A look back at the year in weather across Northern Indiana, Southwest Lower Michigan and Northwest Ohio

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December


2013 was a cool and wet year compared to normal across the region. After a nearly record warm 2012 across the area, temperatures in 2013 were much cooler on average. The average temperature for 2013 at Fort Wayne was 49.8 degrees F, which is 0.7 degrees F below normal. South Bend's average 2013 temperature was 49.3 degrees F, 0.5 degrees F below normal. A major drought across the region in 2012 left precipitation totals well below normal for Fort Wayne and South Bend. However, 2013 was a different story. Fort Wayne received nearly 14 more inches of precipitation in 2013 than 2012. The 2013 total of 42.24 inches is 3.87 inches above normal, and ranks as the T-11th wettest year on record. South Bend received 40.35 inches of precipitation in 2013, which is only less than 6 inches below the total for 2012. However, 2013 was the 29th wettest year on record at South Bend, as the precipitation total was 2.35 inches above normal. Early/mid September heat brough the warmest temperatures of the year across the area, while an Arctic cold snap in early December brought the first sub-zero temperatures to Fort Wayne and South Bend in over 1000 days.


We've created a website with maps of Monthly, Seasonal, Annual, and Climate Normal Precipitation and Snowfall for northern Indiana, southern Lower Michigan, and northwest Ohio.  These maps are generated from National Weather Service observing stations.  They will be generated and posted within the first few days of each new period (month, season, year)  If you have any questions or suggestions for this webpage please contact us at w-iwx.webmaster@noaa.gov

Monthly and Seasonal Precipitation Maps


 The following links will take you to the annual climate summaries for Fort Wayne and South Bend.



After only 1 tornado in 2012, 2013 was quite active with 23 tornadoes recorded across the NWS Northern Indiana County Warning Area (CWA), 6 EF0, 10 EF1, 6 EF2 and 1 EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF scale). The map below shows the locations, dates and EF rating of every tornado in 2013 across the CWA.

Month by Month Review


January

 

 

January 2013 was a roller coaster month with dramatic ups and downs in temperatures. The roller coaster ride began with temperatures slightly below normal and dry conditions to start the month. A thaw occurred during the second week as temperatures topped out in the 50s by the 12th. This warm-up was also accompnaied by over an inch of much needed rainfall. More seasonable temperatures returned by mid-month. Snowfall through the third week was well below normal until the first significant arctic outbreak of the season brought much colder temperatures and lake effect snowfall. Some locations in lower Michigan received a foot of snow or more.  Another significant warming trend began on the 27th with tempeatures nearing 60 degrees by the 29th. A second arctic rush quickly followed for the end of the month with temperatures plummeting into the teens. Moderate to heavy rainfall fell ahead of this arctic cold front and lake effect snowfall of over 4 inches followed in its wake. The month ended up with above normal temperatures, above normal rainfall, and below normal snowfall.


January 10-14 Rainfall

A series of strong low pressure systems moved through the Great Lakes during a four day span.  These systems brought between one and four inches of rain to the area.  This heavy rainfall, coupled with snow melt in southeastern areas caused minor to moderate flooding along some area rivers.


January 20th-24th Lake Effect Snow

Cold temperatures and persistent northwesterly flow caused significant snowfall accumulations in areas downwind of Lake Michigan.  We received some reports of locally higher amounts, but generally 6-12 inches of snow was common across Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan and La Porte and St. Joseph counties in Indiana.




February

 

 

After a warm and wet January, February saw a weather pattern more typical of winter across most of the United States. Several strong winter storms impacted the country starting with a crippling blizzard and heavy snow over the Atlantic Seaboard and ending with 2 potent blizzards over the central US. The local area was left in the middle with a combination of residual snowfall from the Midwest storms and several weaker clipper systems which brought rain and snow to the region. While temperatures over the month averaged slightly below normal, there were brief periods of bitter cold air as well as mild air. The month ended with below normal precipitation and snowfall at Fort Wayne and near normal preciptation and above normal snowfall at South Bend. 


A Cold and Snowy Start to February

After a warmer than average January, February began with much colder temperatures and snow. System and lake-effect snow combined to give some locations in the northwest over a foot of snow in the first 5 days of the month.


