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Warm, dry autumn predicted for Indiana

As we navigate into September, October, and November, temperature and precipitation signals provided by the national Climate Prediction Center are favoring a warmer and drier autumn. The one-month outlook for September shows no temperature or precipitation guidance for Indiana, meaning the latter half of the season (i.e., October and November) has a stronger warm and dry signal. According to Indiana State Climatologist, Beth Hall, this lack of guidance for September is either caused by too much uncertainty from the multiple climate models considered or because weather events throughout the period may be swinging from one extreme to another, and, therefore, averaging the conditions. 

One climate component that does impact monthly and seasonal climate predictions is El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The current ENSO phase, La Niña is predicted to continue into the winter, with a 60 percent chance of persistence through February. This persistence could affect winter weather significantly, but historically Indiana autumns during La Niña events have favored warmer and wetter conditions. The current La Niña event has now eclipsed the two-year mark, with the last La Niña of that length beginning in 2010 and ending in 2012. 

As we delve deeper into the national Climate Prediction Center outlooks, temperature anomalies over the season are only trending around a half degree Fahrenheit above average. However, the probability of above-average temperatures nears 60 percent, while the probability of below-average temperatures is 25 percent. Precipitation anomalies for autumn are below normal across the state with drier predictions in southern Indiana at 0.9 inches below average for the season and northern Indiana precipitation anomaly less than a half inch below average. Percentage probabilities for these conditions across the state are only slightly stronger for drier conditions compared to wetter or near normal.  

In a warmer, drier autumn, drought observations may increase. For the most recent drought conditions in your area, check the U.S. Drought Monitor at Observations during drought in autumn include prematurely dormant lawns, lesser stream flows, shallow wells drying up and increased possibility for natural and human-caused wildfires, such as from agricultural equipment. Individuals experiencing drought impacts are encouraged to report those at    

As autumn continues, temperatures will decrease and leaves will change. A warmer prediction for the season should not be interpreted as the extension of summerlike temperatures into November. The seasonal cycle will still occur with hot summer conditions transitioning towards a cooler winter. However, global temperatures continue to be warmer than what was normal decades ago, suggesting Indiana’s autumn temperatures will likely be warmer than what our parents or grandparents experienced. For more information, please contact the Indiana State Climate Office at 765-494-8060 or 


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