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Serving: IN

Colder than normal temperatures continue

Colder than normal temperatures continue
Latest update suggests cool trend could continue at least through March.

The maps from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued for March through May showed equal chances for normal, below normal or above normal temperature and precipitation across Indiana. In other words the maps indicated normal conditions, with no suggestions of trends in either direction.

Related: El Nino is here, but may not influence spring precipitation

Cool February: February was light on precipitation, but freezing cold overall across much of Indiana.

However, Ken Scheeringa, Indiana associate state climatologist, says the latest 30-day outlook issued just before press time revised expectations for March. Precipitation outlook is still normal, but temperatures are likely to be on the cool side. It would continue a trend that was fairly entrenched in February across Indiana. It was the sixth coldest February statewide on record.

Meanwhile, precipitation trends should be above normal during the first part of the growing season across the extreme southeastern U.S. and the southwest, with above-normal rainfall extending up into Nebraska.

Temperatures could be slightly above normal for the spring period across the western third of the U.S., and slightly below normal in the southwest, working its way up into Kansas and part of Missouri.

NOAA also reports that there has been no real change in the El Nino conditions since fall. The 'reluctant' El Nino warm phase even still has better than 50-50 odds of materializing. However, odds are about the same that it could be followed by a neutral event in the El Nino La Nina cycle.

With the absence of a strong El Nino factor in the equation, other weather – forcing functions have played a stronger role in determining such things as air circulation currents aloft, which wind up helping determine winter and spring weather patterns.

Related: Saved by the calendar! Weather guys say winter is over!

Scheeringa is one of the few weather outlook forecasters who called for drier than normal trends during the winter months, It turned out being one of the top third as far as driest winters on recorded record. The trend began last fall, and has continued through winter.

One principle that guides weather forecasters is that once a trend sets up and becomes engrained into the local area, it's difficult to reverse that trend and break out to another pattern. It's why many forecasters stay with what the trend has been, unless there are definite indications that the weather pattern in changing.

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