Climatological Report (Seasonal)
Issued by NWS

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000
CXUS53 KIWX 011749
CLSSBN

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
1250 PM EST TUE MAR 1 2016

...................................

...THE SOUTH BEND CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE WINTER SEASON, FROM
12/1/2015 TO 2/29/2016...

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1893 TO 2016

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE
                                          NORMAL
.............................................................
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH              74   02/25/2000
 LOW              -22   01/20/1943
                        01/25/1897
HIGHEST            63   12/13        MM      MM       55
LOWEST             -3   01/18        MM      MM      -12
AVG. MAXIMUM     38.3              33.8     4.5     31.1
AVG. MINIMUM     23.8              20.1     3.7     16.6
MEAN             31.1              27.0     4.1
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32     31              39.1    -8.1       44
DAYS MIN <= 32     70              77.6    -7.6       78
DAYS MIN <= 0       3               5.3    -2.3       11

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
RECORD
 MAXIMUM        13.35   1950
 MINIMUM         2.77   1945
TOTALS           7.90              6.85    1.05     5.37
DAILY AVG.       0.09              0.08    0.01     0.06
DAYS >= .01        45              43.3     1.7       43
DAYS >= .10        18              18.4    -0.4       11
DAYS >= .50         4               3.0     1.0        3
DAYS >= 1.00        1               0.8     0.2        1
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    1.46

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
 TOTAL          136.3   1978
 24 HR TOTAL       MM
TOTALS           50.2              52.9    -2.7     58.7
SINCE 7/1        59.3              58.1     1.2     78.0
SNOWDEPTH AVG.      2                 3      -1        4
DAYS >= TRACE      42              33.3     8.7       54
DAYS >= 1.0        15              16.0    -1.0       15
GREATEST
 SNOW DEPTH         8   02/25                         15
 24 HR TOTAL      6.6   MM

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL    3063              3420    -357     3655
 SINCE 7/1         MM              4722      MM       MM
COOLING TOTAL       0                 0       0        0
 SINCE 1/1          0                 0       0        0
..............................................................

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              10.8
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    43/250    DATE  02/19
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    56/240    DATE  02/19

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.60
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR           21
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             23
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY         47

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     79

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM              0     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                0     RAIN                       7
LIGHT RAIN               23     FREEZING RAIN              1
LT FREEZING RAIN          5     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                4     SNOW                      12
LIGHT SNOW               36     SLEET                      0
FOG                      65     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      8
HAZE                     26

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

&&

...AN EL NINO WINTER...BUT NOT ALL EL NINO EVENTS ARE THE SAME...

THE METEOROLOGICAL WINTER SEASON OF 2015-16...WHICH EXTENDS FROM
DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY...SAW WHAT WILL LIKELY BE THE SECOND
WARMEST/STRONGEST EL NINO EVENT ON RECORD. EL NINO OCCURS WHEN THE
WATER TEMPERATURES OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN ALONG THE EQUATOR WARM ABOVE
NORMAL FOR SEVERAL MONTHS IN A ROW. THIS IN TURN CAN EFFECT
ATMOSPHERIC WEATHER PATTERNS INCLUDING THE LOCATION OF WHAT IS KNOWN
AS THE SUBTROPICAL AND POLAR JET STREAMS AS THEY MOVE ACROSS NORTH
AMERICA.

THE INFLUENCE OF THIS EL NINO COULD BE SEEN AND FELT AT TIMES
LOCALLY...BUT OTHER ATMOSPHERIC INFLUENCES...CALLED
TELECONNECTIONS...ALSO PLAYED A ROLE DURING THE WINTER. THE PRIMARY
TELECONNECTION WITH ARGUABLY THE MOST INFLUENCE WAS THE ARCTIC
OSCILLATION...AO...WHICH OVERWHELMED THE EL NINO SIGNAL AT TIMES.
THIS HELPED PROVIDE PERIODS OF COLD AND SNOWY WEATHER AS THE POLAR
JET STREAM DIPPED INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION.
HOWEVER...THE PERSISTENT BACKGROUND SIGNAL FROM EL NINO SEEMED TO
QUICKLY TAKE BACK OVER AND ALLOWED WARMER AIR ASSOCIATED WITH THE
SUB TROPICAL JET STREAM TO MOVE BACK INTO THE REGION. THIS KEPT THE
COLD AIR FROM BECOMING ENTRENCHED FOR LONG PERIODS AND LED TO A BACK
AND FORTH...UP AND DOWN TYPE PATTERN WITH TEMPERATURES AND
PRECIPITATION.

