June 2012 Central Indiana Climate Summary

Central Indiana
June 2012
Climate Summary
23rd Warmest June on record at Indianapolis
Driest June on record at Indianapolis
While the month started out exceptionally cool as an upper level low meandered across the Ohio Valley, June 2012 will be remembered most for the historic heat that arrived at the end of the month, culminating with highs in the lower to middle 100s on the 28th and 29th
As mentioned above, cool, cloudy conditions with scattered rain showers accompanied an upper level low as it moved across the region on the 1st and 2nd. Low temperatures in the middle and upper 40s were common the first few mornings of the month as well. Temperatures recovered slowly over the next few days as much of the lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley remained in northerly flow on the back side of the upper disturbance. High temperatures returned into the upper 80s and lower 90s from the 8th-10th as an upper ridge expanded into the Ohio Valley.
A consistent pattern began to develop by the middle of the month as upper level ridging would expand into the region for a few days producing above normal temperatures, before a weak frontal passage would bring the temperatures back down to near or slightly below normal with the upper ridge shifting back to the south and west. The presence of predominant surface high pressure and steadily worsening drought conditions across the Ohio Valley enabled increasingly hotter temperatures each time the upper ridging returned. After the 14th, high temperatures were rarely cooler than the upper 80s and lower 90s for much of central Indiana.  
The expansion of a strong upper ridge brought historic heat to central Indiana beginning on the 28th and continuing through the end of the month. The record high monthly temperature for June at Indianapolis was broken on the 28th when the temperature at Indianapolis reached 104 degrees, making it the warmest day in Indianapolis in nearly 58 years.  The last time the Indianapolis area reached 104 degrees was on July 14, 1954.  Temperatures were sweltering, ranging from 102 to 107 degrees across all of central Indiana on the 28th, followed by highs in the upper 90s to middle 100s on the 29th and in the 90s to around 100 on the 30th. Indianapolis set a new record high on the 29th as well when temperatures made it to 103 degrees. This also marked only the second time in recorded history that Indianapolis had experienced consecutive days at or above 100 degrees in the month of June. The only other occurrence took place from June 28-30, 1934. Indianapolis finished the month by tying the record high for the 30th of 97 degrees from 1911. 
There were fifteen days at or above 90 degrees at Indianapolis through May and June, marking the most 90 degree days prior to July 1 since 1988 when the mercury hit 90 degrees 17 times in May and June.  June also wrapped up the warmest first six months of the year on record for Indianapolis with an average temperature of 54.4 degrees, a full degree warmer than the previous record holder from January-June 1880. 

Click here for more information on this historic heat wave. 


   June 2012     Avg Temp
June 2012 Difference from Normal
Lowest Temperature
104 on 28
48 on 2
101 on 28
45 on 2
106 on 28
46 on 6
Terre Haute
106 on 28 and 29
47 on 6
103 on 28 and 29
45 on 6
104 on 28
48 on 2
Indy – Eagle Crk.
103 on 28
48 on 2
At Indianapolis, there were 21 days with above normal average temperatures,8 days with below normal average temperatures and 1 day with a normal average temperature.
June 2012 was the 23rd warmest in the Indianapolis area since 1871.

June was the driest month in over a hundred years in portions of central and southern Indiana. Monthly rainfall totaled from virtually nothing in portions of central Indiana to nearly 6 inches in northwest Indiana. Much of central and southern Indiana received less than an inch of rainfall for the entire month of June. Normal rainfall for June is 4 to 5 inches.
Rainfall at the Indianapolis airport totaled only 0.09 inches for the month of June.   This was the driest month for the Indianapolis area in over 100 years and the second driest of record. The driest month of record is March 1910 with only 0.07 inches. The previous driest June of record was 0.36 inches during the Great Drought of 1988.
Very little rainfall occurred in much of central and southern Indiana during the first 4 weeks of June. During this time only isolated areas received significant rainfall.   Portions of west central and northwest Indiana received as much as 3 to 5 inches of rainfall during the evening of the 16th. After the 28th, storms brought much needed rainfall to areas of central Indiana located primarily north of I-74. 
Drought conditions expanded during June. The U.S. Drought Monitor on June 26th indicated nearly 70% of the state in severe to extreme drought. Burning bans were noted for nearly all Indiana counties. At the very end of June, drought conditions were improving slowly in some of the driest areas of northeast Indiana as the result of recent rains. Conditions in southwest Indiana continued to worsen because of the historic heat wave at the end of June. Click here for more information about the drought conditions in central Indiana.
Stream levels in much of central and southern Indiana had fallen to record or near record low levels for late June. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued warnings to local boaters because local reservoirs were so low for the height of boating season.
Crop yields in much of the state will be reduced because of the drought. Numerous wildfires broke out in the later portion of the month, very unusual for June in Indiana. Many communities requested voluntary water conservation.   At least one local water company fined violators for ignoring its mandatory restriction on outdoor watering.
June 2012 Precipitation
June 2012 Difference from Normal
Wettest Day
Longest Dry Stretch
0.04 on 29
 24 days 5-28
0.50 on 29
 24 days 5-28
0.78 on 29
 9 days 12-20
Terre Haute
0.16 on 4
 12 days 5-16
0.13 on 4
 12 days 19-30
0.03 on 1
 9 days 12-20
Indy – Eagle Crk.
0.11 on 30
 24 days 5-28
June 2012 was the driest in the Indianapolis area since weather records began in 1871.
Severe Weather

With the ongoing dry conditions, severe weather events were extremely limited across central Indiana during the month of June. A complex of severe thunderstorms producing significant damaging winds otherwise known as a derecho, developed during the morning of the 29th over northern Illinois and then quickly intensified and sped southeast through the northern half of Indiana during the afternoon. These storms produced wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph across northern portions of central Indiana, along with blinding rainfall, large hail and constant lightning. The storms dropped an outflow boundary with 55 to 60 mph wind gusts that quickly moved south across the Indianapolis metro area and many other parts of central Indiana and away from the storm complex. This derecho continued on to the southeast through the evening of the 29th, producing widespread wind damage over Ohio, West Virginia and portions of the Mid-Atlantic region. Click here for a radar image composite of the June 29th Derecho.

For information on severe weather in other areas during June, visit the Storm Prediction Center “Severe Weather Event Summaries” website at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/.

The maximum wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport was 56 mph out of the northwest on the 29th as a gust front passed through the Indianapolis area from a complex of severe thunderstorms moving just north of the city. Fog or haze was reported at Indianapolis on 4 days during the month. Dense fog was recorded on the 22nd. Thunder was reported on 2 days during the month.
July 2012 Outlook
The official outlook for July 2012 from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a much higher chance of above normal temperatures for central Indiana.  At Indianapolis, the average temperature for the month is 75.4 degrees. The outlook also calls for a greater chance of below normal precipitation. The average precipitation for July at Indianapolis is 4.55”.
Data prepared by the Indianapolis Forecast Office.

Return to News Archive

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