NWS Northern Indiana Receives Dual Polarization Radar Upgrade

During a two-week period in February, the Doppler radar at our office underwent an upgrade to incorporate new technology know as dual polarization. This new technology will result in 14 new radar products that will enable us to continue providing our suite of high quality products and services to the public. This new technology and data will primarily help forecasters identify the type of precipitation that is falling as well as improve rainfall estimates.

February 21st-22nd Winter Storm

A strong winter storm system moved from the Plains into the Midwest overnight on February 21st into the daylight hours on February 22nd.  With subfreezing temperatures, freezing rain and at times sleet, mixed in with snow to create hazardous travel conditions across the local area. Snowfall totals across the area were generally in the 1 to 3 inch range, with ice accumulations of 0.10 inch or less.  Thunder and lightning were also reported during the early morning hours in several locations due to the powerful dynamics of the storm system!


2012-2013 Winter in Review

The winter of 2012-2013 (December-February) was characterized by above normal temperatures across the area. Due to warmer temperatures, much of the precipitation fell as rain instead of snow. Fort Wayne received only 19.8 inches of snowfall, which was 6.5 inches below normal. South Bend received only 47.7 inches of snowfall, which was 5.2 inches below normal

 

 

March

 

 

 

March 2013 was a cold month with above normal snowfall and below normal precipitation. This was a drastic difference from March 2012 which saw numerous records for warmth broken with 9 consecutive days with high temperatures above 70°. March 2013 did not see a single day with temperatures above 60° and only 5 days with an average temperatures above normal. 


March 5th-6th Winter Storm

A strong low pressure system developed across the northern Plains and intensified as it moved across the Ohio Valley and middle Mississippi Valley on March 5th, 2013. Heavy snow developed across the region and impacted the local area beginning during the afternoon of March 5th and continued overnight into the early morning hours of March 6th. 


March 24th-25th Snowstorm

An early spring snowstorm blanketed portions of the local area overnight on March 24th into the morning hours of March 25th. The local area was on the northern fringe of the heaviest snow across the region as a strong low pressure system moved northeast from the central Plains into the Ohio Valley.

March 2013 vs March 2013

Below average temperatures across the local area lasted for almost the entire month of March 2013, outside of a few days. This was in stark contrast to March 2012, when much above average temperatures resided over the area and numerous all-time temperatures records were set.

 

April

 

 

 

April 2013 was a cold, rainy month. After a snowy March, April was characterized by more typical spring-like weather systems that caused drastic swings in temperatures and several rounds of heavy rainfall. This heavy rainfall led to widespread flooding of rivers and low lying areas during the last half of the month and eradicated any remaining abnormally dry areas on the U.S. Drought Monitor.  It was the 3rd wettest April on record at Fort Wayne with 7.10 inchesm just 0.09 inches short of the record set in 1944!

 

April 17th-19th Heavy Rainfall and Flooding

A large low pressure system and associated warm and cold fronts brought several rounds of heavy rainfall to the local area from April 16th into the morning of April 19th, 2013. This heavy rainfall caused minor to major river flooding and flooding of other low-lying areas, creeks, ditches, and streams.

 

 

May

 

 


May 2013 began warm and very dry after a cool and wet April. Despite being a warm month, there was a large contrast in temperatures. There was also a lack of severe weather throughout the month, but a series of thunderstorm complexes over the last three days of the month brought damaging winds and flash flooding to portions of the area. 


May 31st Heavy Rainfall

 Training thunderstorms formed along an outflow boundary on the night of May 31st and dropped an incredible amount of rainfall to portions of the forecast area. A swath through the central portion of the area saw between 2 to 5 inches of rainfall with a few locations near 5.5 inches!

 


June

 

 


What a difference a year makes! In June 2012, the area was suffering from an extensive drought with a heat wave that saw temperatures hit the triple digit mark. June 2013 started with cooler temperatures and below normal rainfall and ended with a week of abnove normal temperatures and several rounds of severe weather and heavy rainfall. June also saw the first 90 degree day of the year at Fort Wayne. This marked a noticeable difference from June 2012 which saw 12 90+ degree days.  South Bend failed to reach 90 degrees during the month, which marked the first June without a 90 degree day snice June 1993.



