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Warm, Wet Spring Predicted for Indiana

This winter, beyond the short cold spell back in December, has certainly been a mild one.  This is okay by me as it has made our goat kidding season so much nicer not having to worry about freezing babies.  Hans Schmitz, Lead Agronomist for the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, has this prediction for our forthcoming spring weather.

As we near springtime in Indiana, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Much like the winter season, which has produced warm and relatively wet conditions across most of the state, the Climate Prediction Center calls for continued above-average temperatures and precipitation. The one exception is northwest Indiana in a line from Terre Haute to South Bend, where temperatures are too close to call one way or the other.

The continuing La Nina conditions in the El Nino Southern Oscillation influence the March, April, and May outlook. Unlike previous seasons, models show growing certainty that La Nina conditions will give way to ENSO-neutral conditions during the springtime, which removes the certainty of increased precipitation. For this reason, the bulk of the wetter-than-average predictions are likely early in the spring period, through March and potentially April, with May giving less certainty to wet or dry conditions. Potential precipitation anomalies are predicted to be at least one inch greater than average precipitation across the state, with higher amounts in the south.

Temperature is affected similarly, with the glut of the warmth over the southeastern US spilling northward into Indiana. With the removal of La Nina conditions, this warming signal will also weaken toward the end of the spring. Predicted temperature anomalies are very low across the state, with a warming anomaly of 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the southern part of the state and 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit in the north.

Any areas of the state currently in abnormally dry conditions in the US Drought Monitor are likely to be removed in the near future as these predictions play out. The Climate Prediction Center does not expect drought development anywhere in Indiana over the next three months.

For those with intentions of planting outdoors, lack of drought is good, but planting windows may be shorter in the early spring period, making producers capitalize on any gaps in rainfall and planning to spend some time indoors planning when intentions to plant cannot be made real. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Indiana State Climate Office at (765) 494-8060 or

The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity institution.

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