WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Hoosiers can expect a colder and drier winter season than average. That's according to the Climate Prediction Center's latest winter outlook.
With the start of meteorological winter just a few weeks away, meteorologists like Mike Ryan and Chad Evans are finalizing their winter forecasts.
The Climate Prediction Center is calling for cooler and drier conditions for the upcoming winter. "Everything is saying cooler than normal. Everything,” said WLFI Chief Meteorologist Chad Evans.
And Mike Ryan believes we could see more dry days. He says we may see more drier days...but heavier snowfall when we do get it. "The biggest misnomer for the public is they see drier than normal and they immediately think that means less snow than normal. We don't think that's necessarily the case here,” said Ryan. Ryan is still predicting anywhere from 25 to 35 inches of snow for much of Indiana.
A major force driving the winter weather is the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. El Nino measures changing sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. "When water temperatures are warmer than normal out there, we are in the El Niño, or positive phase. When they are colder than normal, we are in the La Niña, or colder phase,” explained Ryan.
We are in an El Niño phase this year. The different water temperatures can change storm paths as they approach North America.
After looking at past El Niño observations, Chief Meteorologist Chad Evans says cooler temperatures are here to stay. "Prepare for the colder than normal temperatures,” said Evans.
With snow returning in the forecast, winter is looking to take a head start in the Hoosier state. Average yearly snowfall is around 20 inches in Lafayette. The official start to meteorological winter is December first.