The long-range forecasters who make their living studying trends and projecting what the weather will be in 90 days or more are at it again. They have looked into the crystal ball and report that for Indiana, it looks like spring could have above normal precipitation.
At the same time they see equal chances for normal, below normal or above-normal temperatures. Ken Scheeringa, associate Indiana state climatologist, reminds you that "equal chances" is not the same as "average." What equal chances means is that the temperature could wind up above, below or at normal, with each end result being as likely as the other. In other words the door is wide open to any kind of temperature patterns.
Before you order tracks for all your spring farm equipment, listen to what Scheeringa says.
"You really have to be careful about weather forecasts that far out," he says. "Especially when you're trying to predict rainfall and whether it will be above or below normal, or normal, that's a long ways off. I wouldn't get too excited about it just yet."
What he does expect is for the winter pattern of up and down temperatures and rainy or snowy periods vs dry periods to continue through February. For climatologists the winter ends Feb. 28. The pattern has held so far and he expects it to hold through the rest of winter.
Part of the reason for variable temperatures and precipitation amounts in Indiana is that there is no driving factor controlling air patterns aloft, he says. Some have reported that La Nina is in control, but that's simply not true. The La Nina and El Nino cycle related to warming of Pacific waters in the tropics is in neutral. There is no event at work. It's one reason why the Jet Stream is meandering more than in a normal season, he concludes.