April snow showers bring May flowers?

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Updated: .
Sean Ash

How did you enjoy the rare late season snowfall?  Rhetorical question I'm sure, but meteorologically speaking it was quite a feat.  There are many stats to chew on, but we'll begin with a first for the city of Indianapolis that actually occurred Monday.


According to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, yesterday was the only date on record (dating back to 1884) in April where the city had a high >=70 degrees and measurable snow in one day.  The only other day remotely close with April 7, 1972 with a high of 67 and .2″ of snowfall.


There were several 1″ snowfall reports throughout central Indiana, but it was mostly confined to grassy/elevated areas.


The .30″ at NWS Indianapolis was only the 4th measurable snowfall on or after April 15th since 1975.  This pushes the snow year (July 1-June 30) to nearly 56″ which is good for third snowiest on record behind the legendary winters of 1977-78 and 1981-82.


Now the focus is on the January-like air mass claiming real estate across the Ohio Valley.


To say today is unseasonably cold is an understatement.  Afternoon highs will be colder than the average low (42) for this time of year.  The record low maximum for this date in Indianapolis (40° in 1928) will be tied or possibly broken.  Anyway you slice it today feels more like January.

The brisk northwest wind that pushed lake effect into central Indiana will gradually break down.  As a result snow showers and cloud cover should diminish by 5-6pm, with the exception of far eastern Indiana.


Our cold day, followed by a clearing sky and light wind, sets the stage for a hard frost/freeze tonight… with lows dropping well into the 20s.  We're urging people to protect any sensitive plants from what will be damaging cold.



After a frosty start Wednesday temperatures will return to the 50s, but still a good 10° below normal.  Highs return to the 60s Thursday in what will likely be the best the day of the week, before rain chances return Friday.


There remains some uncertainty in the long range regarding how quickly the Friday disturbance departs.  For now, the holiday weekend looks mostly dry and pleasant with highs climbing back into the 60s.