April 2023 was among the warmest on record after near-record warmth on Thursday. Chilly air returns to open the weekend and looks to linger
After our 5th 80-degree day of the month, April 2023 was averaging over 5° per day above normal. With an average temperature of 57°, it moved to 9th warmest on record to-date. With the passage of a cold front early Friday morning, afternoon temperatures were a full 30-degrees colder than the same time Thursday. It is the start of a much cooler pattern and it will turn even cooler this weekend.
While rain lingered into the evening hours from south-central Indiana to eastern Indiana, skies were brightening west. A cold front is stalling and will be the focus for additional rainfall in these locations with perhaps just a slight expansion west from 12am to 4am Saturday. Indianapolis received about a half-inch of rain Friday and will reside on the far western extent of the rain showers later tonight. Any additional rainfall there will be light with little to no rain likely in western Indiana. The threat there is minimal and should any rain fall it will accompany the next cold front.
Clearing later tonight and area-wide is expected by Saturday morning with temperatures falling to near 40-degrees by sunrise. In the wake of the second cold front a more chilly brand of air settles in bringing along the threat of scattered showers and some downpours. These are derived by the very cool air aloft combined with the April sunshine. These downpours could build to a thunderstorm and even mix down some ice pellets during the peak heating of the day. Any rainfall will be brief and passing quickly then will diminish after sunset. After peak heating of the day the air will become more stable and skies will clear out Saturday night.
Clearing early Sunday will bring on the first of multiple mornings where frost and a freeze are likely. Sunday, Monday and even Tuesday morning will offer chances of frost and a freeze and are all part of a much cooler pattern that has staying power.
11 days have reached or exceeded 70-degrees and five topped 80-degrees this April. A correction in the warmth in fully underway and below normal weather is expected to close out the month. Temperatures for the next six days will be at times, as much as 15-degrees below normal with another shot of chilly air expected to close the month. Despite all the mild weather, we are still not in the clear for planting. The rule of thumb is no planting until Mother’s Day weekend and what plants that have emerged will need to be tended to starting this weekend. I expect frost and freeze advisories coming soon.