet stream in the upper atmosphere. The hectic pace slowed later in the month as larger storms churned across Indiana and delivered heavier precipitation. Three weather related traffic deaths were noted this month, two in St Joseph county and another on I-65 in White county.
Overall February was slightly cooler than normal. The state average temperature of 29.8°F is nearly identical to January a month ago and just 0.6°F below the February normal. This ties 1966 as the 52nd coolest February since 1895 in Indiana. The most recent cooler February was a 25.2°F reading in 2010 at 21st place in the rankings. Some other recent cooler Februarys include a 28.2°F state average in 2008, good for 41st place, and a chilly 20.4°F recorded in 2007 falling into 5th place. Recall the frigid February 1978 when the monthly temperature was just 16.1°F ? That was the coldest February on record in Indiana during the infamous 3-winter cold spell. The day split in February 2013 was tilted slightly to the cold side with 14 days of below normal temperature, 2 days at normal, and 12 days with above normal temperature. The daily state average temperature was 10°F or more above normal on 4 days in balance with 4 days of temperatures at least 10°F below normal. The highest temperature this month was 66°F on February 8th at Dubois, Stendal, and Bedford, and at Boonville the previous day. Wanatah was the cold spot with -3°F on February 2nd.
February precipitation was right about normal. The state average of 2.24 inches is just 0.04 inch drier than normal. This places the month in the middle of the rankings for all Februarys since 1895. The driest February on record was in 1947 with just 0.34 inch. The wettest February had 5.74 inches in 1909. Regionally precipitation this month was about 120% of normal in the north, right at normal in central counties, and near 80% of normal in southern Indiana. The highest daily cooperative station precipitation total this month was 1.89 inch at Poseyville, measured on February 23rd. In the CoCoRaHS network the heaviest single day precipitation amount was 1.80 inch at Burnettsville on February 27th. Precipitation generally fell on about 14 days this month.
Snow totals this month ranged from 4 to 26 inches in the northern third of Indiana with the heaviest totals in the tier of counties bordering Michigan. The city of Granger collected 26.8 inches, the highest February total in the state. Laporte received 20.0 inches for the month. Most of central Indiana had 2 to 4 inch month totals while generally less than 2 inches fell in the south. The largest single day snowfall was 6.0 inches recorded by the CoCoRaHS volunteer at Michigan City on the morning of February 3rd. Significant snows fell on about 6 days this month with additional lighter events such as dustings in the far north and lake effect region. Snowfall maps of February totals are found later in this report.
At the start of February the US Drought Monitor rated the northern tier of Indiana counties in moderate drought (D1 category) or as abnormally dry (D0 category). The heavier precipitation events helped eliminate the moderate drought category from the state entirely. At the end of February the US Drought Monitor shows 12% of Indiana is abnormally dry, but not in drought. The Monitor calculates the remaining 88% of Indiana area to have returned to normal soil moisture.
Two St Joseph county residents were killed in separate vehicle accidents on February 1st and 2nd due to ice and snow covered roads there. On February 22nd freezing rain, sleet, and snow contributed to a collision which claimed the life of a semi-truck driver on I-65 in White county. In other incidents high winds caused power line damage on February 19th in west central Indiana. Heavy rainfall forced the closure of a state highway in Morgan and Putnam counties on February 26th due to flooding. Details on weather impacts this month can be found in the weekly narratives which follow.
February 1st – 7th
Temperatures in recent weeks have swung widely between extremes of warm and cold. This trend has persisted through the first week of February. The month opened with the state average temperature near 14°F below normal as cold air poured into the state. But a 7-day climb to warmer weather replaced the abnormal cold, with each day warmer than the one before. Another in a series of fast Alberta clipper storm systems, moving at 70 mph, traveled across northern Indiana on February 2nd while triggering snowfall ahead of its warm front. Two cold fronts hurried past Indiana the next day. A high pressure center trailed quickly behind the storm and cut off the return of cold air into the state. State temperatures on February 4th continued to rise, now back to normal.
A third cold front raced through Indiana the next day followed by a stronger high pressure center on February 6th. The cold front only briefly slowed the ascent in state temperature to 6°F above normal. The ridge slid east of Indiana on February 7th, allowing southerly winds to tap into much warmer air. Temperatures at the end of the week jumped to nearly 17°F above normal, about 31°F higher than when the week started. The very cold start and warm ending to this week nearly offset to balance the week average temperature at just 1°F below normal. Typical for this week is a daily maximum temperature range between 32°F and 43°F north to south across the state. Daily minimums normally vary between 18°F in far northern Indiana to 25°F in extreme southwest counties.
