Fort Wayne Weather History

Weather Observing History at Fort Wayne

Weather Observing History at Fort Wayne A first-order Weather Bureau Office was established at Fort Wayne in May 1911 at the southeast corner of Berry and Calhoun streets (then known as the Shoaff Building). The first weather observation was taken at 7 a.m. on May 20 from the roof of the nine story building.

The office was moved on June 28, 1930 to the southeast corner of Berry and Ewing streets in the Wayne-Pharmacal Building, where observations were again taken on the roof.

On October 9, 1932 the office moved to the southwest wing of the third floor of the Federal Building at Harrison and Brackenridge streets with observations taken on the roof. A building on the other side of Harrison Street tended to cause some eddy effects with the wind.

An airport station was established at the Smith-Baer Municipal Airport (as it was then called) August 1, 1939. The downtown office continued to operate until April 1, 1941 when the two were consolidated at the airport, in the Administration Building.  Observations were taken from the ground, except wind readings were still taken from the roof. Eddy effects were felt here too due to an area of woods to the east of the airfield.

On December 16, 1946 the office moved again, this time to the new Baer Municipal Airport (later Fort Wayne International Airport) in the west half of Building Number 27.

The office made it final move on March 13, 1953, to the second floor of the Terminal Building at Baer Field Airport. It would remain there, in the same set of three rooms, for the next 45 years until the office closed March 17, 1998.

Temperature and precipitation records for Fort Wayne are unofficial for dates prior to May 1911. Records from May 1911 to present are considered official and are recognized as such by the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Copied from Northern Indiana Weather.gov.

Weather Observing History at Fort Wayne and Timeline from 1839 Weather History at Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Indiana Climate at the National Weather Service Weather.gov.

Northern Indiana Historical Pictures Page at Northern Indiana Weather.gov.

  1. Weather Timeline
  2. Fort Wayne Weather Records Fort Wayne, Indiana weather averages and records from 1897–2022 based on data made available by the NOAA. at ExtremeWeatherWatch.com. The highest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne, Indiana was 106 °F which occurred on June 28, 2012. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne, Indiana was -24 °F which occurred on January 12, 1918.
  3. Rooftop location
    NWS Northern Indiana Twitter photo

    At 7:00 AM on Saturday, May 20th, 1911, the first official weather observation in Fort Wayne’s history was taken on the southeast corner of Berry and Calhoun Streets. It was taken on the roof of the nine story Shoaff Building and telegraphed to Washington, D.C. It was here where a first-order United States Weather Bureau Office had been established and began operations by taking this observation. The Weather Bureau would eventually be renamed to the National Weather Service in 1970. Copied from On this date in 1911: The first official Fort Wayne weather observation by Nathan Gidley published May 20, 2022 and posted May 20, 2022 on Facebook by CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

    On this date in 1911: The first official Fort Wayne weather observation by: Nathan Gidley posted: May 20, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15

1918, January 12 - 24° below zero is the lowest recorded temperature in Fort Wayne. From Fort Wayne Indiana Climate at the National Weather Service Weather.gov. Storms and cold caused four days of “unprecedented suffering,” according to The News-Sentinel, and it could have been worse if the city's fuel supplies hadn't been replenished by the arrival of  20 rail cars of coal on the morning of Jan. 16. Copied from The cold old days published February 2, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Blizzard Grips Half of Country - Mercury Falls to 20 Below Zero

Article from Jan 12, 1918 The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Record cold, Blizzard, Weather

Highlights of Blizzard

Article from Jan 12, 1918 The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Record cold, Blizzard, Weather

The Weather

Article from Jan 12, 1918 The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Weather, Blizzard, Record cold

Similar version is clearer but lacks detail: Blizzard Grips Half of Country - Mercury Falls to 20 Below Zero - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Saturday, Jan 12, 1918, Page 1.

Country is Swept by Heavy Storm - Blizzard is Raging in Many Southern States - The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette Fort Wayne, Indiana, Saturday, Jan 12, 1918, Page 1.

