Winter Weather in Indianapolis in

There is a saying about weather in Indiana: “Give it a minute, it will change.” Like most Midwestern cities, Indianapolis has its share of cold streaks and heat waves. For the most part, winters in Indianapolis are nothing to brag about. There are always exceptions though, don’t forget this is Indiana. 

Indianapolis weather tends to be fairly moderate for the season. In the winter, the temperature range averages between 16 to 18 degrees difference between night and day. The highs in December and January fluctuate between 33 and 39 degrees Farenheit. The lows normally range from 18 to 24.

As it is Indianapolis and the weather gods like to wreak havoc occasionally, it’s not uncommon to have a balmy 65 degree day firmly planted in the middle of January. Winter tends to linger and has actually snuck back in to drop an inch or so of ice and snow in the middle of May. Icy temperatures, no matter what part of the winter, can lead to black ice on bridges and overpasses, as well as slick spots on highways and streets. 

Because of its centralized location, Indianapolis is usually spared from the massive amounts of lake effect snow that the northernmost parts of the state experience. That’s not to say it doesn’t receive its fair share. Midwestern winter storms have been known to drop almost 2 feet of snow in a few hours time. 

Indianapolis’ location is also suitable for high winds. There are few hills or valleys in the area. Situated on mostly flat land, the area surrounding Indianapolis is known for winds that can reach gusts of up to 65 miles per hour or higher. Add snow to the windy conditions and you have a recipe for school closings and shut downs like no other. With mostly flat terrain, roads can drift shut within a few hours time, making travel hazardous at best. 

Precipitation in Indianapolis in the winter usually comes in the form of snow. There are fronts that come through bringing a variety of snow, sleet, ice and rain. From November to March amounts of precipitation can vary anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of snow or rain per month. Once again, it is Indianapolis and the weather gods can be unpredictable. 

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Indianapolis made the list of worst cities for winter weather. It’s unclear if it is because the weather is actually that bad or the fact that it is normally so unpredictable that weather forecasters in the area have a hard time pinning it down.