We have had such an early, just perfect spring! This has been the best spring since 2016, 2017, 2012 & 2010. 2016 & 2017 springs were finally nice ones after awful, cold, wet springs of 2013 & 2014. 2018 was an awful spring one of the oldest Aprils on record with vegetation as much as 3 weeks behind schedule UNTIL nearly 100 in May!
Those 2016, 2017, 2010, 2012 springs were all early with lots of consistent warmth & good conditions to get crops out. We didn't have late damaging freezes in those years either.
2010 saw the warmest start to April since the 1930s, 2012 saw the warmest March on record, while 2016 saw a very early spring with lower 80s in mid-April & the last 8 days of May being in the 80s to around 90 degrees. Dry spells led to early crop planting.
This year looked to be that way too. Nice & warm with 6th warmest March on record, record warmth in March & April with 85 in early April & a RARE three-day stretch of 80 or better.
So far, 2021 is the warmest April since 2010. Before that, you have to go back to 2001, then 2017, then 1985.
Our Growing Degree Days so far in March & April at Greater Lafayette are equivalent to southwest Missouri & far northern Arkansas at 150-160. This is a full 40 growing degree days above normal, which is a good measure of growing season ^ vegetation progression. It is as much as 65 above normal in northern Ohio!
Now we have this fluke event of 27-32 with some wet snowfall & awful weather Tuesday to spoil what would be a perfect, green spring.
Good thing is that many native plants will be ok. They may look a little yellow & sickly for a while with slight burning. However, fruit trees & bushes are so far-advanced (after being thinned a lot by hard freeze to start April) damage may be really significant.
This would be the third year in a row with issues like this. Last year we had a record high of 82 in early April, then record cold in mid April & early May that wiped out all fruit, especially in the southwestern 2/3 of the area.
Lows this morning ran 36-44.
Highs today should reach 65-73 with strong southwest winds to 38 mph & sunshine.
We will cloud up this evening-tonight from northwest to southeast with a few showers possible in the north. Winds will shift to the north behind the front.
Lows of 37-47 are expected northwest to southeast by 8 a.m. tomorrow.
Rain & rain/snow to all snow will overspread the area tomorrow late morning through midday & afternoon.
Near 1" to as much as 2" of wet snow is expected over much of the viewing area by tomorrow night. 2-3" is expected north of US 24 & east of US 231 in a band over the northern & northeastern counties.
Strong north to northeast winds will gust to 32 mph at times.
This accumulation would tend to occur on elevated surfaces like roofs, car tops, grassy areas & trees. Most roads & other surfaces will remain wet, but some slushy accumulation on bridges & overpasses & secondary roads could develop in heavier bands.
TEMPERATURES WILL RUN 33-35 DURING THE SNOW, BUT SNOW WILL BE HEAVY ENOUGH FOR ACCUMULATION ON ELEVATED SURFACES......
TIMING OF STEADY SNOW (start to end)........
Lake Village to Morocco to Kentland 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Kewanna to Chalmers to Boswell 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Rochester to Otterbein to Rainsville 1 p.m.-10 p.m.
Peru to Lafayette to Covington 2:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Kokomo to Crawfordsville 4 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Lows Tuesday night-early Wednesday morning will run 28-32 with some pockets of clearing.
The locations at 28-29 should be Rensselaer to Winamac to Rochester to Logansport, Peru, Monticello.
Duration at or below 32:
Rensselaer, Winamac, Rochester: 8 p.m.-9 a.m.
Logansport, Peru, Monticello: 9 p.m.-9 a.m.
Frankfort, Kokomo: 11 p.m.-8 a.m.
Lafayette, Fowler, Crawfordsville: 1 a.m.-8 a.m.
Covington, Veedersburg 3 a.m.-8 a.m.
With clouds & some sun Wednesday & brisk northwest wind, some scattered rain/snow showers & graupal showers are likely. Isolated rumble of thunder & flash of lightning is possible.
Highs of 43-50 are likely northeast to southwest in the viewing area.
Lows Wednesday night-early Thursday morning will run 27-32 with some clearing.
The locations at 26-29 should be Fowler, Kentland, Rensselaer to Winamac to Rochester to Logansport, Peru, Monticello to Kokomo & Frankfort.
Duration at or below 32:
Rochester, Winamac, Peru: 9 p.m.-9 a.m.
Rensselaer, Monticello, Logansport, Kokomo: 10 p.m.-9 a.m.
Morocco, Kentland, Fowler, Frankfort: 11 p.m.-9 a.m.
Lafayette, Covington, Veedersburg, Attica, Crawfordsville: 12 a.m.-8 a.m.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURES Tuesday & Wednesday nights:
Lake Village: 29
Bunker Hill: 28
West Lafayette: 30
Pine Village: 30
New Market: 31
Charts from Washington State University:
From North Carolina State University:
Strawberry flowers can be damaged or killed at temperatures of 30 degrees or lower. Young green fruit are slightly hardier, withstanding 30 degrees but receiving damage at 28. Because they are lower to ground, strawberries are much easier to protect with covers than blueberries or fruit trees. Be sure to cover your strawberry plants tonight to save any open blossoms and young fruits. As with blueberries, strawberries flower over an extended period so even if you lose some fruit potential tonight you will still get blossoms and berry production in the weeks to come.
Fully and partially open blossoms of rabbiteye blueberries can be damaged at 30 degrees, to the point they cannot be pollinated, and completely killed at 29. Temperatures of 30 degrees can damage small green fruit, resulting in misshapen and undersized berries. If there are many blossoms on your blueberry bushes and the plants are not too tall, cover them later this evening to prevent loss of early fruits. The goal of covering plants with row cover, old blankets or plastic sheeting is to create a mini-greenhouse that traps in heat from the soil that would otherwise radiate out into the night air. To be effective, covers need to completely encase plants, extend fully to ground level, and be well secured. The good news for blueberry lovers is blueberry bushes don’t open all their blossoms at once. Even if you lose some flowers (and potential fruit) tonight, more flowers should open in the coming weeks.
Chart from Michigan State University regarding critical temperatures for grape damage:
Some showers are possible Friday night to Saturday morning-midday.
Much, much warmer weather will arrive next week. Strong southwest winds & highs in the 80s will return. Severe weather outbreaks & events will line up Iowa, Minnesota & Wisconsin to Texas Tuesday & Wednesday.
We will get in on storms by Thursday. Potential is still there for severe weather risk to creep into our area, though it does not look as intense as areas farther to the west.
May 1-4 will feature more severe weather outbreaks from Minnesota to Texas.
Severe weather will move eastward & some risk may reach our area by May 4-5, though it does not look as intense as it will be in the Plains.
We look warm with 80s & strong south to southwest winds.
Cooler weather should follow with lows 36-41 for a couple to few nights.
80s & more active weather with storms returns mid-May.
Early onset of summer heat with dry weather is expected late May with some days of 90 to the 90s.