Winter 2005-2006 Joins Top 30 Warmest of All-Time

Winter of 2005-2006

Joins Top 30 Warmest of All-Time;

Precipitation Near Normal

 Digesting all the monthly totals and comparing them to normal values, the winter of 2005-2006 looked like this:





Normal Value

Departure from Normal

All Time Rank

Average Temperature




27th Warmest

Total Snowfall




38th Snowiest

Total Precipitation




Near Normal



 Here are some of the more notable miscellaneous statistics from the winter of 2005-2006, and how these compared to normal.




Normal Value

Departure from Normal

Highs 32 degrees or lower




Lows 32 degrees or lower




Highs 50 degrees or higher




Days with snow reported




Days with more than 1 inch of snow on ground




Lows 10 degrees or lower




Lows 0 degrees or lower





  Month By Month Summary

December kicked off the winter of 2005-2006  with a sharp cold snap to start the month. Temperatures registered at or below normal for 23 consecutive days from the end of November onwards through most of December. Another streak of note occurred during this time, with an amazing 18 consecutive days with at least a trace of snowfall was recorded at the Indianapolis Airport , the longest streak of this kind.


 The weather pattern then shifted during the middle part of December, with much warmer temperatures occurring. A truly remarkable stretch of 44 consecutive days with above normal temperatures began at this time, and did not come to an end until the start of February! As a whole, December still ended up as a below normal month for temperatures, as the bitter chill at the start of the month was simply too much to be overcome by late month’s warmth.

Snowfall was fairly abundant during the month of December. Most of it came in the winter’s largest snowstorm on December 7. A quick moving storm dumped 7.7 inches of snow on the airport, most of it coming in just a few hour period. This was one of the heaviest December daily snowfalls on record. The month of December closed out with 14.1 inches of snowfall recorded, compared to a normal of 6.4 inches.  

January began where December left off, extremely warm. After getting off to a warm start, the month never saw temperatures at or below normal. Highs frequently topped the 50 degree mark, and even passed 60 degrees on the second of the month. Residents will long remember this mild month, as it was the warmest January in over 100 years, and the second warmest ever on record. Snow was hard to find as temperatures remained well above freezing most of the time. A normal January would bring 9.3 inches of snow, while January 2006 saw only 2.7 inches in Indianapolis .  

 February saw another shift in the weather pattern, as the string of above normal temperatures came to an end on day 5 of the month, as the high only reached 28 degrees. Following this, the month still saw ups and downs on either end of the spectrum. A sharp warm up came mid-month, as readings passed the 60 degree mark and this warmth brought the first severe thunderstorm event of the season. This was followed by an extremely sharp cool down, with the coldest days of the month coming just a day or two after the warmest. February 18 and 19 both experienced lows in the single numbers, some of the coldest readings of the winter. When it was all said and done, February tallied an average temperature of 32.3 degrees, above normal by 1.1 degrees. Snowfall was again below normal for the month. 3.9 inches fell this year, as opposed to a normal value of 6.1 inches.

Here is a summary of Winter 2005-2006

Each column contains the departure from normal of each value in parentheses.



Average Temperature

Total Precipitation

Total Snowfall


 27.1  (-4.6)

 2.69 (-0.34)

14.1 (+7.8)


 39.7 (+13.1)

3.30 (+0.82)

2.7 (-6.6)


 32.3 (+1.0)

1.89 (-0.52)

3.9 (-1.9)


 33.1 (+3.3)

7.88 (-0.04)

20.7 (-1.1)




Temperature and Precipitation Records at Indianapolis cover the period of 1871-2006

Snowfall Records cover the period of 1884-2006

The term average refers to the average over the period 1971-2000

Prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point

Return to News Archive is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.