Precipitation fell around Indiana every day except the last this week. Temperatures were cold enough until then that much of the precipitation arrived in the form of snow. The heaviest daily snowfall was measured on the morning of February 3rd in far northern counties. The CoCoRaHS observer in Michigan City noted 6.0 inches of snow that morning while at Demotte and Lagrange 5.0 inches was recorded. Laporte had 4.3 inches that day. The heaviest weekly snowfall total was 16.4 inches in Granger with Trail Creek right behind at 16.0 inches. Two CoCoRaHS sites in Laporte had totals of 12.7 inches and 11.6 inches. Generally areas of northern Indiana away from Lake Michigan received 3 to 8 inches of snow for the week. In central and southern Indiana the week total varied from just a trace of snow to about 3 inches.
The water content of fresh snowfall is counted in precipitation. The highest daily precipitation amount this week was 1.66 inch reported at Syracuse on February 2nd. Syracuse also had the highest weekly total precipitation in the state with 1.90 inch. The precipitation sum at Trail Creek was 1.09 inch. Elkhart noted a 0.85 inch total. Generally around the state about 0.3 inch of precipitation was recorded in northern Indiana, 0.1 inch in central, and 0.2 inch in the south. These totals equate to about 75% of normal precipitation across northern Indiana, 20% in central, and 30% of normal in the southern extent. Maps of Indiana weekly precipitation and snowfall are found at the end of each weekly narrative.
The clipper storm at the top of the month made roadways very slick, contributing to the deaths of two drivers in St Joseph county. On February 1st a car slid on road ice and crashed into another vehicle. The driver of the car died in the accident. The next day a driver lost control on a snowy road in the same county and died in the resulting accident. Slick roads were a hazard all across the state. In far southwest Indiana roads were especially slick in Gibson, Warrick, and Vanderburgh counties. Vehicles slid off numerous roads, embankments, and bridges.
Travelers in northern border counties fared no better on Feburary 4th. About 25 vehicles slid off roads in Elkhart county that day.
At least one benefit of the heavy snowfall in northern Indiana this week was to improve soil moisture conditions in that area. The February 5th edition of the US Drought Monitor has ended the moderate drought (D1 category) in Lake, Porter, Laporte, and St Joseph counties. The improvement extended to the south. A second tier of counties, from Newton in the west to Kosciusko in the east, were lifted from abnormally dry status (D0 category) to normal soil moisture condition. In summary, counties as of February 5th to be classified abnormally dry include: Lake, Porter, Laporte, St Joseph, Elkhart, Lagrange, Steuben, Noble, and DeKalb, representing 12% of all Indiana land area. The remaining 83 counties (88% of total state area) are classified in normal soil moisture status.
February 8th – 14th
Thermometers finally settled down after a full month of wild temperature swings. The state average temperature spread this week was a mere 5°F. Only one pair of fronts passed through Indiana, not the horse race of past weeks when front after front hurried eastward across the Midwest. In this quieter weather pattern no weather related deaths or injuries were reported this week.
State average temperatures held above normal this entire week. The week began with temperatures about 9°F above normal. A storm system had just passed Indiana and high pressure was moving overhead on February 9th. The high ridge moved east of the state and southerly winds helped lift the state average temperature to its peak at 12°F above normal the next day. A warm front now crossed the state but was quickly followed by the storm’s cold front a few hours later. The air mass behind this front originated from the Pacific Ocean rather than the arctic regions of Canada. The state average temperature dropped just a few degrees on February 12th to 7°F above normal as the Pacific ridge stretched eastward over Indiana. A new storm system passed well to the south of Indiana on February 13th, impacting only counties along the Ohio River. The rest of the state was missed by this storm. State temperatures held steady the rest of the week at about 8°F above normal. Overall for the week state temperatures averaged nearly 9°F above normal. Typically for this second week of February daily maximum temperatures should vary from 34°F in far northern Indiana to 45°F in the southwest corner of the state. Daily minimums normally range from 20°F to 26°F north to south across Indiana.
