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Equal Chances of Above- and Below-normal Temperatures Ahead

Equal Chances of Above- and Below-normal Temperatures Ahead
No big changes in weather pattern expected soon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center calls for normal temperatures and rainfall through September. It's the same prediction they've issued all summer long.

So how did many Hoosiers see the coolest July on record with a prediction of normal temperatures?

Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist, says it's partly in understanding what the long-range forecasts really mean.

"When the Center issues maps any white area means there are equal chances that it could be warmer than normal or cooler than normal wherever the map is white," he says. For the past few months and again for September, Indiana is in the white section.

Race the calendar? Long-term forecasters give little indication as to whether corn racing the calendar will mature in time.

"It's really an indication that forecasters don't have confidence that weather trends in that area will do one way or the other," he adds. When forecasters are very confident, the maps are shaded with darker colors.

For September the current climate long-range forecast map shows above-normal precipitation to the west of Illinois and Iowa. The only drier-than-normal area in the U.S. is expected to be along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.

Related: Know What's Not a Problem in your Corn Fields

As far as temperature goes, a cooler-than normal bubble touches the western border of Indiana, with climatologists most confident of cool weather in Iowa and points west. The west coast and deep South could be warmer than normal.

Even if forecasters had foreseen cooler than normal patterns over Indiana in July, they wouldn't have been able to predict the coolest July ever? Jim Newman, a retired ag climatologist, always noted that even if the get the trend right, long-term forecasters don't have the capability to go further and predict something as extreme as July 2014 over Indiana.

Advances have been made in the science, but there's no way to tell when a trend will go off the charts, Newman explained years ago.

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