OVERALL THE WINTER SEASON WAS CHARACTERIZED BY ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION. ONE
CONSEQUENCE OF THIS WARMER OVERALL WINTER WAS THE LACK OF ICE
DEVELOPMENT ON LAKE MICHIGAN. AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE WINTERS OF ABOVE
NORMAL ICE COVERAGE ON LAKE MICHIGAN...GREATER THAN 80
PERCENT...THIS WINTER SAW LESS THAN 20 PERCENT ICE COVERAGE. THIS
ALLOWED ARCTIC COLD INTRUSIONS TO TAP THE RELATIVELY WARM AND OPEN
LAKE WATERS TO PRODUCE LAKE EFFECT SNOW...ESPECIALLY LATE IN THE
SEASON. THE RESULT WAS ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL IN THE LAKE EFFECT
SNOWBELT REGION DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY. THIS HELPED SITES SUCH
AS SOUTH BEND PUSH THEIR SEASONAL SNOWFALL TOTAL CLOSER TO NORMAL
AFTER BELOW NORMAL SNOWFALL IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY.

OVERALL THE AVERAGE SEASONAL TEMPERATURE WAS 31.1 DEGREES...4.1
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE 9TH WARMEST WINTER SEASON
ON RECORD.

PRECIPITATION WAS 7.90 INCHES...1.05 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS
RANKED AS THE 34TH WETTEST WINTER SEASON ON RECORD.

SNOWFALL WAS 50.2 INCHES...2.7 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS
THE 69TH LEAST SNOWIEST WINTER SEASON ON RECORD.

BELOW IS A MONTH BY MONTH SUMMARY OF THE WINTER SEASON.


...EL NINO HELPS BRING RECORD DECEMBER WARMTH AND LITTLE SNOWFALL...

IT WAS A VERY WARM AND WET DECEMBER WITH RECORD WARMTH AND ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THOSE WISHING FOR SNOW AND A WHITE CHRISTMAS
WERE DISAPPOINTED AS NEARLY ALL OF THE PRECIPITATION FELL AS RAIN OR
SLEET WHILE CHRISTMAS DAY WAS SUNNY...MILD AND GREEN FOR LATE
DECEMBER.

DECEMBER WAS SO WARM THAT THERE WERE ONLY 3 DAYS WITH AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES BELOW NORMAL...AND THEY WERE JUST BARELY BELOW NORMAL.
THOSE DAYS WERE THE 2ND...18TH AND 19TH...WITH THE 2ND AND 18TH JUST
1 DEGREE BELOW NORMAL AND THE 19TH JUST 2 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. IN
CONTRAST...THERE WERE 16 DAYS WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 10
DEGREES OR MORE ABOVE NORMAL AND 5 OF THESE DAYS WERE MORE THAN 20
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL WHILE 1 DAY...THE 13TH...WAS MORE THAN 30
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. CHRISTMAS DAY WAS EVEN MILD WITH MOSTLY SUNNY
AND DRY CONDITIONS. THE HOLIDAY WAS A FESTIVE GREEN RATHER THAN
SNOWY WHITE THANKS TO THE WARM TEMPERATURES AND LACK OF SNOWFALL IN
DECEMBER. THE CHRISTMAS DAY HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS 47...THE LOW WAS 31
AND THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WAS 39...13 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

THIS DECEMBER BROKE A RECORD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
HIGH TEMPERATURES OF 50 DEGREES OR WARMER WITH 11. THE PREVIOUS
RECORD WAS 10 SET IN ANOTHER EL NINO DECEMBER...1982. THERE WERE 4
DAYS WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES OF AT LEAST 60 DEGREES AND THIS RANKED
3RD. DECEMBER 1982 HOLDS THE RECORD WITH 7.

THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER WAS 45.5....10.3 DEGREES
ABOVE NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE WARMEST AVERAGE DECEMBER HIGH
TEMPERATURE ON RECORD...BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF 45.4 SET IN
DECEMBER 1923. THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE WAS 33.5 DEGREES...11.1
DEGREES ABOVE THE NORMAL OF 22.4. THIS ALSO RANKED AS THE WARMEST
AVERAGE DECEMBER LOW TEMPERATURE ON RECORD...BREAKING THE OLD RECORD
OF 33.0 SET IN DECEMBER 1982.  THIS AVERAGE LOW WAS ALMOST AS WARM
AS THE NORMAL AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH WHICH IS 35.2
DEGREES.

THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER WAS AN INCREDIBLE 39.5
DEGREES...10.7 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE WARMEST
DECEMBER ON RECORD...SURPASSING 39.0 DEGREES SET IN 1982 WHICH ALSO
HAPPENED TO BE ONE OF THE STRONGEST RECORDED EL NINO EVENTS SINCE
1950. THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH WAS 63 ON THE 13TH. THIS
TIED WITH 1941 AND 1951 AS THE 11TH WARMEST HIGH TEMPERATURE
RECORDED IN DECEMBER. THE LOWEST TEMPERATURE WAS 22 ON THE 19TH AND
20TH. THIS WAS A RECORD FOR THE WARMEST DECEMBER LOW TEMPERATURE
RECORDED...BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF 20 SET IN 1923.

