Much like the winter season, which has produced warm and relatively wet conditions across most of the state, the Climate Prediction Center is calling for continued above average temperatures and precipitation for Indiana this spring.
The March, April and May weather outlook is influenced again by the continuing La Nina conditions in the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Unlike previous seasons, models are showing growing certainty that La Nina conditions will give way to ENSO-neutral conditions during the end of springtime. This would conclude La Nina’s current event lasting over two years.
The majority of the wetter than average predictions are likely to occur early in March and potentially through April. The end of La Nina would remove certainty of increased wet or dry conditions in May. 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 also affected by the removal of La Nina, with the current warming signal weakening toward the end of spring. During early springtime, the glut of the warmth over the southeastern U.S. will spread northward into Indiana. Temperatures are too close to call for warmth or coolness in northwest Indiana, a line north of Terre Haute to South Bend. 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 U.S. 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. However, planting windows may be shorter in the early spring period.
Climate Change and Sustainable Development, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Climate Change: Are you preparing for it?, The Education Store
Conservation through Community Leadership, The Education Store
Indiana Prepared (IN PREPared), Purdue Extension
Trees Stressed Due to Drought? Know the Signs and What to Do, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Got Nature? Blog
Drought? Don’t forget the trees!, The Education Store
Hans Schmitz, Climate Smart Agriculture and Soil Health Coordinator
Purdue Extension – Agriculture & Natural Resources