FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The end of February marks the end of Meteorological Winter and it was certainly an unusually warm and rainy winter across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
The winter of 2022-2023 will go down as the 5th warmest winter in Fort Wayne’s history, with an average temperature of 33.5 degrees. The highest temperature of the winter was 62 degrees on January 3rd and the lowest temperature was -8 degrees on December 23rd. The lowest wind chill of -38 degrees was also recorded during the Arctic Blast that occurred prior to Christmas.
A big reason why the winter was so warm was due to the warmth of January and now February. January was the 6th warmest January on record and now February was the 5th warmest February in Fort Wayne’s history. Only three days in January had an average temperature that was below average and now only four days in February had an average temperature that was below average. In fact, there were 11 days at or above 50 degrees in February, which ranks as the third most on record in February.
Precipitation-wise, it was the 14th wettest winter in Fort Wayne’s history. This is due in part to two days in February that had precipitation totals exceeding one inch, thus resulting in the 10th wettest February on record. Both December and January were only slightly wetter than normal. The December total was 2.57 inches (0.10 inches above average), the January total was 2.75 inches (0.21 inches above average), and the February total was 4.16 inches (2.10 inches above average). This makes the winter total 9.48 inches (2.41 inches above average). This surplus of precipitation ultimately helped bust the drought that had been in place across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
While all of the rain was beneficial, the snow lovers across the area likely did not enjoy the winter. We ended the winter with only 13.4 inches (12.8 inches below average). This ranks as the 24th least snowy winter. This shows how the milder air in place resulted in primarily just rain instead of snow. December only featured 2.8 inches of snow (4.8 inches below average), with most of this total coming in the days leading up to Christmas. January brought more snowfall, especially later in the month when a little bit more colder air was in place. We added up 10.4 inches in January (0.4 inches below average). However, February was completely different, as we only picked up 0.2 inches (7.6 inches below average). This means Fort Wayne experienced the 3rd least snowy February on record.
There were some windy times throughout the winter as well. December had nine days with wind gusts greater than or equal to 35 mph, January had five days, and February had ten days. The highest gust of the winter of 61 mph occurred on February 9th. January’s highest gust was 45 mph on January 19th, while December’s highest gust was 57 mph on December 23rd.
We finished the winter with only 20 percent of the possible sunshine we could have seen. There were only five mainly sunny days, 21 partly cloudy days, and 64 overcast days. This ties the amount of possible sunshine we experienced in the winter of 2018-2019 and the winter of 2019-2020. December and January were exceptionally cloudy, with only 12 percent and 10 percent of the possible sunshine having been recorded. However, things improved in February, as we saw 35 percent of the possible sunshine. While January was the cloudiest month since at least 1950, February was the sunniest in at least the past five years.
What can you expect as we transition into March and Meteorological Spring? Chances are we’ll continue our pattern of above average precipitation, but the chance for above average temperatures is lower. This is because March is expected to end up cooler than average. While March may be coming in like a lamb this year with how warm it is, the pattern is looking to change as we progress toward the middle of the month. Note for a typical March, we see 2.81 inches of precipitation, 4.6 inches of snow, and average high temperatures climb from the 40s to the 50s and average low temperatures climb from the 20s to the 30s. We also experience an increase of 80 minutes of daylight in March.
We hope you enjoy the warmer and longer days ahead! We’ll be tracking all the latest developments in the weather department this upcoming season. Visit our WANE 15 Forecast Page for the latest forecast updates.