A saying in Indiana is "If you don’t like the weather...wait 10
minutes and it will change." was never truer than in January
2008. On the 29th...one minute the temperature was 54 degrees and
raining and less than two hours later it was 27 degrees and
snowing...with severe weather and a small tornado occurring in this
short time span.
Temperature swings were frequent during January. The first three
days of the New Year averaged the lowest at Indianapolis since
January 1977. By the 7th the average temperature of 65 was the
highest ever recorded for Indianapolis.
Just as Indianapolis residents were thinking spring had arrived
during that 10 day early January warm spell...winter weather
abruptly returned on the 14th. Winter weather conditions through
the 26th almost entirely offset the record warmth of the 6th and
Warm temperatures surged in on the 28th and 29th ahead of a very
strong cold front. A squall line formed late in the day on the 29th
bringing severe weather and winds over 100 mph in small portions of
the Indianapolis area. Winter weather quickly returned after the
When all the extreme weather was totaled and averaged out...
Indianapolis had a monthly average temperature of 28.7 degrees...2.2
degrees above normal. The warmest January on record was 1880 with an
average temperature of 45 degrees. The coldest was 1977 at 10.2
Most of the rainfall during January occurred on the 8th when 1.41
inches fell. Daily melted precipitation on the remaining days of
January was less than two tenths of an inch. The monthly total
melted precipitation was near normal at 2.14 inches...just 0.34
inches below normal. The driest January on record was 1944 with only
0.21 inches of precipitation. The wettest was only 6 years
later...1950...with 12.69 inches of precipitation.
Snowfall for January was also on the light side. Snow fell on 16
days during January. The most snow fell on the 22nd with only 1.1
inches. The monthly snowfall total of 4.8 inches was 4.5 inches
The strongest wind measured at the airport was 58 mph during the
evening of the 29th. Thunder was heard on one day during January.
Total sunshine during January was 47 per cent of possible.
During the month new record highs were set on the 6th at 63 degrees
and 7th at 68 degrees and a new high minimum was set on the 7th at
61 degrees. A new daily rainfall record was set on the 8th with
1.41 inches. There were no low temperature records set during