The geographical features of Indiana play a major role in its varying climatic conditions. Owing to the presence of different geographical areas, Indiana has various types of climates. The climate of Indiana includes four main seasons; they are summer season, winter season, autumn season and spring season.
Winter Season in Indiana : The winter season of the State is extremely cold. Some times the winter is also accompanied by snow fall. The atmosphere in winter season is almost cloudy.
Summer Season in Indiana: The summer season on the other hand is extremely hot with a high rate of atmospheric humidity.
Spring Season in Indiana: In between these two extreme climates there lies the spring season. The spring season sometimes brings along the most threatening thunderstorms and tornadoes along with it. This terrific climate mostly causes many damages and destructions along with loss of life.
Autumn Season in Indiana: Finally, the autumn season is the most favorable season of Indiana with sunny days and a warm and clear atmosphere and relatively lower rate of atmospheric humidity. The cloudiness is usually absent in the autumn season.
The climate of Indiana mainly depends on the average temperature and precipitation received by the state over many years along with its various topographical features.
The most important feature of Indiana is its three types of physical geographical regions. The first most important is the great lake plains situated in the northern part of Indiana. This region has highly fertile soil formed by the retreating action of glaciers at the end of the ice age. The great plain region also has many sand dunes situated along the region of Lake Michigan. These great lake plains are so named as they are located along the great lakes Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. The second type of geographical region is the till plains which are located in the southern side and extends towards the Ohio River. This region contains many low hills and valleys. The soil of this region is also highly fertile and thus very much suitable for fertilization. The third type of geographical region is the Southern Plains and Lowlands situated southwards to the till plains. The highest peak of Indiana is the Hoosier Hill situated at the Franklin Town which is about 1,257 feet above the sea level.
Indiana has an extensive river system. The major rivers are the Wabash River which flows through the north central region of Indiana and finally drains into the Ohio River present in the southern side are the Maumee River that flows into the northern region and the Kankakee River, The Ohio River, Tippecanoe River and the White Water River. The lowest point in the Indiana is at the place where the Wabash River drains into the Ohio River which is present just 320 feet above the sea level.
Indiana has around 400 lakes; the most important among these are the Lake Michigan, Lake Wawasee, Lake Shafer, Lake Maxinkuckee and the Monroe Lake. The land of Indiana has an underlying layer of rocks which is believed to have formed as a result of the submersion of the land that occurred thousands of years ago. .
The geographical location of Indiana within the continent plays a major role in its climatic conditions. Due to its position adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, warm and moist air is passed towards it by the southern wind. The jet stream that arise from the western and central Canada helps in passing the polar continental air to the state which often collides with warm moist air brought by the southern wind.
Due to Indiana’s physical location and geographical features, the temperature varies within a wide range though out the year. In Indiana annual mean temperature is estimated to be about 52°F. The temperature in the northern side is always quite different from that in the southern side. The northern side usually experiences a temperature within a range of 49°F–58°F (9°C–12°C); on the other hand the southern side usually experiences a temperature of around 57°F . A temperature of about 116°F is the highest one recorded here. This high temperature was recorded in Collegeville. A temperature of about 36°F is the lowest one recorded here. This low temperature was recorded in New White Land.
Precipitation refers to the falling of the water from a height in the form of rainfall, snow fall, hail, mist etc. Like the temperature difference, the average annual precipitation also differs from the northern side and southern side of the Indiana. The northern side usually receives an annual precipitation of about 37inches. The average annual precipitation in the southern side is 47 inches. Indiana receives an average rainfall between 4 to 5 inches during the month of May which marks the beginning of the wettest climate. The autumn season receives fairly lower rate of raining which is only 3 inches, and thus has a dry atmospheric climate. Similarly, the winter also experiences an average precipitation of just 3 inches and just has a dry climate. The months of April and May usually receives an increased level of precipitation compared to that in February that usually experiences a hot climate. The State receives a heavy rainfall between the months of December and April which mostly leads to flooding.