Warm fall, warm October but what’s in store for winter? Winter outlook issued

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FALL 2017

We’re past the half-way point of meteorological fall and it’s been a warm one. Since Sept. 1, nearly 70 percent of the days have been above normal. Right now, Fall 2017 ranks 8th warmest on record, a strong follow up to last fall that landed as the second warmest on record!

After a 12-day open of below normal temperatures, we’ve been on a break-neck pace with only two days since Sept. 13 and all of Oct. below normal. Oct. 2017 is the warmest in 10 years and currently ranks 8th warmest all-time to date as well.

The string of sunny and warmer than normal (70-degree plus) days will continue to open the weekend with a temporarily cool off coming next week. There looks to be a new rebound to milder air again later next week. Looking ahead to November there are equal chances of above or below normal temperatures.


The winter outlook was released Thursday from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center and it indicated that cooler ocean temperatures will favor La Nina conditions for our upcoming winter. These conditions favor/lean to a better chance of above normal temperatures and wetter than normal conditions. Will that translate to more snow or rain? That is to difficult to tell.

A couple things to watch. Will the La Nina indeed develop and to what extent? Will it be sustained? These are variables that can only be monitored. Last winter it fizzled and we ended with little to no snow for the entire season.

I have always been in the camp that sooner or later we will swing the other way and get our share of the opposite weather than what has been trending. The “other shoe will drop.” But when to we make that turn? Hard to say. We will monitor the medium range forecasts and occasionally peer to ensemble member forecasts (compilation of several computer runs) that take into account the ocean’s interactions with the upper air patterns. These peer out to 30 days with some guidance but are not terribly reliable.

Finally, it’s been another warm fall, when will it shift and last winter only produced 9.8″ of snow. We’ve scanned the weather record and four that the 12 winters that failed to produce 10″ of snow all followed up the next winter with more. How much? Still to be determined. Indianapolis averages 25.9″ of snow annually. The past three winters have been below normal snowfall. One could say, we are due.

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