May 2014 Central Indiana Climate Summary

                Central Indiana

May 2014

Climate Summary

Tied for 71st Warmest on record at Indianapolis

45th Wettest on record at Indianapolis



Temperatures were like a roller-coaster ride during the month of May. The month started out well below average, with highs in the 40s and 50s. By the second week of the month, temperatures rose to above average. Highs reached the 70s and 80s, with Indianapolis recording its first 80 degree or higher temperature on May 7th when readings topped out at 83 degrees. That day was the first 80 degree day at Indianapolis since the previous October.

The warm air only lasted about a week though, with much colder air moving in behind a cold front mid-month. Highs only reached to around 50 degrees at some locations on the 15th. Low temperatures dipped into the 30s at times during the third week of May.

By the last week of the month temperatures returned to above normal, with highs in the 80s common across Central Indiana. Indianapolis reached its warmest temperature of 2014 (through May) on the 27th, when the high topped out at 85 degrees.

Indianapolis recorded its first above normal temperature month since September 2013.


May 2014     Avg Temp

May 2014 Difference from Normal



Lowest Temperature




85 on 27

38 on 18




87 on 8

35 on 18




88 on 27

37 on 16 and 18

Terre Haute



87 on 27

37 on 18




87 on 21

35 on 18




89 on 27 and 30

40 on 18

Indy – Eagle Crk.



85 on 27 and 30

36 on 18


At Indianapolis, there were 18 days with above normal average temperatures and 13 days with below normal average temperatures.


May 2014 was tied for the 71st warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.





May rainfall was normal to above normal in much of Indiana with below normal rains noted in portions of southwest and southeast Indiana. Monthly totals measured from near 2 inches in southeast Indiana to over 8 inches in south central Indiana.  Much of the state received between 3 and 6 inches of rain during May.

May began dry and remained dry in much of central and southern Indiana through the 8th. At Indianapolis, the 0.04 inches for the first 10 days of May was the 7th driest of record and the driest in 34 years. Most of the precipitation for May in central Indiana fell from the 11th through the 21st, when 3 to 6 inches of rain fell across the area.   


May 2014 Precipitation

May 2014 Difference from Normal

Wettest Day

Longest Dry Stretch




1.87 on 21

 7 days 22-28




1.83 on 11

 6 days 22-27




1.17 on 14

 6 days 22-27

Terre Haute



0.96 on 14

 6 days 23-28




1.76 on 14

 5 days 4-8




1.32 on 14

 7 days 22-28

Indy – Eagle Crk.



1.34 on 21

 8 days 1-8


May 2014 was the 45th wettest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.




Severe Weather

Scattered severe thunderstorms developed on the afternoon and evening of the 11th as a warm front lifted north across the region.  A remnant outflow boundary extending west to east near Interstate 70 was a catalyst in thunderstorm coverage and intensity.  The most intense storm was over Rush County, producing large hail and a funnel cloud.  Other storms produced wind damage and large hail up to half dollar size.


The combination of weak instability, steep lapse rates and low freezing levels due to very cold air aloft set the stage for extended period of small hail from showers and a few thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening of the 16th. A few cold air funnel clouds were spotted as well, a typical feature with showers under an upper level low pressure system.


The biggest severe weather event of the month took place on the afternoon and evening of the 21st into the early morning of the 22nd as severe thunderstorms developed along a cold front. Wind damage and large hail were common with the storms, with baseball sized hail confirmed in Waveland in Montgomery County. Numerous reports of half dollar to golf ball size hail along with flash flooding came from the southern Indianapolis suburbs as storms repeatedly tracked across the area and produced up to 3 inches of rain. For more information on this event, click the link provided.



For information on severe weather in other areas during May, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at




The maximum wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport was 50 mph out of the southwest during the afternoon of the 21st as a line of thunderstorms moved through the area.  Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 9 days during the month.  Thunder was reported on 7 days during the month. Small hail occurred on the 16th on several occasions.


June 2014 Outlook


The official outlook for June 2014 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates equal chances of above, near, or below normal temperatures for central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 72.0 degrees.  The outlook also calls for a greater chance of above normal precipitation. The average precipitation for June at Indianapolis is 4.25”.



Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.

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