Fort Wayne Indiana Climate
Fort Wayne is located at the junction of the Saint Marys, Saint Joseph, and Maumee rivers in northeast Indiana. The area is generally level south and east of the city. Southwest and west the terrain is somewhat rolling, while to the northwest and north it becomes quite hilly. The highest point in the general area is 40 miles due north of Fort Wayne near Angola. The elevation at this point is 1060 feet above mean sea level.
The climate is influenced by Lake Michigan and to a lesser extent Lake Erie. Temperature differences between daily highs and lows average about 20. The average occurrence of the last freeze in the spring is late April and the first freeze in the autumn in mid-October, making the average growing season 173 days. The length of the growing season is favorable for the maturing of all crops and vegetable normally grown in the Midwest.
Annual precipitation is well distributed with somewhat larger amounts in late spring and early summer. Except for considerable cloudiness during the winter months, sunshine averages about 75%. Dense fog is relatively infrequent.
THUNDERSTORMS: There in an average of 39 thunderstorm days per year at Fort Wayne with most occurring from May to August. There are around 10 days with severe weather in the Fort Wayne area per year. Winter thunderstorms occur about twice per year. Measurable precipitation typically falls on 132 days of the year. Mid-winter through early spring is the wettest time of year, with autumn the driest.
TORNADOES: Tornadoes are not common but funnel clouds are sighted more regularly. Most tornadoes produce F0 to F1 damage with more devastating types rare. Northeast Indiana was affected by both the 1965 Palm Sunday Outbreak and the 1974 Superoutbreak. Cold air funnels are not unusual...especially in the spring and fall.
WINTER WEATHER: Snowfall averages 32.4" per year. Six inch or greater snowfalls usually only occur once per season. Lake effect snows rarely exceed 4" in northeast Indiana. Lake effect snows, by the time they get this far east of Lake Michigan, are often in the form of flurries or scattered light snow showers. Lake effect snows from Lake Erie are very rare. The greatest 24-hour snowfall was 13.6" March 9-10 1964. The most likely month for heavy snow is January. The latest snow fell May 10 1945 and May 10 1960, and the earliest snow fell September 25 1942. Typically the last snow of the season is in mid-April with the first snow of the autumn around the first of November. 1981-82 was the snowiest season with 81.2", while the least snowy was 1932-33 with 8.3". Snow depth on the ground at any one time rarely exceeds 10". Freezing precipitation events are not uncommon but major storms are usually several years apart.
DENSE FOG: Dense fog is most common in the spring when warm air masses ride over melting snowpack.
HIGH WINDS: High winds exceed 50 mph once or twice a year. The winds are usually associated with strong low pressure systems moving across the Great Lakes or up the Ohio River Valley. The highest wind gust on record is 69 mph January 10 1975. Prevailing wind for the year is 9.9mph from the southwest.
HEAT: The average July temperature is 74.0. The all-time high is 106 June 25 1988 and July 22 1934. The all-time August high is 101 and in September it's 100. Cooling degree days average 824 per season. There is an average of 3.8 days equal to or above 90 in June, 6.1 in July, and 4.0 in August.
COLD: Winter temperatures reach their low in January with the average 22.9. Daytime highs average 30.4 and lows 15.3. Heating degree days average 6273 per season. The coldest temperature officially recorded is -24 January 12 1918. The coldest day on record is January 20 1985 with a low of -22 and a high of -11.
FLASH FLOODS: Flash floods and urban and small stream floods are not uncommon in late spring and summer. Serious flash floods are more rare. The all-time calendar day rainfall record is 4.93" August 1, 1926.
FLOODS: Flooding occurs several times per year on area rivers but dangerously high floods that cause major damage and threats to life are not yearly events. The highest stage of the Maumee River at Fort Wayne was 26.1 feet in March 1913, second highest was 25.9 feet in March 1982. Since 1990 the highest has been 23.9 feet January 1 1991.