A dusting of snow was reported on February 8th and 9th in the lake effect region of northwest Indiana. Last week’s storm moved away and northerly winds ahead of the high pressure ridge brought in some lake moisture. But late this week the southern storm produced moderate snowfall as it brushed Indiana on its way east. Amounts along the Ohio River tallied up to 3 inches. On Valentine’s Day morning the CoCoRaHS observers in Fredericksburg and New Salem each reported 3.0 inches of snow. In Milltown and Aurora 2.5 inches was measured while 2.0 inches fell in Jeffersonville. These were also the largest Indiana snowfall totals for the week. No snow fell in far southern Indiana on other days this week.
Precipitation was observed on just 3 days this week. The water equivalent of snowfall was light and for the week generally totaled to about 0.25 inch in northern and central Indiana and 0.45 inch across the south. These amounts are about 80% of normal in northern areas and near 65% of normal in central and southern counties. The highest single day precipitation recorded in the state CoCoRaHS network was 0.51 inch in Jasper, 0.50 inch in Shoals, and 0.45 inch in Martinsville, all measured on February 8th. The greatest weekly total was 0.86 inch, noted by the CoCoRaHS observers in Paoli and Holland. Boonville precipitation summed to 0.80 inch while Evansville collected 0.78 inch. All in all this was not an abnormally wet week.
The light precipitation this week kept soil moisture levels virtually unchanged from a week ago. The entire northern tier of Indiana counties continue to be rated abnormally dry (D0 category) according to the February 12th edition of the US Drought Monitor. In northeast Indiana, Noble and Dekalb counties are included in this drier region. The remaining 88% of total Indiana land area is unchanged with a normal soil moisture classification for this time of year.
February 15th – 21st
Last week’s warmth flipped into a mostly colder than normal pattern this week. The second in a pair of cold fronts moved through Indiana on February 15th, sacking the state average temperature from 1°F above normal to 8°F below normal by the next day. A high pressure ridge moved overhead on February 17th. Indiana temperatures rebounded to 2°F above normal as the ridge traveled east of our state and warmer air returned.
The warm up was brief. Three storm systems merged into one powerful storm over upper Michigan on February 19th. First a warm front, then a cold front attached to this strong storm passed quickly through Indiana. A new high pressure system behind the fronts tapped into cold Canadian air and state temperatures slid to about 15°F below normal, the coldest to close out the week. Normal daily maximum temperatures usually range from 36°F to 47°F north to south across Indiana. Typical daily minimums this third week of the month vary from about 21°F in far northern Indiana to 28°F in the southwest.
Snowfall was frequent this week, especially in the lake effect region of northern Indiana. The early storm system deposited a dusting of snow in northwest Indiana on February 15th, which continued and spread eastward along the Michigan border the next day. Up to 3 inches of snow fell in the Valparaiso vicinity. On February 17th another inch or so fell in the Laporte area. The lake effect shut down the next day.
The stronger second storm brought widespread rain to southern Indiana and a dusting of snow to east central and northwest counties. The lake effect snow machine resumed on February 20th, dropping up to 3 inches in the South Bend, Valparaiso, and Granger areas and nearly 2 inches in northeast Indiana and northern Jasper county. To the south a dusting fell in central Indiana. Now add another inch of snow in the Laporte area on February 21st. The largest snowfall totals in Indiana for the week included 4.1 inches at Granger, 3.9 inches in South Bend, and Laporte with 3.2 inches. A map showing snowfall totals around Indiana this week follows this narrative.
Rain fell primarily on February 19th in the second storm system. The CoCoRaHS observers in Elberfeld and Hazleton measured 0.72 inch that morning, the highest one day amount for the week. The Boonville volunteer recorded 0.68 inch while two Evansville gages each collected 0.67 inch. The many snow events around the state this week were not big contributors to the weekly precipitation total. On average about 0.2 inch of precipitation fell in northern Indiana, 0.3 in central, and 0.4 inch in the south. These amounts calculate to about 45% of normal in northern Indiana, and 65% of normal in central and southern sections. The weekly precipitation map is shown at the end of this narrative.
The powerful storm of February 19th caused scattered wind damage in west central Indiana. In Benton county a few trees were brought down and some power outages were reported. Power lines also fell in Tippecanoe county. In Clinton county a few power lines dropped so low that a state highway had to be closed until crews could repair the pole and hoist the power lines it carried.
