FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The National Weather Service office in North Webster has been keeping track of our Labor Day conditions for 72 years now. Is there a chance that today’s forecast could put us in the record books as one of the hottest days? Let’s look back in time at past Labor Days and see how warm we’ll need to get in order to join the records.
Looking back over 72 years…
Let’s start by looking at the variety of high temperatures we’ve seen over the last 72 years. The hottest Labor Day on record happened in 1954 when we climbed up to 97°. The coldest Labor Day we’ve seen occurred in 2003 when temperatures stopped at just 64°.
We can also look at our overnight low temperatures since there’s a wide variety as well! The warmest overnight low temperature that we have seen happened in 1980 when we only dropped down to 72°. Just four years prior to that, we dropped to our coldest low temperature of 45°.
It’s not uncommon to see a wide variety of temperatures as we begin to shift into the season of fall. However, we can find an average high and low temperature for Labor Day. And, it falls into the pattern of what we typically see for the beginning of the month in September. We typically see our high temperatures near or in the lower 80’s at the beginning of the month. For Labor Day specifically, we see an average high of 81° and an average low of 59°. In the last 72 years that the records have been held, we’ve had a total of 8 years that were at or above 90° on Labor Day. The most rainfall that we’ve seen is 1.36″ which fell in 2003.
Speaking of precipitation, we can look at the top 5 rainiest years! Believe it or not, our rainiest Labor Day happened 20 years ago! 2020 comes in second place, falling just short of the record by two-hundredths of an inch! There were 24 years in total that saw measurable rainfall… but what does that mean? Measurable rainfall must be 0.01″ or greater. It doesn’t mean that we haven’t had other years that saw a few raindrops on the holiday, but there wasn’t enough rain to be properly measured.
2012 Labor Day hurricane remnants
Do you happen to remember Labor Day weekend in 2012? Perhaps this might help jog your memory a little… Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the southern coast of the United States at the end of August. The remnants of the storm continued their journey to the north and brought soaking rainfall to parts of northeast Indiana and northwestern Ohio. That might leave you scratching your head a little bit. If a hurricane brought heavy rain here, wouldn’t mean that 2012 would be one of our rainiest Labor Days?
No! And, here’s why… Labor Day fell on September 3rd that year. While Isaac’s remnants lingered in our area through Labor Day, the majority of heavy rainfall occurred on September 2nd. Therefore, it becomes excluded from the Labor Day rainfall records.
Could we add another 90° day to the record books?
There’s a chance we might climb all the way up to 90° today. How does that stack up with the record books? As it happens to be, we’ve had 8 Labor Days that have been at or above 90°. 1954 holds the record for our hottest Labor day, coming in at 97°. The most recent 90° Labor Day happened five years ago in 2018 when we climbed up to 92°.
Will Labor Day 2023 end up in the books? We’ll just have to wait and see!