|This forecast office issues warnings
and forecasts for 37 counties, including 24 in northern Indiana, 5
in southern Michigan, and 8 in northwest Ohio. These counties make
up our County
Warning Forecast Area (CWFA).
On March 17, 1998, the Northern Indiana office assumed warning responsibility for these counties. In August of 1999, we moved into our new facility. In September of 1999, we assumed complete forecast responsibility for our entire area.
The office is centrally located in the CWFA in northeastern Kosciusko County, half-way between our two largest metropolitan areas. To the northwest is the South Bend area, which includes the larger towns of Mishawaka, Elkhart, Goshen, and Saint Joseph-Benton Harbor. To the southeast is the Fort Wayne area, including New Haven and many rural communities. Total population in the CWFA is about 2.1 million.
The CWFA covers 15,875 square miles. Its 37 counties are fairly uniform in size and shape. The largest county is Allen County, Indiana, with 657 square miles. The smallest county is Blackford County, with 165 square miles. Four pairs of counties have the same name in different states within the CWFA: Saint Joseph IN and MI, Cass IN and MI, Allen IN and OH, and Fulton IN and OH.
We experience all four seasons here, along with a significant microclimate along Lake Michigan. Winters are cloudy, cold, and snowy. Most of the CWFA averages 25 to 40 inches of snowfall per year, but the counties closest to Lake Michigan receive up to 80 inches per year thanks to lake effect snows. Spring and summer are warm and periodically stormy. June is the dominant month for severe weather. Autumn is cool, and is often affected by the warm waters of Lake Michigan resulting in lake effect clouds and later first frosts within a county or two of the lake.
Personnel at this office include:
Recreational activities abound in the region. The CWFA is home to numerous lakes, including the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. The weather office is just a few miles away from Indiana's largest lake, Lake Wawasee. There are 19 state parks, forests, or recreation areas from which to choose. Popular tourist destinations include the Lincoln Museum and the Children's Zoo in Fort Wayne...the Studebaker Museum and National College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend...and the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn.
There are many institutions of higher learning, such as Notre Dame University in South Bend and Indiana-Purdue University campuses in Fort Wayne and South Bend.
Transportation opportunities are plentiful. The largest airports are Fort Wayne International Airport and South Bend Regional Airport. Eight interstates serve the CWFA, including interstates 80 and 90 on the Indiana Toll Road. Other major highways include U.S. routes 6, 12, 20, 24, 27, 30, 31, 33, and 35. Passenger train service is available in Michigan City IN, New Buffalo MI, Niles MI, Dowagiac MI, South Bend IN, Elkhart IN, Waterloo IN, and Bryan OH.
Sixteen television stations can be found here. South Bend has affiliates with NBC, CBS, and FOX. Fort Wayne has ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX stations.
There are over a hundred radio stations to listen to, and over 130 newspapers to read, including the South Bend Tribune and Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and News-Sentinel.
Large cities within a day's drive include Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
What time is it, anyway? Indiana is unique in that some parts of the state change their clocks twice a year, and other parts do not. In our CWFA, during the summer, all of our Michigan and Ohio counties are on Eastern Daylight Time. In Indiana, all counties except LaPorte County are on Eastern Standard Time. LaPorte County is on Central Daylight Time (meaning we have three different time zones within our CWFA!). In the winter, all counties are on Eastern Standard Time, except LaPorte County, which is on Central Standard Time. It can get quite confusing!
Famous people born in the CWFA include:
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