Most of Indiana has a humid continental climate, with cool winters and long, warm summers. The extreme southern part of the state is within the humid subtropical climate zone and has somewhat warmer temperatures and receives more precipitation.
Throughout the year, temperatures do not vary greatly from place to place but are generally a few degrees higher in southern Indiana than in northern Indiana. Average July temperatures in all of the state are in the lower to mid 20°s C (mid 70°s F) and range from 23°C (74°F) in the north to more than 26°C (78°F) in the south. July temperatures in Indianapolis average a high of 30°C (86°F) and a low of 18°C (65°F). In summer, daytime highs in Indiana often rise to the upper 30°s C (lower 100°s F), and on occasion they may reach into the lower 40°s C (lower 110°s F).
Average January temperatures range from -3°C (26°F) in the north to more than 1°C (34°F) in the Ohio River valley. January temperatures in Indianapolis average a high of 1°C (34°F) and a low of -8°C (17°F). In winter, freezing weather occurs throughout the state, and lows in the lower -30°s C (lower -20°s F) are sometimes recorded in northern Indiana. Precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) ranges from less than 860 mm (34 in) a year in the northwest to more than 1,170 mm (46 in) in the hills of southern Indiana, near the Ohio River valley. Precipitation is distributed throughout the year although in the north the heaviest rainfall comes between April and July.
Hailstorms are common in the north and occur occasionally in the south during summer and cause damage to crops. Tornadoes associated with frontal storms can occur, and occasionally do considerable damage. In winter heavy snowfalls are common in the north and occur occasionally in the south.
The growing season, or period between the last killing frost in spring and the first killing frost in the fall, increases from less than 150 days in the northeast and along the Kankakee River to more than 190 days in the southwest. The last killing frost in the spring usually occurs in mid-April in the south and as much as three weeks later in parts of the Kankakee River valley. The first killing frost in the fall occurs first in northern Indiana, where it can usually be expected in the second two weeks of October. However, the waters of Lake Michigan retain their warmth into the fall and sometimes delay killing frosts along the lakeshore for several weeks. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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