June 12th-13th Severe Weather

 A combination of supercell thunderstorms and bowing line segments, with many areas of rotation, moved through northern Indiana and northwest Ohio during the evening and overnight hours of Wednesday, June 12, 2013. Overnight and into the early hours of Thursday morning, June 13,  the storms organized into a forward propapgating MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) as it progressed eastward to the coast.


June 22nd-27th Several Rounds of Severe Weather and Heavy Rainfall

An active period of weather impacted the NWS Northern Indiana area during Saturday, June 22nd to Thursday, June 27th, 2013. During this period, several rounds of showers and thunderstorms moved across the local area. Some of these storms became severe, producing damaging winds, large hail, and torrential downpours. 

July

 

 


The month of July 2013 began and ended with a string of below normal temperatures, with the string at the end of the month being a record. There was a brief heat wave with high humidity in the middle of the month where high temperatures reached the low 90s and low temperatures remained in the 70s.


July 10th Severe Weather and Peru Tornado

A strong cold front moved through the local area during the early afternoon hours on Wednesday July 10th, 2013. Moderate to extreme instability ahead of the cold front allowed for thunderstorms to fire and rapidly become severe as they merged into a line of thunderstorms that moved east/southeast from northern Indiana over into northwest Ohio. This line of severe thunderstorms continued east into Pennsylvania before weakening on the East Coast.


July 16th-19th Heat Wave

A heat wave began around July 14th and ended on the 19th. There were days with temperatures at or above 90 degrees with the hottest temperatures occuring on the 18th and 19th. It was also a very muggy period as dew points were generally in the low to mid 70s.

 

Record Streak of <80F Days to End the Month

July ended with a stretch of below normal temperatures with high temperatures below 80 degrees each day. This broke the July record for consecutive number of days with high temperatures below 80 degree days.

 

Straight-Line Winds vs. Tornado: What's the Difference?

Damaging wind from thunderstorms is much more common than damage from tornadoes. In fact, many confuse damage produced by straight-line winds and often erroneously attribute it to tornadoes. Given severe weather with both damaging straight-line winds and a few weak tornadoes across the local area, we decided to share a little "science" to explain the difference and common misconceptions!

 

August



 


Although August 2013 ended with a stretch of warmer weather, the month as a whole was characterized by below normal temperatures. Fort Wayne experienced its 11th wettest August on record with 5.08 inches of rain. Over half of this total fell on the first 3 days of the month with 3.59 inches falling on the 2nd. That ranked as the 9th wettest calendar day on record. South Bend saw only 3.03 inches of rain, below normal for the month. This was the 4th consecutive month with below normal precipitation at South Bend.

August 7th: Low Hanging Clouds Mistaken for Funnel Cloud/Tornado

Thunderstorms fired ahead of a cold front across the local area during the afternoon and evening hours on Wednesday, August 7th. While most of the storms remained below severe limits with mainly heavy rainfall and frequent lightning, a few of the storms did pulse up briefly to severe levels and a few damaging wind gusts. We also received reports that tornado sirens were sounded in the Goshen area due to public reports of a funnel cloud and/or tornado. These turned out to be false reports as low-hanging clouds were mistaken for a funnel cloud.

 

Summer 2013 in Review

Overall the summer of 2013 will be remembered as a relatively mild summer with a few streaks of hot weather. Despiate numerous days with average temperatures below normal, the overall summer ended just a degree below normal thanks to a few stretches of very hot weather. Fort Wayne saw above normal precipitation in June and August while July was below normal. Most of the August precipitation fell in teh first 3 days, skewing the monthly total. Most of August was very dry. South Bend saw below normal precipitation each month. These drier conditions began to show in the U.S. Drought Monitor as abnormally dry conidtions expanded across the region in late August. 

 

 

September

 

 

 

September 2013 was a relatively warm month. There was one very warm stretch which helped boost the average monthly temperature to above normal, from September 9th through September 11th. High temperatures were in the 90s each day. September 10 was the warmest day of the month and of the year at South Bend with a high of 97 and a low of 74. It was also the hottest day of the yer at Fort Wayne with a high of 95 and a low of 73. There have only been 13 previous years at South Bend and 9 previous years at Fort Wayne in which the highest temperature of the year occurred in September. The month ended up with below normal precipitation at Fort Wayne and above normal precipitation at South Bend, but most of that precipitation fell in just one day.

