March was an amazing 18.2 degrees above normal – temperature-wise & drier-than-normal (-1.44″ compared to normal). It was the warmest March on record at West Lafayette, in the viewing area & state-wide.
April was warmer-than-normal with temperatures nearly 4 degrees above normal. Despite some welcome rain at the end of April, total April rainfall ended up -1.46″ from normal.
Freeze damage occurred on 2-3 nights, but overall temperatures between normal & above normal further forced vegetation forward. The blossoming of the black locusts & tuliptrees were a month ahead of schedule. By month’s end, nearly all trees were in full leaf like latter May & the black locust’s blossoms were fading away, while tuliptree petals began to fall. Even the shedding of the Silver & Red maple seeds were extra early. Heavily freeze-damaged sycamore & catalpa foliage was making a come-back at the end of the month. Small vestiges of catalpa spared had flower buds emerged by April 30 with a likely month-early blossom. However, the freeze will prevent the spectacular catalpa blossom explosions usually seen.
Bird species such as purple martin & barn swallow arrived mid to late month & chimney swifts were first seen on April 29. The first Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers & Indigo Buntings were heard on April 29. The first House Wrens were heard on April 15.
Highs today ranged from 65 along the warm front in the clouds to 81 south of the warm front in more sun. The highest dew points of the season occurred in our southern counties today, reaching as high as 65.
Tonight, frontal boundary as slipped southward a bit & cooler air is filtering in on north to northwest breezes arriving. Skies may tend to clear with areas of fog developing as temperatures cool to the dew point over damp ground with decreasing wind.
Already, however, the boundary is lifting back northeast & at the junction of the warm front & dryline in Oklahoma, numerous supercells t’storms have exploded with very large hail & tornadoes.
The severe threat will basically move almost due northward to slightly northeastward tonight & through tomorrow. Right now, it appears we may get a few storms to pop with the passage of the warm front, but the main severe threat will lay to our west tomorrow. We will be on the southeast end of stronger jet winds, so we need to make sure none of the storms begin to organize, though.
As this front shifts northward, the heat wave will expand & encompass our area mid to late week, accompanied by muggy air. Record-breaking high temperatures are likely here with clusters of severe storms to our west & northwest on the boundary between July & March weather (wet snow in the Rockies!) where a strong 130 mph upper jet will reside.
Strong jet winds & cold surface cold front will approach. A couple of t’storms are possible Friday, but it appears a line of strong to severe storms may occur in our area Saturday in the afternoon & evening. We will watch this potential & make any needed changes to this forecast in terms of timing over the next few days.
Two day of seasonable temperatures at 67-74 are likely Sunday & Monday before the heat builds back in & we see 85-90 again next week!