The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), who has had a rough go of it the past couple of years, nailed their July forecast for our area. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in North Webster, Indiana (KIWX), spelled out the details in their report for the month past.
After record rainfall in June, July of 2015 began mercifully dry at the KFWA observation station at Fort Wayne International Airport, with no rainfall observed during the first six days of the month. Unfortunately, that reprieve was brief as an active weather pattern returned during the second and third weeks of the month, with several days of rainfall. I believe that the attendees of the Montpelier Bean Days festivities will readily attest to that fact…especially during the parade. The silver lining behind that cloud was the fact that the cloudburst that drowned the last half of the parade was on the far left flank of a severe thunderstorm that missed Montpelier. It did however continue its southeastern trajectory, blasting Paulding County and knocking over an 18-wheeler on its way. Given what just missed Montpelier, a gully-washer during the parade was a more than equitable tradeoff.
Dry conditions returned to end July with only 0.07 inches of rainfall observed from the 19th through the 31st, but by that time the damage had already been done. The huge rains of June began to create havoc in the fields during July. Before the end of the month, local farmers bringing in their winter wheat harvest were being met at the local elevators with dockages. Some local farmers were reporting that they were seeing dockages of $2.00 a bushel on wheat, due to mold growth brought about by the deluges of June.
Temperatures were below normal for the first half of July with only five days that reached 80 degrees from the first through the 16th, and a high temperature of only 69 degrees on the eighth. Temperatures did rebound to at or above normal during the last half of the month, with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees every day from the 17th through the 31st.
The average monthly temperature was 71.7 degrees, which was 1.9 degrees below normal. This was the 21st coolest July on record. The highest temperature was 90 on the 28th, and was the first 90 degree day of 2015 at Fort Wayne…the fifth latest first 90 degree day since 1912. The coolest temperature was 56 on the fourth, 11th and 22nd. I found it somewhat disturbing that when I walked out of the office at 2:00 a.m. on the morning of July 4 – the date of the premier holiday of the summer season – I could see my breath as I walked to my car.
After the wettest month on record in June 2015, July precipitation at Fort Wayne totaled 5.97 inches, which was 1.73 inches above normal. This ranked as the 12th wettest July on record. The greatest 24-hour precipitation was 2.38 inches on the 13th and 14th. There were only nine days with measurable rainfall in July, all but one being between the seventh and 18th of the month. While rainfall was 150 to 200 percent above normal at Fort Wayne in July, some areas just to the south and east saw rainfall nearly 200 to 300 percent above normal. With saturated ground conditions from the record June rainfall, many of the rainfall events during July led to more urban and rural flooding, with flooding continuing along rivers, streams, and already beleaguered corn and soybean fields.
The Climate Prediction Center is calling for normal precipitation and temperature levels for the month of August. Their prediction for July, a 40 percent chance of below normal temperatures, with a 30 percent chance of above normal precipitation, was pretty much spot on. Here’s to hoping that they nail the August forecast as well.
Timothy Kays can be reached at