 

Late Summer Heat Yields Warmest Day of the Year

A ridge of high pressure across the central and eastern United States brought a blast of late summer heat to the northern Indiana, southwest lower Michigan and northwest Ohio areas. This brought a return to temperatures in 90s.

 

How Often Did We Reach 90° this Year?

The number of days with temperatures of 90° or hotter has been fairly low this year. There were only 8 days at Fort Wayne and 10 days at South Bend with temperatures of 90° or above.

 

October

 

 


October 2013 had a wet end to an otherwise quiet month. The month got off to a very warm start with several days of above average temperatures (10 degrees or more). After near normal temperatures through the middle part of the month, a pattern shift brought well-below normal temperatures to the area beginning on the 22nd. There were only 10 days between 80 degree temperatures and freezing temperatures. The pattern shift helped bring mixed precipitation over a four day period, with some areas receiving their first accumulating snowfall of the season. The start of the month was very dry, however a strong fall storm tracked toward the Great Lakes region over the last two days of the month, making for a very wet Halloween.



A Wet and Windy Halloween

A strong low pressure system and associated cold front moved across the region on the night of October 30th through October 31st, 2013. The system brought heavy rainfall to the local area with storm total precipitation in the 1 to 3.5 inch range. It was the wettest Halloween on record at Fort Wayne with 1.73" and the 2nd wettest at South Bend with 1.20." Gusty winds of 25-45 mph also accompanied the system, making for a wet and windy Halloween.

 

Frost/Freeze Information for the Area

The fall season was underway across the area and it's the time of year when the possibility for frost and freezing temperatures at night return. Typically, frost can occur when the temperature falls below 36°F, especially in rural areas. It is a localized phenomena and can be quite variable across a small area. While the National Weather Service does not keep track of "frost" in observations per se, we do keep track of when temperatures hit the freezing mark or fall below. Frost becomes more widespread when the temperature falls below 32°F with some freeze possible. A hard freeze is possible when temperatures fall below 28°F.

 

November

 

 

 

November 2013 was a cold month with below normal precipitation and snowfall at Fort Wayne and above normal snowfall at South Bend. Most of the snowfall was due to lake effect snow. The month was characterized by several large swings in temperatures as two strong arctic cold fronts brought very cold temperatures and lake effect snow into the area. Sandwiched between these arctic instrusions was a brief but signficant warm-up which led to a record-setting severe weather and tornado outbreak across Indiana. 28 tornadose were confirmed across the state, breaking the record for most tornadoes in a single day in November and was the third most tornadoes for any day of the year.



November 11th-12th System and Lake Effect Snow Event

An arctic cold front dropped southeast across the local area during the afternoon and evening hours of November 11, 2013. The system brought widespread rainfall to the area which quickly changed to snow as colder air from the northwest wrapped into the system. Most locations received a dusting to 1.5 inches of a wet snow accumulation with the system. Temperatures quickly dropped from the mid 40s into the 20s as the front exited the area. Lake effect snow then developed over southeastern Lake Michigan in northerly flow behind the front.

 

November 17th Severe Weather Outbreak

A strong low pressure system moved through the region on November 17, 2013. Storms began to fire in central Illinois ahead of a strong cold front during the early afternoon hours and quickly reached severe limits. Initially, the storms fired as distinct supercells. Eventually, the supercells merged into a squall line that raced across Indiana and into Ohio during the late afternoon to early evening hours. The setup was ideal for severe weather, not to mention a widespread outbreak with multiple tornadoes.

November 26th-28th Lake Effect Snow

A strong low pressure system moving through the eastern United States late Tuesday evening, November 26th into early Thursday morning, November 28th, helped bring another surge of cold area into the Great Lakes region. As the cold air funneled over the warmer Lake Michigan waters from the north/northwest, heavy lake effect snow showers developed.

Fall 2013

Overall, the fall season of 2013 had slightly below normal temperatures at Fort Wayne and near normal temperatures at South Bend. Precipitation and snowfall was below normal at Fort Wayne and above normal at South Bend.