There were no significant soil moisture changes in Indiana this week according to the US Drought Monitor. The northern tier of Indiana counties along with Noble and Decatur counties continue to be rated abnormally dry (D0 category) according to the February 19th edition. All other counties are in normal soil moisture status for this time of year.
February 22nd – 28th
Storm systems have rushed through Indiana in recent weeks, limiting the duration of precipitation events. Temperatures have swung wildly and widely high and low. But that changed this last week of February. A large, slow and ever expanding storm system spent three days churning in and near Indiana, producing lots of moisture while lifting temperatures slowly each day.
A storm at the end of the previous week was departing Indiana on February 22nd. The storm left Indiana highways a slippery mess with temperatures at 8°F below normal. A high pressure ridge to our southwest started to build in and warm our state the next day. The ridge moved overhead on February 24th and the state average temperature rose slowly to 4°F below normal. Another ridge carrying Pacific air over the Rocky Mountains tried to link up with our Midwest ridge but could not. Indiana temperatures continued to climb slowly, pausing at seasonally normal levels over the next 3 days.
On February 26th a new storm in Texas worked its way north towards Indiana, delivering warm moist air and continuous rainfall as it greatly intensified along the way. The next day this storm’s occluded front crossed our state, replacing the warm air flow with colder air behind it, changing rainfall to all day snow showers. On February 28th the storm was weakening rapidly, its core expanding outward like a giant pin wheel. Eventually the storm’s precipitation bands stretched over 1000 miles, from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast. Indiana temperatures cooled very slightly, ending the week at just 1°F below normal. Overall for the week the state temperature averaged 3°F below normal. At this time of year Indiana daily maximum temperatures should vary from about 38°F in far northern Indiana to 49°F in the southwest corner of the state. Daily minimums normally range from 23°F to 30°F north to south.
A mix of sleet and a thin coating of freezing rain fell on February 22nd. The freezing line moved northward across Indiana during the day as the frozen precipitation changed over to rain with warming temperatures. About 0.3 inch of precipitation fell during this storm. The second storm of the week, a 3-day event, began as an all-day rain on February 26th. Rainfall reports from aroundIndiana the next morning averaged about 0.9 inch but some CoCoRaHS volunteers measured locally higher amounts, including 1.80 inch at Burnettsville and 1.49 inch in Lafayette. The rain gage in Frankfort caught 1.44 inch while the Brownsburg observer had 1.40 inch. The rain transformed into snow and show showers which continued throughout the next day. The storm exited Indiana with flurries on February 28th. Over the full week precipitation totals were greatest in central and west central Indiana. In Plainfield a 2.46 inch total was recorded. The CoCoRaHS observer in Greencastle measured 2.28 inches, while Frankfort noted 2.04 inches, Spencer 2.03 inches, and 2.00 inches was totaled in Granger. On average about 1.3 inch to 1.5 inch was measured across Indiana. This is about 220% of normal in northern and central counties and 160% of normal across the south.
Most of the week’s snow came during the first storm on February 22nd. Northwest Indiana received the heaviest daily amounts in Indiana, including 4.0 inches at Portage, 3.5 inches in Westville, and two reports of 3.4 inches and 3.2 inches at Laporte. Angola had 3.3 inches that day. After tallying in snowfall from the later storm, weekly snowfall totals come to 6.4 inches at Granger, 6.1 inches in Angola, and 6.0 inches in Hudson. Chesterton had 5.7 inches and Westville 5.5 inches for the week. Maps showing this week’s distribution of precipitation and snowfall totals are found at the end of this narrative.
The freezing rain, sleet, and snow on February 22nd caused many traffic accidents on Indiana highways. A chain reaction crash involving 3 trucks on I-65 in White county killed the driver of the last truck who failed to slow for the 2 trucks slowing down in front of him. The interstate was closed for 7 hours to clear the scene. The heavy rain on February 26th caused different kinds of problems. A state highway in Morgan and Putnam counties had to be closed for 6 miles due to flood waters covering the roadway. In northeast Indiana ice accumulation caused power outages in Allen, Blackford, Grant, Wells, and Delaware counties until warming temperatures arrived later in the day.
There were no changes made to the US Drought Monitor since the previous week. Weekly Indiana drought maps from the Drought Monitor product are found at the end of this monthly summary.
March Climate Update
Mar 06, 2013 [
February 2013 Societal Impacts Report
Mar 05, 2013 [