Winter is in full swing according to the calendar, but large areas of Indiana have yet to see more than a couple of light snows. It's a long ways until spring, but so far the forecasts of doom and gloom about this winter aren't panning out.
Greg Soulje, a weather forecaster based in Chicago, Ill., who writes for Indiana Prairie Farmer, expected a winter much like 2010/2011 in the Midwest. It featured cold outbreaks with snow. Yet over much of Indiana, the temperature has yet to dip to single digits, and snow totals are minimal. That could all change, but if it is going to change, it will happen in the latter half of winter, not the first half.
Ken Scheeringa, Indiana assistant state climatologist, says weather forecasters consider December through March as the climatological winter season. The calendar, of course, begins winter in late December and runs it until late March. Either way, winter has been mild in most areas of Indiana so far,
There have been some cold days, and some wet days, but generally not at the same time. The biggest taste of winter so far are a few days that didn't reach freezing for highs with high winds, right after New Year's Day.
You've still got time to try your hand at your own forecasting and enter the Beck's Hybrids, Indiana Prairie Farmer snow guessing contest. Simply let us know how many inches of snow you think will have fallen during the entire season by March 1 at South Bend, Indianapolis and Evansville.
Whoever comes closest will win valuable seed prizes. Second and third place winners will also receive seed. There are entry forms in the December 2011 and January 2012 issues of Indiana Prairie Farmer, or you can email your entry to email@example.com. If you email your entry, please include this information to have your entry considered: name, address, home phone, cell phone, email, number acres of corn, soybeans and wheat you will grow in 2012.
Entries are due by midnight January 15. Since that's a Sunday, we'll extend entries to midnight January 16, or a postmark of January 16. Don't miss out on your chance to be crowned as the next great weather forecaster, and to be rewarded with free seed at the same time!