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Sectional time, and a hardy perennial

It's sectional time again in Indiana, and we all know what that means: A massive winter storm the publicity whores at The Weather Channel will feel compelled to anoint with some catchy name.

Winter Storm Squidward. Winter Storm Quagmire. Winter Storm Montgomery "Captain, The Dilithium Crystals Are Completely Fused" Scott.

Or how about Winter Storm Rocky, which has struck northeast Indiana tonight (The first night of sectionals! Of course!) with the fury of ... well, OK, with the fury of whatever Rocky would be like in "Rocky VIII," in which Rocky escapes the retirement home in Florida for a rematch with Ivan "The Hoveround Assassin" Drago.

Major storms packing carloads of snow: It's a sectional tradition, right?

Did a bit of research today ("You? Research?" you're saying), and I discovered, in the last 10 years, anyway, that sectional week is usually no more inclement than any other week in late February/early March.

Last year, for instance, the high was 45 degrees with no precipitation on the first day of the sectionals. Ditto 2011 and 2010, when the highs were 43 and 35, respectively, with no measurable precip.

In the last decade, in fact, sectional week has yielded, total, 12 inches of snow. That's 1.2 inches per year. And the high temperatures for the week have ranged from 41 to, get this, 71.

Seventy-one degrees! In March, that's tornado weather.

Which, of course, will prompt a new urban legend: Yeah, every sectional week we get tornado weather.

Ben Smith's blog.