Winter 2019 temperatures above average to date


Despite the recent blast of cold air that brought single digit highs and wind chill values well below zero, the winter season is above average to date. When looking at the mean temperature departure, or distance away from average, Fort Wayne is above average since the start of meteorological winter which began on December 1, 2018. Fort Wayne is sitting at a whopping 6.0° above average over this time period, even with the frigid temperatures from this past week factored in. Data shows that Fort Wayne was 6.7° above average for the month of December and 5.0° above average through the first 23 days of January 2019. Fort Wayne is not the only city that has observed an above average winter to date, as many Midwestern cities have recorded similar readings. Here are a few from around the region:

Degrees Above Average Winter 2019 (Dec 1 – Jan 23)

Green Bay, WI +6.8°
Minneapolis, MN +5.8°
Davenport, IA +5.4°
Chicago, IL +4.9°
Des Moines, IA +4.5°
Indianapolis, IN +4.3°
Cleveland, OH +4.1°
Detroit, MI +3.8°
Grand Rapids, MI +2.7°

The map to the right shows the average temperature departure over the last 30 days leading up to January 22, while the numerical analysis above was completed over the past 54 days, back to the start of the season. Similar trends are seen over the last 30 days to what is reported for the entire meteorological winter.

Cities in Wisconsin are currently furthest above average, while cities in western/central Michigan are the closest to average. This is likely due to prolonged periods of lake effect snow that have kept cloud cover overhead in Michigan. Dips in the jet stream have also resulted in cold air over northern Michigan that is just now making its way south to the rest of the Midwest. Large scale climatological factors are to thank for the extened warmth in the Midwest through the month of December and the beginning of January. Nevertheless, Mother Nature seems to always find a way to average out and there is still time for our season to finish close to average as a whole. This will no doubt be helped by another rush of arctic air that is set to arrive in the middle of next week! You can find more information on the upcoming forecast here. 

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