First wide-spread storm damage of the year; New storms later

DAMAGING STORMS THURSDAY

It has been a strange spring to say the least. As we wrap up the month of May, the warmest May on record, a cluster of storms raced across south-central Indiana early Thursday afternoon. The storm complex was a small low pressure (a meso-low or meso-scale vorticity maximum as meteorologist call them) that delivered damaging winds that toppled trees and power lines from Missouri through Illinois, Indiana and into Ohio.

Through 6 p.m. there were nearly 200 severe weather reports nationwide.

Damage in Bedford

Power outages were in the thousands per Duke late Thursday afternoon.

The severe weather season has been quite tame to date, due to the very chilly spring we WERE having. Through April, it was the coldest April in over 50 years. No real storm outbreaks have occurred with the exception of April 3. May's warmth was driven by exceptionally dry weather. We could actually use more rainfall. More on that in a moment.

WARMEST MAY ON RECORD

No other May has ever been this warm. Today is the final day of meteorological spring, ending with a high of 88-degrees. May 2018 sets a record for warmest, and the most 80° plus days ever. Thursday marked the 31st day with temperatures above normal - every day this month average above normal with an average temperate of 10-degrees per day above normal.

May's extreme warmth could be blamed on the lack of rainfall. The dry spell actually started in early April. We've had less than half the normal rainfall since April 15 and May 2018 ends 9th driest on record. Dry soils feed the warm temperatures that extend well into western Illinois. We need rain. Indianapolis is currently 3.65" below normal for the month.

MORE STORMS TONIGHT

Storms are developing again in central Illinois and are expected to expand and strengthen over the next few hours. A new cluster of storms are expected to spread east into central Indiana before 9 p.m. Heavy downpours along with a few strong wind gusts are possible locally. We are monitoring trends. Rain chances will drop sharply after midnight.