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Weather Watch: It's too early to say much about possible precipitation trends for July.

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

June 2, 2016

2 Min Read

According to the maps issued from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center in late spring, Indiana is expected to experience above-normal temperatures during the month of July. Ken Scheeringa, assistant state climatologist, says the forecast should be taken for what it is, and not exaggerated beyond that point. For precipitation, there is an equal chance that Indiana will be above-normal, normal or below-normal.


For example, the maximum temperature in northwest Indiana averages 83.8 degrees in July, when all days within the month are averaged together. That is based on 30 years of data. Warmer-than-normal could be 1 degree above, or 84.8 degrees F. That may or may not have any effect on corn pollination, depending on when the warmest days come and how hot the driest days actually are when the weather arrives.

One thing long-range climatologists can’t predict, he notes, is extremes. What happened in 2012 was extreme, with temperatures — especially during late June through mid-July— averaging many degrees above normal over much of the state.

Jim Newman, a retired longtime climatologist, always insisted that there is value to long-range forecasts, and they are getting better all the time. However, he always added that even with today’s technology, it’s not possible to see conditions that extreme in advance. What climatologists hope to do is zero in on the trend —which, in this case, would be warmer than normal.

Fuzzy crystal ball

For all the talk about El Niño and La Niña earlier this year, it is still unclear at this point what that might mean for rainfall patterns across Indiana this summer — if it means anything at all. The picture is still uncertain.

The same maps that predicted warmer-than-normal temperatures were neutral on rainfall. What that really means, Scheeringa says, is that there are equal chances of below-normal, above-normal and normal precipitation. Stay tuned for further updates on the summer weather forecast picture when it comes into sharper focus. 

Warmer-than-normal temperatures expected in July

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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