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Serving: IN

Dry Pattern Likely to Hold Into January

Dry Pattern Likely to Hold Into January
Drier pattern doesn't rule out snow events across Indiana

The three-month forecast just issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration has Indiana in a drier than normal pattern for January. That would seem to make a repeat of the large amount of snow that fell last winter less likely.

In 2014 records were set for snowfall in some locations, and records were approached in other locations. So many schools had to make up snow days that graduations were postponed, some into mid-June. In fact, some schools are piloting a program around the state this winter which could put an end to snow days if it works.

More snow or not? Predictions for a drier than normal January say 'no,' but similar predictions for a cooler than normal month over the west-central and southern regions would say 'maybe.'

If the weather forces the school to close, students will use individual computers provided or rented through the school to work on assignments from home. If on-line learning takes place, then the school doesn't have to count it as a snow day. Look for this trend to expand if it works in the pilot schools. Technology is becoming more commonplace in most schools.

Related: Ag Climatologist Still Waiting for El Nino to Arrive

Before you decide the Farmer's Almanac was flat out wrong when it talked about another snowbound winter, there is a caveat to add, notes Ken Scheeringa, associate climatologist with the Indiana state climate office. The southern and west-central portion of the state could see below normal temperatures in January, with the rest of the state more likely to see normal temperatures. However, the predicted amount that temperatures will be below normal in west central and southern Indiana is relatively small.

Below normal temperatures could mean that precipitation that does fall could be more likely to be snow than if the forecast also included a prediction of warmer than normal weather for the state as a whole.

Meanwhile, look for colder than normal temperatures in much of the southern U.S., and warm to much warmer temperatures along the west coast and Pacific Northwest. Above normal precipitation is expected all along the southern fourth of the country from coast to coast.

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