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Warmer than average autumn expected

Current models forecast a warmer than average fall, with equal chances for above-normal, below-normal or normal amounts of precipitation.

This prediction for above-average temperatures is likely to hold, fueled by the recent warmth and ongoing drought conditions in the west heating air as it travels towards Indiana. Averaged over the three months, a temperature anomaly of about 0.5-degree Fahrenheit above average is expected. Although the statistic seems unimpressive, the individual observations of variable temperatures and extremes can be quite noticeable. Now and into the fall, the risk and symptoms of heat stress should be remembered and practices followed to reduce livestock, pet and human stress or stroke.

The precipitation outlook does not give a good indication of how conditions may play out over the autumnal months. We are currently in a La Nina Watch with El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in its neutral phase. As we approach the winter, La Nina conditions are predicted to occur, with the transition occurring during the autumn months. The ENSO does not have strong indicators for Midwestern winter climates. However, with a La Nina winter, wetter than average conditions are anticipated throughout Indiana, which could fall as different types of precipitation depending on the prevailing temperatures.

Although no strong indicator for above- or below-normal precipitation conditions exist throughout the autumn, the average autumnal precipitation amounts are around 10 inches if averaged across the state, with more in the south and less in the north. With recent climate trends favoring heavier precipitation and increasing longer periods of dryness, some areas of the state may show average precipitation amounts despite only having six to 10 rain events across the three months. 

For more information on the seasonal outlook, contact Hans Schmitz at the Purdue Extension – Posey County office via or 812-838-1331 or the Indiana State Climate Office at 765-494-8060.


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