Historical Weather For 2012 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA

Location

This report describes the historical weather record at the Elkhart Municipal Airport (Elkhart, Indiana, United States) during 2012. This station has records back to July 1981.

Elkhart, Indiana has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by croplands (81%), forests (13%), and built-up areas (4%)

Calendar

Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Elkhart, Indiana during 2012. There were two time changes during 2012:

  • DST started on Sunday March 11, 2012 at 3:00 am, from EST (GMT-5) to EDT (GMT-4).
  • DST ended on Sunday November 4, 2012 at 1:00 am, from EDT (GMT-4) to EST (GMT-5).

2012 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 2012 February 29th falls on a Wednesday.

The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 2012 they occurred on:

Spring Equinox Tuesday, 20 March 2012.
Summer Solstice Wednesday, 20 June 2012.
Fall Equinox Saturday, 22 September 2012.
Winter Solstice Friday, 21 December 2012.

Temperature

The hottest day of 2012 was July 30, with a high temperature of 86°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 83°F and the high temperature exceeds 91°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 2012 was July with an average daily high temperature of 76°F.

The month of March had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 16% days with higher than average high temperatures.

Temperature

The daily low (blue) and high (red) temperature during 2012 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile). The bar at the top of the graph is red where both the daily high and low are above average, blue where they are both below average, and white otherwise.

The coldest day of 2012 was January 20, with a low temperature of 7°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 20°F and the low temperature drops below 4°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 2012 was January with an average daily low temperature of 26°F.

The month of August had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 10% days with lower than average low temperatures.

Hourly Temperature Bands

The full year of hourly temperature reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The hourly temperature measurement is color coded into meaningful temperature bands: frigid is purple (below 15°F), freezing is blue (15°F to 32°F), cold is dark green (32°F to 50°F), cool is light green (50°F to 65°F), comfortable is yellow (65°F to 75°F), warm is light red (75°F to 85°F), hot is medium red (85°F to 100°F), sweltering is dark red (above 100°F), and missing data is pink.

Clouds

The clearest month of 2012 was August, with 35% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from May 14 to May 18, constituting 5 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.

Cloud Coverage

The fraction of time spent in each of the five sky cover categories over the course of 2012 on a daily basis. From top (most blue) to bottom (most gray), the categories are clear, mostly clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. Pink indicates missing data. Outside of the United States clear skies are often reported ambiguously, leading them to be lumped in with the missing data. The bar at the top of the graph is gray if the sky was cloudy or mostly cloudy for more than half the day, blue if it is clear or mostly clear for more than half the day, and blue-gray otherwise.

The cloudiest month of 2012 was December, with 32% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from December 17 to December 22, constituting 6 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.

Hourly Cloud Coverage

The full year of hourly cloud coverage reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The sky cover is color coded: from most blue to most gray, the categories are clear, mostly clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. Pink indicates missing data. Outside of the United States clear skies are often reported ambiguously, leading them to be lumped in with the missing data.

Precipitation

This station provides hourly reports of significant weather events at and around the station, but does not report the quantity of precipitation at the station itself. This is common for weather stations located outside of the United States, and for a small subset of stations in the United States that are located at lesser used and smaller airports.

Present Weather Reports

This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.

The day in 2012 with the most precipitation observations was October 30. There were 15 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was January, with 64 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.

Precipitation Reports

The daily number of hourly observed precipitation reports during 2012, color coded according to precipitation type, and stacked in order of severity. From the bottom up, the categories are thunderstorms (orange); heavy, moderate, and light snow (dark to light blue); heavy, moderate, and light rain (dark to light green); and drizzle (lightest green). Not all categories are necessarily present in this particular graph. The faint shaded areas indicate climate normals. The bar at the top of the graph is green if any precipitation was observed that day and white otherwise.

As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from May 8 to May 31, constituting 24 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was November, with 97% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.

The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was January, with 45% of days reporting some observed precipitation.

Hourly Weather Reports

The full year of hourly present weather reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The color-coded categories are thunderstorms (orange); heavy, moderate, and light snow (dark to light blue); heavy, moderate, and light rain (dark to light green); drizzle (lightest green); freezing rain and sleet (light and dark cyan); snow grains (lightest blue); hail (red); fog (gray); and haze (brownish gray).

Liquid Precipitation Reports

In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.

The month of 2012 with the largest number of those reports was October, with a total of 55 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was October 30, with a total of 15 reports.

Liquid Precipitation Reports

The daily number of hourly observed liquid precipitation reports (including thunderstorms) during 2012, with climate normals (faint shaded areas). The bar at the top of the graph is green if any liquid precipitation was observed that day and white otherwise.

Snow

This station reports when snow is observed falling but does not report the quantity of snow that has fallen or the depth of snow on the ground.

Reports

In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.

The first reported snow fall in 2012 was on December 10; the last was on March 5. The month of 2012 with the largest number of those reports was January, with a total of 48 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was January 2, with a total of 10 reports.

Snow Reports

The daily number of hourly observed snow reports during 2012, with climate normals (faint shaded areas). The bar at the top of the graph is blue if there was snow fall observed that day and white otherwise.

Humidity

Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.

When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 2012 was March with an average daily low humidity of 60%, and the most humid month was September with an average daily low humidity of 86%.

But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.

Humidity

The daily low (brown) and high (blue) relative humidity during 2012 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).

Dew Point

Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.

Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.

To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 2012, January had 5 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 2 dry days, 1 comfortable day, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 4 comfortable days, and 2 humid days; and October had 4 dry days, 2 comfortable days, and no humid days.

Dew Point

The daily low (blue) and high (red) dew point during 2012 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).

Wind

The highest sustained wind speed was 28 mph, occurring on February 29; the highest daily mean wind speed was 23 mph (January 28); and the highest wind gust speed was 43 mph (February 29).

The windiest month was March, with an average wind speed of 9 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 5 mph.

Wind Speed

The daily low and high wind speed (light gray area) and the maximum daily wind gust speed (tiny blue dashes).

Visibility

Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.

The day of 2012 with the lowest average visibility was December 29, with an average visibility of 2.2 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was December, with an average visibility of 7.7 mi. With an average visibility of 9.9 mi, the month of June had the highest average visibility.

Visibility

The daily average visibility, depicted as gray bars encroaching down from the top of the graph.

Cloud Ceiling

The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.

The day of 2012 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was November 21, with an average cloud ceiling of 98'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was December, with an average cloud ceiling of 2804'. The month of July has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 8214'.

Cloud Ceiling

The daily average cloud ceiling, depicted as gray bars encroaching down from the top of the graph. Missing data or days with insufficient clouds to define a cloud ceiling are shown as white columns.