May see higher temperatures, wetter conditions
Meteorological spring technically begins on the first day of March, with astronomical spring following on March 19 or 20, depending on the year. This year, Indiana started to see 70 degree temperatures, however briefly, around March 13, with a return to higher temperatures at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the Climate Prediction Center is providing a three-month outlook showing healthy chances for above-average precipitation over April, May, and June, with most of the state also slightly predicted for above average temperatures.
Why the discrepancy?
One reason is the weakness of this El Niño. Temperatures are hanging out in the Pacific just above the 0.5 degree Celsius cutoff. Effects of El Niño are most greatly experienced, thus predicted, on the West Coast and Southeastern portions of the United States. Indiana being a Midwestern state, this results in less confidence around this particular El Niño.
Hans Schmitz, Posey County Extension director, explains, “Predictions for the spring are more heavily weighted on prior weather than El Niño this year.”
This leads to the second reason for the discrepancy.
The National Climate Prediction Center outlook hinges on the continuation of the active weather pattern, particularly when looking at hot, wet predictions for Alaska. If the jet stream and upper air flow return to a more east-west pattern, conditions could vary from the prediction.