December

 

 

 

December 2013 was another cold month with near normal precipitation and above normal snowfall. The month acturally began relatively mild with high temperatures in the 40s and 50s for the first 5 days. This occurred ahead of a strtong arctic cold front which helped establish very cold air for the remainder of the month. Heavy rainfall fell from the 19th to the 22nd which melted the existing snowpack and led to moderate flooding across eastern portions of the area. 

 

Record Streak for Consecutive Days with Temperatures Above 0 Degrees Ends


 

 

December 14th Winter Storm

 

  

December 21st-22nd Heavy Rainfall

A strong low pressure system moved rapidly northeast from Texas into the region. Heavy rainfall fell along the track of the low. This combined with a melting snowpack led to flooding of low lying areas and minor to moderate river flooding.

 

What's the Difference between Sleet, Freezing Rain, and Snow?

We thought it would be helpful to examine the difference between sleet, freezing rain, and snow.

 


 

Records Tied or Broken at Fort Wayne in 2013
DATE RECORD TYPE NEW RECORD OLD RECORD OLD DATE
11-Jan-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 57 56 1975
12-Jan-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 46 41 2007
13-Jan-2013  DAILY PRECIP 1.14 0.97 1937
29-Jan-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 44 43 2006
30-Jan-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 64 55 1988
5-Mar-2013  DAILY MAX SNOWFALL 9 2.2 2005
21-Mar-2013  DAILY MIN TEMP 11 12 1960
24-Mar-2013  DAILY MAX SNOWFALL 2.3 1.7 1912
9-Apr-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 81 80 2001, 1919
18-Apr-2013  DAILY PRECIP 2.32 0.97 1978
27-May-2013  DAILY PRECIP 1.72 1.16 1985
28-Jul-2013  DAILY LOWEST MAX TEMP 69 71 1969, 1925
31-Jul-2013  # of CONSECUTIVE JULY DAYS WITH TEMPS BELOW 80 8 8 Ending 7/30/2004, 7/8/1924
2-Aug-2013  DAILY PRECIP 3.59 1.71 1921
28-Aug-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 74 73 1977
10-Sep-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 73 73 1947
11-Sep-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 95 95 1931
31-Oct-2013  DAILY PRECIP 1.73 0.89 1932

 

Records Tied or Broken at South Bend in 2013
DATE RECORD TYPE NEW RECORD OLD RECORD OLD DATE
22-Jan-2013  DAILY LOWEST MAX TEMP 9 10 1961
29-Jan-2013  DAILY PRECIP 1.94 0.65 1909
29-Jan-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 59 58 1914
3-Apr-2013  DAILY MIN TEMP 18 18 1987
13-May-2013  DAILY MIN TEMP 30 30 1996, 1928
20-May-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 70 70 1911
2-Jul-2013  DAILY LOWEST MAX TEMP 66 66 1945
24-Jul-2013  DAILY MIN TEMP 50 50 1953, 1932, 1904
28-Jul-2013  DAILY LOWEST MAX TEMP 67 68 1981, 1928
31-Jul-2013  # of CONSECUTIVE JULY DAYS WITH TEMPS BELOW 80 9 8 Ending 7/27/1992, 7/12/1918
7-Aug-2013  DAILY PRECIP 1.28 1.05 1953
10-Sep-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 74 72 1983
10-Sep-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 97 96 1897
11-Sep-2013  DAILY MAX TEMP 96 96 1931
11-Sep-2013  DAILY HIGHEST MIN TEMP 71 71 1900
19-Sep-2013  DAILY PRECIP 3.44 2.24 #######
27-Nov-2013  DAILY SNOWFALL 6.1 5.5 1980
12-Dec-2013  DAILY MIN TEMP -3 -3 1962, 1958

 

 


 Stay tuned to our website and NOAA Weather Radio for weather information during 2014. Also, interact with NWS Northern Indiana on our Facebook Page, on Twitter @NWSIWX and YouTube.Thanks to our spotters and followers on social media for the reports, photos and information shared with us during 2013. We look forward to your support during 2014!

 


Page created by: CEO/NG
Last Updated: 4/20/14

 

 

 


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