1936, July 14 - Indiana experienced the highest recorded temperature in the state's history when thermometers hit 116 degrees in Collegeville, Jasper County. Fort Wayne was 106° on July 14, 1936 after -18° on Janaury 22, 1936 from Fort Wayne Weather in 1936 at ExtremeWeatherWatch.com. Fort Wayne was also 106° on July 22, 1934, June 25, 1988, and June 28, 2012 from A decade later: record heat and the 2012 derecho Nathan Gidley June 28, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

On July 14, 1936, Indiana experienced the highest recorded temperature in the state's history when thermometers hit 116...

Posted by Indiana Historical Bureau on Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

On July 14, 1936, Indiana experienced the highest recorded temperature in the state's history when thermometers hit 116 degrees in Collegeville, Jasper County.

The United Press reported: "Relief from one of the most severe droughts in the history of the state . . . The scorching heat wave will leave in its wake a state death toll of at least 173 lives. Thousands of dollars of damage has been done to crops, and additional damage has been caused by fires, started by the intense heat. Fifty-seven deaths, including nine in Indianapolis, were reported in the state yesterday. The blistering heat took hold on the state July 4 and for the last eight days the temperature has soared above 100 degrees, establishing a record for Indiana. City dwellers and rural folk suffered alike in the heat." 

Read more about the heatwave in the Greencastle Banner via Hoosier State Chronicles: The Daily Banner,Greencastle, Putnam County, 15 July 1936.

  1. Fort Wayne Climate at the National Weather Service Northern Indiana.
  2. Fort Wayne - Lowest Temperature for Each Year at Current Results
  3. Fort Wayne - Highest Temperature for Each Year at Current Results
  4. Fort Wayne Weather Records Fort Wayne, Indiana weather averages and records from 1897–2023 based on data made available by the NOAA. at ExtremeWeatherWatch.com

Think it felt too cold outside to be the first day of spring? Well you'd be right because today will go down as one of the top 5 coldest spring equinoxes on record at Fort Wayne and South Bend! Check it out!

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Think it felt too cold outside to be the first day of spring? Well you'd be right because today will go down as one of the top 5 coldest spring equinoxes on record at Fort Wayne and South Bend! Check it out!

The Power of "Corn Sweat"

Holy corn sweat! That's right. In tonight's weather broadcast, I discussed "evapotranspiration" (or evapotransportation if you get tongue tied like me) and why cornfields are at least partially to blame for our humid summer days.

Posted by Matt Leach - 21Alive Weather on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 11, 2018 post by Matt Leach - 21Alive Weather on Facebook:

Holy corn sweat!

That's right. In tonight's weather broadcast, I discussed "evapotranspiration" (or evapotransportation if you get tongue tied like me) and why cornfields are at least partially to blame for our humid summer days

📣In Case You Missed It:📣 After much anticipation, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and NOAA have re...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

📣In Case You Missed It:📣 After much anticipation, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and NOAA have re leased the new U.S. Climate Normals for 1991–2020. This important update helps us explain how current weather conditions measure up to the recent past. Normals provide information about national and localized average temperature and precipitation as well as snowfall, heating/cooling degree days, frost/ freeze dates, growing degree days, and more. Read the full story: Decadal update from NCEI gives forecasters and public latest averages for 1991–2020

Explore the data: U.S. Climate Normals

Of course, a post like this may promote commentary regarding climate change. First, be kind to one another. Second, check out part four of this article: Understanding Climate Normals. Third, check out this FAQ page: Global warming frequently asked questions

📆Mark your calendars! The climate normals will be updated again in 2031.

What's in a record? When you hear or see news that a region had its hottest or wettest month since records began, you...

Posted by NOAA Climate.Gov on Saturday, July 15, 2023

July 15, 2023 post by NOAA Climate.Gov on Facebook:

What's in a record? When you hear or see news that a region had its hottest or wettest month since records began, you can check the climatological record books yourself to see what that really means.

https://www.climate.gov/.../us-climatological-rankings...

