According to the Köppen climate classification, Fort Wayne lies in the humid continental climate zone, experiencing four distinct seasons. Typically, summers are hot and humid, and winters are generally cold with frequent snowfall. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
The National Weather Service reports the highest recorded temperature in the city at 106 °F (41 °C) on July 14, 1936 and June 29, 1988, and the lowest recorded temperature at −24 °F (−31 °C) on January 12, 1918. The wettest month on record was July 1986, with 11.00 inches of precipitation recorded. The greatest 24-hour rainfall was 4.93 inches on August 1, 1926. The average annual precipitation is 36.55 inches, recorded at Fort Wayne International. During the winter season, snowfall accumulation averages 32.4 inches per year. Lake effect snow is not rare to the region, but usually appears in the form of light snow flurries. The snowiest month on record was 29.5 inches in January 1982. The greatest 24-hour snowfall was 13.6 inches on March 10, 1964.
Severe weather is not uncommon, particularly in the spring and summer months. The most severe tornado, an EF2, struck portions of northern Fort Wayne on May 26, 2001, causing extensive damage to businesses along the Coliseum Boulevard corridor and a subdivision, but resulting in only three minor injuries. The city was paralyzed in the days following the Great Blizzard of 1978, with snow accumulations in upwards of 24 inches and drifts at 20 feet in some places, driven by 55 mile-per-hour wind gusts.