Jim Newman, retired Purdue University Extension agronomist and climatologist, once said that when a weather pattern sets up, you stay with it until it breaks if you're a forecaster.
Dev Niyogi, state climatologist, seems to be riding that same horse as he talks about April weather across Indiana. He expects the pattern that is in place to stay in place through the remainder of the month.
"If fields are in good shape now where you are, they should be ready for planting on time," he says. "But for fields that are too wet now, farmers can expect planting delays."
"Our best indication of the trend at this stage is persistence in weather patterns we have been experiencing," he says. "We do not see anything drastically changing in the short term. We will be where we are."
Snow skiffs appeared across part of the state on March 25. It's part of the cool, wet pattern that held on through March. April may not feature snow, but Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist, says temperatures could average 2 degrees to 4.5 degrees below normal for April. He studied decades worth of weather data, and came up with the same conclusion as Niyogi- persistence is the best bet for a forecast through April right now.
If there's good news, the deviation below normal in April shouldn't be as large as in February and March, Scheeringa says. Averaged across the state, February ran 8.7 degrees below normal. In March, the statewide average was 6.6 degrees below normal. Those are large departures from normal for any weather trend.
Scheeringa's best guess for April through June for temperature would be 0.4 to 2.7 degrees below normal. He expects the largest deviation from normal in the southern half of Indiana. He says moisture is harder to predict, but if temperatures remain cool as expected, Alberta clipper systems may be the norm. They tend to carry less moisture compared to other types of weather patterns.