...Updated Climate Normals...
UPDATE: August 1st, 2011
Here are the links for the new 1981-2010 Daily Climate Normals for FWA and SBN:
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) mandates its member nations to compute 30 year averages of meteorological data at least every 30 years. The WMO also requires updates every 10 years, in part to incorporate new weather stations. Further, NOAA's NCDC has a responsibility to fulfill the mandate of Congress "... to establish and record the climatic conditions of the United States." This responsibility stems from a provision of the Organic Act of October 1, 1890, which established the Weather Bureau as a civilian agency (15 U.S.C. 311). On July 1st, 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) made the new Normals for United States stations available to the public. The updated Normals will be for the period of 1981-2010 and replace the Normals for the period 1971-2000. Additional information and answers to commonly asked questions can be found at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/normals/newnormals.html
The National Weather Service in Northern Indiana, along with every other NWS office in the country, will begin using the new 1981-2010 climate normals after August 1st in all climate products. The NWS Northern Indiana office will use these new normals for Fort Wayne and South Bend daily, monthly and annual climate products. In addition, new normals will also be available from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) for other smaller weather stations across northern Indiana, southern Michigan and northwest Ohio.
Overall, the new annual temperature normals are warmer than the previous period of 1971-2000 at South Bend and Fort Wayne. Annual preciptiation normals are greater for Fort Wayne and less for South Bend than the previous normals period. Annual snowfall decreased by 1.6 inches at Fort Wayne and 9.9 inches at South Bend. The large decrease in annual snowfall for South Bend is due to the elimination of snowfalls from the 1970s, where 3 winters in the late 1970s averaged over 100 inches each.
The following links show a comparison for Fort Wayne and South Bend between the 1971-2000 normals and the new 1981-2010 normals.
Meteorologists and climatologists regularly use Normals for placing recent climate conditions into a historical context. NOAA's Normals are commonly seen on local weather news segments for comparisons with the day's weather conditions. In addition to weather and climate comparisons, Normals are utilized in seemingly countless applications across a variety of sectors. These include: regulation of power companies, energy load forecasting, crop selection and planting times, construction planning, building design, and many others.