WHILE MONTHLY PRECIPITATION WAS NOT RECORD BREAKING...IT WAS STILL
WELL ABOVE NORMAL FOR DECEMBER WITH ONE DAILY PRECIPITATION RECORD
BEING SET. TOTAL PRECIPITATION WAS 4.12 INCHES...1.51 INCHES ABOVE
NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS TIED WITH 1987 AS THE 15TH WETTEST DECEMBER
ON RECORD. THERE WERE 13 DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION...3 DAYS
WITH A HALF INCH OR MORE...AND 1 DAY WITH AN INCH OR MORE. A DAILY
PRECIPITATION RECORD WAS SET ON DECEMBER 28TH WHEN 1.45 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION WAS MEASURED...BREAKING THE OLD DAILY RECORD OF 0.74
INCHES SET IN 1948.

AN INTERESTING SCENARIO TOOK PLACE THIS MONTH WITH SNOWFALL. GOING
INTO DECEMBER 28TH...JUST FOUR TENTHS OF AN INCH OF SNOW HAD BEEN
RECORDED FOR DECEMBER WHICH WAS THE SECOND LEAST AMOUNT ON RECORD.
HOWEVER...ON DECEMBER 28TH...A STRONG STORM SYSTEM BROUGHT
RAIN...FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET TO THE SOUTH BEND AREA. SLEET
ACCUMULATION OF 1 INCH WAS RECORDED BY THE OFFICIAL SOUTH BEND
WEATHER OBSERVER. WHILE SLEET IS NOT SNOW...IT IS OFFICIALLY
RECORDED WITH SNOWFALL IN THE CLIMATE RECORD BOOKS AS FROZEN
PRECIPITATION. THEREFORE THE SLEET ACCUMULATION ON THE 28TH BROUGHT
THE MONTHLY SNOWFALL TOTAL IN SOUTH BEND TO 1.4 INCHES. THIS IS
STILL 15.9 INCHES BELOW THE NORMAL DECEMBER SNOWFALL OF 17.3
INCHES...BUT IT DID DROP DECEMBER TO THE 5TH LEAST SNOWIEST DECEMBER
ON RECORD.

...A NEAR NORMAL START TO THE NEW YEAR...

OVERALL IT WAS A NEAR NORMAL JANUARY IN TERMS OF
TEMPERATURES...PRECIPITATION AND SNOWFALL. THERE WERE PERIODS OF
COLD WEATHER THANKS TO RELATIVELY BRIEF SHOTS OF ARCTIC AIR. BETWEEN
THESE ARCTIC INTRUSIONS...RELATIVELY MILD WEATHER COURTESY OF THE
ONGOING EL NINO HELPED BOOST TEMPERATURES ABOVE NORMAL.

THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF JANUARY SAW TEMPERATURES NEAR OR SLIGHTLY
ABOVE NORMAL. THE FIRST ARCTIC INTRUSION OF THE NEW YEAR ON THE 4TH
BROUGHT SINGLE DIGIT LOW TEMPERATURES ALONG WITH JUST OVER 5 INCHES
OF NEW SNOW AT SOUTH BEND. THIS COLD AIR DID NOT LAST LONG AND
TEMPERATURES QUICKLY RECOVERED AND ROSE ABOVE NORMAL BY THE 7TH.
THIS UP AND DOWN PATTERN WOULD CONTINUE THROUGH THE MONTH WITH THE
COLD AND WARMTH NEARLY OFFSETTING EACH OTHER FOR A NEAR NORMAL
AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE.

THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 24.7 DEGREES...0.3 DEGREES ABOVE
NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE 57TH WARMEST JANUARY...TIED WITH
1958...1965 AND 2008. THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES OCCURRED ON THE
13TH...A LOW OF 2 BELOW ZERO...AND ON THE 18TH WITH A LOW OF 3 BELOW
ZERO. THE WARMEST DAY OF THE MONTH WAS ACTUALLY THE LAST DAY. THE
HIGH TEMPERATURE ON THE 31ST WAS 52 WHILE THE LOW WAS 36.

PRECIPITATION WAS 1.60 INCHES...0.69 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. THIS
RANKED AS THE 37TH DRIEST JANUARY. MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION FELL ON
18 DAYS. SNOWFALL WAS 18.7 INCHES...1.9 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. THIS
RANKED AS THE 66TH LEAST SNOWIEST JANUARY...TIED WITH 1962.
MEASURABLE SNOW FELL ON 13 DAYS.

...ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL DESPITE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND NEAR
NORMAL PRECIPITATION IN FEBRUARY...

