Farm Progress

Place your bets on a fairly normal winter in Indiana

Weather Watch: Government forecasters see normal temperatures and a chance for more precipitation.

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

December 13, 2016

2 Min Read

As climatological winter began, maps issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center were revealing. When it comes to average temperature for January, Indiana has an equal chance to be above, below or normal.

See what “normal” January temperatures would be in the chart provided by Ken Scheeringa, Indiana State Climate Office. Realize that even if the temperature trend turns out to be above or below normal, the average temperature may only vary by a degree, or at most a few degrees, from the trend, he notes. Trend numbers are based on long-term data collected at official weather stations around the state.

place_bets_fairly_normal_winter_indiana_1_636172254821315721.jpgTEMPERATURE HOLDS KEY: Odds favor slightly more precipitation than normal in Indiana this winter. Whether it’s snow or rain will depend on temperature trends, which are less certain right now.

The “equal chances” temperature prediction for January in Indiana is sandwiched between two more definite predictions for other parts of the U.S., Scheeringa says. If you go north into the Great Lakes states this winter, you can expect a cool trend. If you travel almost anywhere south in the U.S. this winter, it’s likely to be warmer than normal, he observes. This is the continuation of a trend that has been unfolding over the past few months.

The precipitation picture across the U.S. also looks like a sandwich, with the chance for more moisture than normal falling in the Northern U.S., and the odds favoring continued drier-than-normal conditions across much of the South and Southeast. That’s not good news for those who have been struggling with wildfires over the past several weeks.

When it comes to precipitation, Indiana is in the lower part of the upper half of the bun, continuing the sandwich analogy. The odds for more precipitation than normal swing down and include most of Indiana. However, that prediction is far from a done deal, Scheeringa says. The CPC puts the odds for higher-than-normal precipitation at 33% to 40% in Indiana.

Whether parts of Indiana see a normal, soggy or white winter will depend on how those trends play out, he concludes.

Place your bets on a fairly normal winter in Indiana

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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