Top Central Indiana Weather Events of the Decade


From record snowstorms to record floods, from tornadoes to hurricane remnants, central Indiana experienced a variety of significant weather throughout the decade. Below is a look back at some notable weather events across central Indiana from 2000-2009. Click on the links in the reviews for more information. More weather events from the decade are available on our weather archive page.




December 2000 was a cold and snowy month. At Indianapolis, December 2000 is the third coldest and the third snowiest on record, with 16.3 inches of snow recorded during the month.




Several supercell thunderstorms and a squall line moved across central Indiana during the afternoon and early evening of October 24. There were numerous reports of large hail and downed trees as well as a brief tornado touchdown near Williams. Notable damage reports included semis blown off the highway at several locations, a mobile home destroyed at Westport, several barns destroyed and roofs blown off homes at various locations.


tornado track map

The second longest tornado track in Indiana history occurred on September 20, and the tornado moved right across the central part of the state. The tornado reached F3 in intensity, with winds of at least 160 mph. Beginning at Ellettsville at 12:59 PM, the tornado raced northeast through Martinsville and the south and east sides of metropolitan Indianapolis and Anderson, finally lifting in Blackford County at 3:20 PM. The track was 112 miles in length. No deaths occurred with this storm.


Snowroller Pic Labor Day Rainfall Map


The winter of 2002-2003 ended up being the 3rd snowiest on record at Indianapolis, with 46.9 inches of snow falling during that period. In February 2003, the wind and snow combined to create snow rollers (above, left) across the area. Snow rollers occur when the wind lifts up the snow and literally rolls it up. This was the first occurrence of snow rollers in central Indiana in 50 years.

Heavy rains caused flooding around two holidays in 2003. Around July 4, 8 to 13 inches of rain fell across portions of Howard and Carroll counties, causing record floods along Wildcat Creek as well as millions of dollars of damage. On Labor Day, heavy rains over 8 inches caused flooding in central Indiana. The 7.20 inches set the record for most rainfall in a 24 hour period at Indianapolis.


2004 Tornado Map 2004 Snowfall Map

On May 30, numerous tornadoes struck central Indiana. One tornado passed within 10 miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the crowd was leaving the Indianapolis 500. In all, 13 tornadoes struck central Indiana that day, with an estimated $13 million in damage. In all of Indiana, there were 23 tornadoes, making this outbreak the second biggest outbreak in state history. 

        In the days leading up to Christmas, potent winter storms struck central Indiana, producing heavy snows that approached 30 inches in parts of the area. The storm closed interstates and left travelers stranded. The National Guard was called in to help stranded motorists.



2005 flooding 2005 ice storm

Warm air returned to central Indiana by the beginning of January and melted the snow from December 2004's snow storm. A couple of weather systems then moved in and dumped a few inches of rain on the saturated ground, creating major flooding. Columbus was nearly cut off from the rest of the state by flooded roadways by January 8, and much of Jackson county was flooded. Additional periods of heavy rain caused more flooding across much of central Indiana during the remainder of the month.
        The storm that brought some of the first rounds of heavy rain also brought an ice storm to northern sections of central Indiana. The combination of ice and wind brought power lines down, and at least 180,000 people were without power. In Randolph County, only emergency vehicles were allowed on the road.

Detailed information about the floods can be found in this report.


Indy Skyscraper Damage

On April 2, much of the state was impacted by 60 to 70 mph straight line winds, and within this line were 3 embedded tornadoes across central Indiana. F1 rated tornadoes struck Lawrence, Jackson, and Tippecanoe counties. At Indianapolis, the severe storms struck just as an outdoor concert for the NCAA Final Four was finishing. Estimated 100 mph winds damaged buildings in downtown Indianapolis.



February 2007 Snow

A snow storm struck central Indiana near Valentine's Day, bringing blizzard conditions to northern sections of the area. Three day snowfall totals from near a foot to well over a foot were common across the northern half of central Indiana, including 17 inches at Lafayette, 12 inches at Kokomo, and 8.5 inches at Indianapolis. Blowing and drifting snow caused significant problems.

Very mild air from mid March into very early April, with highs in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s, allowed plants to bloom and start growing well. However, a significant cold snap followed in early April, and freezing temperatures severely damaged plants and crops. After a high of 73 at Indianapolis on April 3, temperatures fell to a low of 30 degrees on the 4th, and by the 7th the low temperature was 23 and the high only 32 degrees.



Knox County False Color Image

The year 2008 brought periods of significant severe weather to central Indiana. In early January, heavy snow fell across northern Indiana. Warm temperatures quickly returned and melted the snow. Thunderstorms then arrived and dumped heavy rain across the area. This resulted in record flooding along the Tippecanoe river downstream of Oakdale Dam.

The period from May 30 to June 8 brought several tornadoes as well as record flooding to central Indiana. From May 30 to June 4, 9 tornadoes struck the area. Prior to May 30, only 3 tornadoes had occurred in central Indiana during 2008. Heavy rain, up to 11 inches, fell across areas mainly to the south of Interstate 70 on June 7. The flooding caused significant problems for much of the southern half of central Indiana, including areas that rarely if ever saw flooding before. Many homes and businesses were damaged. 

On the afternoon of September 14, the remnants of Hurricane Ike tracked quickly across Indiana. Winds rapidly increased to sustained values of 25 to 40 mph, with gusts into the 50-70 mph range for several hours. Numerous reports of downed tree limbs, branches, and power lines were received. Thousands of people across central and southern Indiana were without power due to wind-related damage and outages.



Jan 2009 Snow at IND

A large storm system brought snow at times from Monday January 26 through Wednesday January 28, dropping over a foot of snow across portions of central Indiana. Much of the snow fell during the night of the 27th and morning of the 28th. For Indianapolis, the 12.5 inches of snow that fell during the storm produced the 6th largest snow storm for the city. Up to a half inch of ice accumulated from freezing rain across southern sections of central Indiana. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.