May Climate Summary

Central Indiana May 2009 Climate Summary
May 2009 was a wet month for Central Indiana. Frequent rounds of showers and thunderstorms crossed the area throughout the month, and resulted in rainfall amounts several inches above normal in many locations. Temperatures for the month averaged fairly close to normal, with stretches of both very mild and very cool weather alternating through the month. The following is a summary of everything that was weather in Central Indiana during May 2009.
May 2009 was rather unremarkable for temperatures in Central Indiana. In true May fashion, there were alternating periods of warm and cool weather, as the atmosphere continued in its transition to summer time. There was a rather prolonged stretch of very warm weather, from the 20th through the 27th, when almost every day reached the mid 80s for high temperatures. This followed a stretch of cooler than normal weather during the 16th through the 19th, when high temperatures remained in the 60s. There was even a frost event this month, on the 18th. Morning lows that day dropped to near freezing in most spots. There were no temperature records set at Indianapolis this month.
May 2009 Avg Temp
May 2009 Difference from normal
Lowest Temperature
86 on 5/23
42 on 5/18
87 on 5/23
37 on 5/18
86 on 5/22
35 on 5/18
Terre Haute
87 on 5/22
37 on 5/18
86 on 5/23
34 on 5/18
86 on 5/23
39 on 5/18
Indy – Eagle Crk.
85 on 5/23
40 on 5/18
At Indianapolis, there were 11 days with below normal temperatures, 18 days with above normal temperatures, and 1 day with exactly normal temperatures.
May 2009 ranked as the 57th warmest and 18th wettest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.

May 2009 was a rather wet month across central Indiana. Frequent bouts of showers, thunderstorms, and even severe weather were common in the area. However, this is to be expected during the month of May, a time when thunderstorm activity accelerates to a peak in this area. Rainfall was highly variable across short distances this month, and some sites outside of the ones mentioned here likely saw even heavier rainfall. All areas were above normal for rainfall this May. The month tended to be wettest right in the midmonth timeframe, with several heavy rainfall events on the 14th through 16th, and then this was followed by the only dry stretch of any length this month. From 7 to 10 days were dry in a row, a time that corresponded with the warmest temperatures of the month. There were no precipitation records set this month at Indianapolis International Airport. The month finished as the 18th wettest May on record in the Indianapolis area.


May 2009 Precipitation
May 2009 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
1.48” on 5/14
8: 5/17 to 5/25
2.31” on 5/15
9: 5/17 to 5/26
0.90” on 5/27
10: 5/17 to 5/27
Terre Haute
1.22” on 5/13
8: 5/17 to 5/25
2.77” on 5/13
8: 5/17 to 5/25
2.17” on 5/13
7: 5/17 to 5/24



Severe Weather
Severe weather was a bit less than normal for a May in Central Indiana this year. There were a few events of notable size, however. The largest event came near the end of the month, on the 30th. Supercell storms formed ahead of a cold front approaching the region from the northwest. There were reports of hail to the size of golfballs, winds to 70 mph, and torrential downpours. While there were numerous reports of funnel clouds and wall clouds, no tornado touchdown was confirmed. The severe weather prompted the issuance of numerous tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings. There was also a flash flooding event that took place on the evening of the 27th of May. Very heavy thunderstorms dropped rainfall of as much as 4 to 6 inches in isolated spots, and resulted in areas of flash flooding.
For much more information on storm reports of severe weather, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at
At Indianapolis:
The peak wind gust this month was 70 mph from the southeast on May 14th. Thunder was reported on 9 days. Fog or haze was observed on 15 days, with dense fog on one day. Sunshine for the month was 63% of the possible maximum.
June 2009 Outlook
The official outlook for June 2009, from the Climate Prediction Center, indicates an enhanced likelihood of temperatures below normal across Central Indiana. There is an equal chance of above, below, or near normal values of precipitation.
Data prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point
Assistance provided by NWS Indianapolis forecast team

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