National Rankings

August 25, 2023 post by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) on Facebook:

Need climate data fast? Climate data, including past weather conditions and long-term averages, for specific observing stations around the United States is only a few clicks away from the nation’s 122 Weather Forecast Offices. Go to http://w2.weather.gov/climate/ and click on your city for climate data! #backtoschool

October 10, 2023 post by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) on Facebook:

Here's a look at earliest, latest, and average dates for the first 32F fall freeze. Many locations in our area see the first fall freeze on October 13th. While lows won't drop quite to freezing, patchy frost is possible Wednesday morning. #fall #frost #freeze

It appears likely that the coldest air of the season is on the way early next week! Our current forecast for Halloween...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday, October 28, 2023 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

It appears likely that the coldest air of the season is on the way early next week! Our current forecast for Halloween would place in the top 5 coldest Halloweens on record in Fort Wayne and South Bend if it verifies. The record coldest high temperature on Halloween is 35 degrees, set back in 1917.

November 30, 2023 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

On NOAA Satellite and Information Service's GOES-East, some mid to high level clouds are moving west to east across the forecast area. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine today! Clouds move in this evening in advance of the next weather system set to bring widespread rain Friday morning.

(Fun fact: You can also see in this satellite loop where snow still remains on the ground in southern Lower Michigan and far northeast Indiana!)

Since it is a quiet weather day, we thought we would share some fun facts about our office! - We don't just forecast...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024 post by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Since it is a quiet weather day, we thought we would share some fun facts about our office!

- We don't just forecast for northern Indiana! We cover 37 counties, including 24 in northern Indiana, 5 in southwest Lower Michigan, and 8 in northwest Ohio. (see the County Warning Area map below)

- Our office covers 15,875 square miles with a population of ~2.1 million people. The two biggest population centers we forecast for are South Bend, IN and Fort Wayne, IN.

- NWS Northern Indiana opened at our current location in Syracuse, IN on March 17, 1998 after having previously been located at two separate offices in South Bend, IN and Fort Wayne, IN.

- On staff, we currently have 6 meteorologists and 5 lead meteorologists. Our 11 meteorologists work rotating shifts (days, evenings, and overnights) to forecast the weather 24/7 and keep you safe!

- In admin and management, we have an Administrative Assistant (ASA), an Observation Program Leader (OPL), a Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM), a Electronic Systems Analyst (ESA), an Information Technology Officer (ITO), and 2 Electronic Technicians (ETs).

- Four pairs of counties have the same name in different states within our forecast area: Saint Joseph IN and MI, Cass IN and MI, Allen IN and OH, and Fulton IN and OH. Makes for fun forecasting when we have multiple sets of counties with the same name!

- Our counties closest to Lake Michigan can receive 80-100+ inches of snow per year thanks to lake effect snow! ❄️

To learn more about the history of NWS Northern Indiana: https://www.weather.gov/iwx/office

To get the latest forecast: https://www.weather.gov/iwx/

Here's a look back at the daily average temperatures and precipitation during winter in Fort Wayne. and South Bend. As...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Sunday, March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Here's a look back at the daily average temperatures and precipitation during winter in Fort Wayne. and South Bend.

As expected, winter 2023-2024 was very warm, especially in December and February for Fort Wayne. There is a noticeable week of below normal temperatures in mid January, but the rest of the winter was relatively warm. December and February were dry winter months for Fort Wayne, while January had a better balance between dry and wet days. 68% of days this winter had measurable precipitation, but only 1 day of the entire winter had over an inch of precipitation (January 9th).

In South Bend, temperatures were quite similar to Fort Wayne, with mid January notably colder than the rest of the winter. Precipitation was above average for December and January, with a pattern change bringing drier conditions for much of February.

For both sites, January 9th was the wettest day of the winter and was also the only day with an inch or more of precipitation. As for temperatures, 1 out of 3 days this winter was 10° (or more) above average!

2024 spring cover photo! Credits to IWN Storm Hunter Adam Davis

Posted by Indiana Weather Network on Friday, March 8, 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024 post by the Indiana Weather Network on Facebook:

2024 spring cover photo! Credits to IWN Storm Hunter Adam Davis

While the National Weather Service encourages taking actual measurements of hail size with a ruler or measuring tape,...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Friday, March 15, 2024

Friday, March 15, 2024 post by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

While the National Weather Service encourages taking actual measurements of hail size with a ruler or measuring tape, you can also report hail sizes using the common objects in the chart below. Severe hail is classified as hail that is 1" in diameter or larger. #WeatherReady #Hail #SeverePrep

Did you know that our forecast area borders 6 other NWS offices? It may not be a bad idea to follow surrounding offices...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Saturday, March 16, 2024

