Average Weather in Indianapolis Indiana, United States
In Indianapolis, the summers are long, warm, humid, and wet; the winters are chilly and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 85°F and is rarely below 3°F or above 92°F.
The hot season lasts for 4.0 months, from May 23 to September 22, with an average daily high temperature above 75°F. The hottest day of the year is July 19, with an average high of 85°F and low of 68°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.1 months, from November 30 to March 1, with an average daily high temperature below 46°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 22°F and high of 36°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
In Indianapolis, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Indianapolis begins around June 13 and lasts for 4.6 months, ending around November 1. On August 23, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 70% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 30% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 1 and lasts for 7.4 months, ending around June 13. On December 28, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 59% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 41% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Indianapolis varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.8 months, from March 27 to August 21, with a greater than 31% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 42% on June 8.
The drier season lasts 7.2 months, from August 21 to March 27. The smallest chance of a wet day is 20% on January 29.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 42% on June 8.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Indianapolis experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Indianapolis. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around May 25, with an average total accumulation of 4.2 inches.
The least rain falls around January 28, with an average total accumulation of 1.6 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Indianapolis experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 3.9 months, from November 25 to March 23, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around February 1, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.4 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 8.1 months, from March 23 to November 25. The least snow falls around July 18, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Indianapolis varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 21 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 59 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 6:15 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 1 minute later at 8:17 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 5:19 PM on December 7, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 57 minutes later at 9:16 PM on June 27.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Indianapolis during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Indianapolis experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.9 months, from May 26 to September 22, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 14% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 22, with muggy conditions 56% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is December 23, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Indianapolis experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from October 10 to May 22, with average wind speeds of more than 4.8 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.6 months, from May 22 to October 10. The calmest day of the year is July 31, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.5 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Indianapolis varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 3.0 months, from April 1 to June 30 and for 3.6 months, from August 14 to December 2, with a peak percentage of 38% on November 14. The wind is most often from the west for 1.5 months, from June 30 to August 14 and for 4.0 months, from December 2 to April 1, with a peak percentage of 34% on July 20.
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 4.0 months, from April 29 to August 30, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 2, with an average of 6.8 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from November 5 to February 10, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.8 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 17, with an average of 1.8 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Indianapolis are 39.768 deg latitude, -86.158 deg longitude, and 712 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Indianapolis is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 89 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 711 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (564 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (840 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Indianapolis is covered by artificial surfaces (100%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (87%), and within 50 miles by cropland (74%) and trees (17%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Indianapolis, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Indianapolis.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Indianapolis according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Indianapolis is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Indianapolis and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Indianapolis International Airport (50%, 12 kilometers, southwest); Eagle Creek Airpark (40%, 13 kilometers, northwest); and Shelbyville Municipal Airport (9%, 37 kilometers, southeast).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.