Fall is just getting started, but many of us are already looking ahead to how harsh winter might be. There are many factors that go into our weather, many of which we can only see one or two weeks out. Using some of the longer-term trends, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, released the winter outlook for the US Thursday.
When it comes to temperatures in Indiana, NOAA says the trend is for warmer than average conditions near the Ohio River with equal chances for the rest of us. Equal chances means there's no big signal to sway our outlook one way or the other. We essentially have about a 33% chance our winter temperatures will come in near, below or above average. Any way it shakes out, we'll still have some blasts of cold air and times where things warm-up a bit.
On the other hand, we could have an active season with NOAA's outlook suggesting precipitation will be above average. Before snow lovers start rejoicing, this doesn't necessarily mean we'll end up with more than our 26" average snowfall. Temperatures will play a role in the types of precipitation we experience with each system. A lack of key players like El Nino and La Nina means other factors will influence our weather, which could send the active storm track across much of the Midwest and Ohio Valley.
Keep in mind this is an outlook. We'll continue to monitor and update forecast trends as we get closer to the winter season.