Saturday, March 16, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Did you know that our forecast area borders 6 other NWS offices? It may not be a bad idea to follow surrounding offices (especially if you live near any of our CWA borders) in order to get the most up-to-date, timely information when hazardous weather occurs. #SeverePrep

Did you know there are different types of tornadoes? 🌪️ Supercell tornadoes, landspouts, and waterspouts have all...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Did you know there are different types of tornadoes? 🌪️ Supercell tornadoes, landspouts, and waterspouts have all occurred in our forecast area. Click on this image to expand the infographic and learn more! #SeverePrep #Tornado #Landspout #Waterspout

Take a walk outside and smell the... petrichor?! Have you ever experienced the fresh, earthy smell of the outdoors...

Posted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024 post by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on Facebook:

Take a walk outside and smell the... petrichor?!

Have you ever experienced the fresh, earthy smell of the outdoors after it rains? There's a word for that: petrichor!

This aroma is created when rainfall lands on and disturbs dry soil, releasing organic chemicals, like geosmin, into the air. The human nose is exceptionally attuned to extremely small concentrations of geosmin, as low as 400 parts per trillion! Scientists aren't completely sure why this is, but this ability is thought to have played a role in the survival of early humans by bringing them closer to areas with fresh rain water.  #NationalTakeAWalkInAParkDay

As we approach the #Eclipse2024, you’ll likely see cloud cover forecasts for April 8th. Check out this graphic that explains sky conditions!

Posted by US National Weather Service Cleveland OH on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Cleveland OH on Facebook:

As we approach the #Eclipse2024, you’ll likely see cloud cover forecasts for April 8th. Check out this graphic that explains sky conditions!

Would you be interested in helping to map the heat of our neighborhoods this summer? Fort Wayne Neighborhoods

Posted by Three Rivers Active Streets on Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 post by Three Rivers Active Streets on Facebook:

Would you be interested in helping to map the heat of our neighborhoods this summer?

Fort Wayne Neighborhoods

NOAA Urban Heat Island Mapping 2024 Campaign

The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division has been selected to lead a campaign mapping heat and air quality in Fort Wayne. The division will work with community scientists to give residents a stronger voice in the planning and implementation of climate change-preparedness strategies. Fort Wayne and Bloomington are two of 14 U.S. communities selected to participate in the 2024 NOAA Urban Heat Island (UHI) mapping campaign.

This summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and community scientists will map the hottest neighborhoods in 14 U.S. communities and 4 international cities. Identifying these areas, called urban heat islands, helps communities take action to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat and provides cooling relief for those living in the hottest areas.

Good morning! We're excited to announce that Fort Wayne, IN will be part of a global urban heat island mapping project...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

Good morning! We're excited to announce that Fort Wayne, IN will be part of a global urban heat island mapping project this summer! NOAA will, in partnership with The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and CAPA Strategies LLC, map heat inequities in 14 US cities and 4 international cities! This annual project is in its 8th year of mapping urban heat islands across the US and internationally. The goal is to find out what areas in each city are the hottest and find solutions to provide cooling relief.

Find out more in the official NOAA press release: Federal agencies, communities to map heat inequities in 14 U.S. cities

Several of our meteorologists will be working with City of Fort Wayne Government and other local partners on this project! We'll have more info to share later this summer as the project gets underway! #UrbanHeatMap2024 #NIHHIS #CAPAHeatWatch

With no rain chances in store until May, it's official! In 127 years of records, April 2024 will go down as the wettest...

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Monday, April 29, 2024

Monday, April 29, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook.

With no rain chances in store until May, it's official! In 127 years of records, April 2024 will go down as the wettest April in Fort Wayne's history! 7.39" of rain has been recorded this month, which is double the average monthly rainfall! There were 2 days in April with over 1" ofrain!

ICYMI: Fort Wayne had the wettest April in 127 years of records as 7.39” of rain fell. April 2024 is the wettest month since 7.77” of rain fell in August 2018!

Posted by US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 post by the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana on Facebook:

ICYMI: Fort Wayne had the wettest April in 127 years of records as 7.39” of rain fell. April 2024 is the wettest month since 7.77” of rain fell in August 2018!

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