FEBRUARY WAS A ROLLER COASTER MONTH IN TERMS OF TEMPERATURES AND
PRECIPITATION. THERE WERE PERIODS OF VERY COLD AND SNOWY WEATHER BUT
ALSO TIMES OF VERY WARM TEMPERATURES WITH RAIN. OVERALL THE MONTH
TRENDED TOWARD NEAR NORMAL FOR TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION BUT
SNOWFALL WAS WELL ABOVE NORMAL...THANKS IN LARGE PART TO LAKE EFFECT
SNOW OFF OF LAKE MICHIGAN.

THE MONTH BEGAN MILD WITH HIGHS IN THE MID TO UPPER 40S FOR THE
FIRST THREE DAYS. TEMPERATURES CAME BACK CLOSER TO NORMAL AHEAD OF A
STRONG CLIPPER SYSTEM WHICH BROUGHT LIGHT SNOW TO THE REGION BY THE
8TH. THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY MUCH COLDER AIR AND AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
BETWEEN 10 AND 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FROM THE 10TH THROUGH THE
14TH. BECAUSE LAKE MICHIGAN REMAINS LARGELY FREE OF ICE AND
RELATIVELY WARM FOR FEBRUARY...MODERATE TO HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW
SHOWERS DUMPED BETWEEN ONE AND TWO FEET OF SNOW ON THE REGION DURING
THIS COLD PERIOD. SOUTH BEND OFFICIALLY RECORDED 18.3 INCHES OF
SNOWFALL DURING THIS PERIOD...MORE THAN HALF OF THE MONTHLY TOTAL.

TEMPERATURES FINALLY WARMED BACK CLOSER TO NORMAL BY THE 16TH THEN
WARMED WELL ABOVE NORMAL FROM THE 19TH TO THE 21ST. THESE THREE DAYS
HAD AVERAGE TEMPERATURES 10 TO 20 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL WITH THE
WARMEST TEMPERATURE OF THE MONTH ON THE 19TH WITH A HIGH OF 62
DEGREES. THIS HELPED MELT ALL THE SNOW ON THE GROUND AS SOUTH BENDS
OFFICIAL SNOW DEPTH WENT FROM 3 INCHES ON THE MORNING OF THE 19TH TO
0 ON THE 20TH.

WHAT COULD ARGUABLY BE THE STRONGEST WINTER STORM OF THE SEASON
IMPACTED THE REGION ON THE 24TH AND 25TH. A CLASSIC PANHANDLE HOOK
LOW DEVELOPED IN THE PANHANDLE OF TEXAS ON THE 23RD AND RAPIDLY
INTENSIFIED AS IT MOVED TO NEAR LOUISVILLE KY BY THE MORNING OF THE
24TH THEN TO UPSTATE NEW YORK BY THE MORNING OF THE 25TH. THE
COMBINATION OF VERY STRONG WINDS AND HEAVY WET SNOW NORTH OF THE LOW
TRACK LEFT MANY MOTORISTS STRANDED AND CLOSED SCHOOLS AND BUSINESSES
ACROSS NORTHERN INDIANA AND SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN. BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS WERE EVEN OBSERVED IN PARTS OF NORTHWEST INDIANA. NEARLY
A FOOT OF SNOW WAS OFFICIALLY RECORDED AT SOUTH BEND WHILE NEARLY A
FOOT AND A HALF OF SNOW FELL IN PARTS OF LAPORTE COUNTY WITH LAKE
ENHANCED SNOWFALL THAT AIDED IN THESE HIGHEST STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS.
IRONICALLY THIS STORM WAS QUICKLY FOLLOWED BY A WARMING TREND TO END
THE MONTH AS HIGH TEMPERATURES CLIMBED BACK INTO THE 40S AND 50S.

THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 29.0 DEGREES...1.2 DEGREES ABOVE
NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE 35TH WARMEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD. THE
WARMEST TEMPERATURE WAS 62 ON THE 19TH AND THE COLDEST WAS 1 BELOW
ZERO ON THE 14TH. THERE WERE JUST 12 DAYS WHERE THE HIGH TEMPERATURE
WAS 32 DEGREES OR COLDER.

PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH WAS 2.18 INCHES...0.23 INCHES ABOVE
NORMAL. THIS RANKED AS THE 32ND WETTEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD...TIED
WITH THE YEAR 1899. THERE WERE 14 DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION
AND 1 DAY WITH MORE THAN A HALF INCH.

IT WAS SNOWFALL THAT WAS WELL ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE MONTH...THANKS
PRIMARILY TO THE ABNORMALLY HIGH AMOUNT OF LAKE EFFECT SNOW. THERE
WAS 30.1 INCHES OF SNOW RECORDED...15.0 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS
RANKED AS THE 6TH SNOWIEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD. MORE SNOW FELL IN
FEBRUARY THIS YEAR THAN ALL OF NOVEMBER...DECEMBER AND JANUARY THIS
SEASON COMBINED.

$$
LASHLEY



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