2011: A Year in Review
2011 was a year of extremes across central Indiana. Indianapolis received a little less than 50 inches of precipitation for the year, making it the wettest year since 2006 and the 17th wettest year on record. A very wet start to the year was highlighted by above normal snowfall in January, a significant ice and sleet storm in February and a very wet and stormy spring that saw extensive river flooding and repeated bouts of severe weather across the region. It remained wet through late June across central Indiana, before a switch to hot and dry weather in July which continued for most of the rest of the summer. This included the driest July on record in Indianapolis when less than a half inch of rain fell. Many locations across the region received less than three inches of rainfall from the beginning of July through the middle of September, enabling drought conditions to develop across portions of central Indiana. Stormy and wetter than normal conditions returned in late September and would persist for much of the rest of the year.
The heat that arrived across the region in July and continued into September helped to make the summer the 5th warmest on record in Indianapolis. Additionally, the average temperature of 82.0 degrees at Indianapolis in July marked the hottest month experienced in the Circle City since July 1936. Many locations reached 100 degrees on July 21, including at Indianapolis where the temperature made it to the century mark for the first time since 1988. The temperature made it to 100 degrees in Indianapolis again on September 3, the first time that had happened in September since 1954. The annual average temperature of 55.2 degrees made 2011 the 8th warmest on record, and the warmest since 2007. Records began for Indianapolis in 1871.
61 tornadoes touched down in the state of Indiana in 2011, breaking the old record of 49 tornadoes from 1990. Most of these tornadoes occurred during the spring and early summer as several significant severe weather events impacted the state.