If you're like most people, figuring the other shoe will drop and we will pay for record-high temperatures in mid-March, don't be looking up for that shoe just yet. Ken Scheeringa, assistant Indiana state climatologist, says that short-term forecasts show the warm pattern continuing through March.
That takes us out of winter officially and into spring. Actually, climatologists call winter Dec 1-through Feb. 29. For their purposes spring began March 1.
The forecast for the spring is still being formulated and will be issued by the Indiana Climate Office shortly, he says. However, based on what he's seen so far in the terms of maps for short term forecasts, he believes the warm weather will continue into April. However, he does not believe the trend will be as extreme for April as for March. In other words, the deviation from normal, often measured in degrees F above normal as an average temperature, won't be as high for this pair compared to the month since 1930 as the deviation will likely be for March.
Moisture totals are harder to forecast, Scheeringa sways. One variable is that temperature tends to be stable over a larger area, while precipitation can vary widely over shorter geographical areas. The bottom line is that he doesn't have as much confidence in the moisture projections at this point. If he was to guess, he would believe April will likely be forecast to be above normal for precipitation. However, March was forecast to be above normal as well. At least until this point, that hasn't developed as it was supposed to.
Scheeringa isn't prepared to say anything about May and June until he and Dev Nyogi, state climatologist, can study long-range maps. It will be part of the forecast they issue shortly.Other sources are issuing conflicting reports for the spring across Indiana. Some are saying cool and wet, which may already be suspect for April if Scheeringa is right. Others are leaning toward a warmer spring. Stay tuned for more details.