A Look Back at the 2013-2014 Winter Season

You may be sick of the snow and the cold but at least meteorological winter has ended! We take a look at some interesting numbers and statistics at how this winter stacks up against the record books in temperatures and snowfall.  Just a reminder that the meteorological winter season runs from December 1st through February 28th. Detailed climate summaries are available here: Fort Wayne & South Bend.

Sub-Zero Days Winter Temperatures February Temperatures January Temperatures Winter Snow at Fort Wayne


Days with Sub-Zero Temperatures

Prior to December 12th 2013, it had been close to 3 years (1035 days to be exact) since the area saw temperatures at or below 0 degrees. This ended a record-breaking streak of consecutive days above 0 at South Bend.

 

Since December 12th, 2013 the area has seen many days with zero/below-zero temperatures. The graphic below shows the number of days with temperatures at or below 0 this winter compared to normal.

The plot below from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet shows the amount of time (plotted in number of 24-hour days) with temperatures below 0° through 10 PM February 26th. This is about 1.5 to 3 times the normal amount of time we'd see in a winter season!

 

Since records began, there have been 10 days on record at Fort Wayne and 12 days on record at South Bend where high temperatures failed to reach 0°F or above. The graphic below lists these days in order of coldest high temperatures.

The graphic below shows the records for number of consecutive hours with temperatures below 0°F.


 A Cold Winter of 2013-2014

We decided to take a look at how average temperatures stack up for the winter season. The winter seasonal average temperature at Fort Wayne was 20.7 degrees, which is 6.7 degrees below normal. The table below shows the top 15 coldest (average temperatures) winters on record at Fort Wayne.

 

Rank Value Ending Date
1 17.7 2/28/1978
2 18.8 2/28/1977
3 19.3 2/28/1963
4 20.1 2/28/1918
5 20.3

 2/29/1936

6 20.7 2/28/2014
7 21.0 2/28/1982
  21.0 2/28/1979
9 22.2 2/29/1920
10 22.6 2/29/1912
11 22.7 2/28/1945
12 23.0 2/28/1970
13 23.2 2/28/2011
14 23.3 2/28/2003
  23.3 2/28/1959

The winter seasonal average temperature at South Bend was 20.3 degrees, which is 6.7 degrees below normal. The table below shows the top 15 coldest (average temperatures) winters on record at South Bend.

Rank Value Ending Date
1 16.6 2/28/1904
2 18.4 2/28/1963
3 19.4 2/28/1936
4 19.7 2/28/1978
5 19.9

2/28/1918

6 20.3 2/28/2014
  20.3 2/28/1912
8 20.6 2/28/1977
9 20.9 2/28/1920
10 21.2 2/28/1979
11 21.6

 2/28/1959

12 21.9 2/28/1982
13 22.0

2/28/1910

14 22.6 2/28/1917
15 22.8 2/28/1994

 


A Cold February 2014

The average temperature for February at Fort Wayne was 17.6 degrees, which was 10.7 degrees below normal. This ranked as the 5th coldest February on record.The coldest Februarys on record are ranked in the table below.

Rank Ending Year
Value
1 1978 11.8
2 1979 14.8
3 2007 16.1
4 1936 17.2
5 2014 17.6
6 1914 18.1
7 1963 18.5
8 1934 18.7
9 1912 19.8
10 1980 20.1
11 1947 20.5
12 1917 20.8
13 1982 21.3
14 1967 21.9
15 1958 21.9

the average temperature for February at South Bend was 18.4 degrees, which is 9.4 degrees below normal. The coldest Februarys on record are ranked in the table below.

Rank Ending Year
Value
1 1904 14.4
2 1978 14.7
3 1905 15.5
4 1936 15.7
5 1895 16.2
6 1979 16.3
- 1901 16.3
8 1914 17.6
9 1912 17.7
10 2007 17.8
11 1963 17.9
12 2014 18.4
13 1917 19.1
14 1902 19.2
15 1947 19.6

 


A Cold January 2014

The average temperature for January at Fort Wayne was 17.0 degrees, which is 7.9 degrees below normal. This ranks January 2014 as the 10th coldest January on record (since 1897). The coldest Januaries on record are ranked in the table below.

 

 Fort Wayne
Rank Value Ending Date
1 9.2 1/31/1977
2 11.4 1/31/1918
3 14.1 1/31/1912
4 14.5 1/31/1970
5 14.6 1/31/1940
6 15.3 1/31/1982
7 15.8 1/31/1963
8 16 1/31/1978
9 16.6 1/31/2009
10

17.0

1/31/2014
11 17.4 1/31/1979
12 18 1/31/1945
13 18.1 1/31/1920
14 18.2

1/31/1948

15 18.4 1/31/2003

 

The average temperature for January at South Bend was 16.3 degrees, which is 8.1 degrees below normal. This ranks January 2014 as the 9th coldest January on record (since 1893). The coldest Januaries on record are ranked in the table below.

South Bend
Rank Value Ending Date
1 10.6 1/31/1918
2 11.2 1/31/1912
3 12.2 1/31/1977
4 13.3 1/31/1963
T-5 15.6

1/31/2009,
1/31/1982,
1/31/1904

8 16.1 1/30/1994
9 16.3 1/31/2014
10 16.7 1/31/1948
11 16.8

1/31/1970

12 17.9 1/31/1979
13 18.4 1/31/1978
14 18.5 1/31/1984
15 18.6 1/31/1959

 


A Snowy Winter at Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne Airport saw more than DOUBLE the amount of snow than they would in an ENTIRE normal winter.  The winter seasonal total at Fort Wayne was 59.4 inches of snow for the winter season. The normal snowfall for an entire winter season is 26.3 inches. 

The line graph below shows this year's snowfall to date (green line), normal snowfall (brown line), and the year with the maximum seasonal snowfall (blue line.)

 

The winter of 2013-2014 ended as the 2nd snowiest winter ever, just 1.7" shy of the record!

For the season (July - June), Fort Wayne has seen 64.4" (through March 3rd, 2014). This would put Fort Wayne currently in 2nd place all time. Take a look at the records below.

Fort Wayne saw a trace or more of snow on 63 out of the 90 days this winter and measurable snow (0.1" or greater) on 41 days. This ranks #1 in number of days with measurable snow for a winter season.

Monthly Number of Days Snowfall >= 0.1 for Fort Wayne
Year Dec Jan Feb Winter
2013-2014 12 17 12 41
2009-2010 12 10 15 37
2010-2011 14 12 9 35
2007-2008 8 10 16 34
1981-1982 10 16 7 33
1977-1978 9 14 10 33
1944-1945 13 11 9 33
1976-1977 10 14 8 32
2002-2003 5 16 10 31
1992-1993 9 10 12 31
1974-1975 10 10 11 31

Fort Wayne saw 64 out of 90 days this winter with an inch of snow or more on the ground. This ranks as 8th place.

Monthly Number of Days Snow Depth >= 1 for Fort Wayne 
Year Dec Jan Feb Winter
1977-1978 17 28 28 73
1981-1982 15 29 28 72
1976-1977 18 31 22 71
1944-1945 22 31 16 69
1935-1936 16 26 24 66
2010-2011 18 24 23 65
1904-1905 11 27 27 65
2013-2014 9 27 28 64
1983-1984 18 31 12 61
1903-1904 22 25 10 57

The month of February 2014 also ranked in 3rd place for snowiest Februarys on record!

 

January 2014 was the snowiest January on record at Fort Wayne!

 January 2014 was also the snowiest month on record at Fort Wayne!

 

Note: There is no snowfall data for the South Bend Airport due to the lack of a snowfall observer.

 


 

 

 

Updated 3/2/2014
CEO/BENTLEY/KG

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