INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI) - The start of meteorological winter is now under a month away.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for a wetter season in Indiana with equal chances to see temperatures above or below average.
"Equal chances mean that there is no strong signal to point us in one direction or another,” said Warning Coordination Meteorologist Sam Lashley.
Lashley said he is less confident in this year's forecast due to the lack of signals.
"There's not an El Niño or La Niña expected so there's a lot of variables at play for these winter outlooks,” said Lashley.
El Niño and La Niña are weather patterns driven by differences in oceanic and atmospheric temperatures in the Equitorial Pacific. These cycles can greatly impact our winter weather. Without an El Niño or La Niña, forecasters are still able to use current and past observations.
"We look at a lot of things from climatology, which is looking at past years that were similar to looking at our model trends for the future. And the signal is there in both what we've seen and what our models are forecasting for the winter,” said Lashley.
To help increase confidence, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Indianapolis will focus on short term data.
"In winters like this we will look at a lot of things happening in the North Atlantic and around the Arctic regions. And we can only forecast those out about two weeks,” said Lashley.
Lashley said this is still plenty of time to get the word out, but people should always plan ahead.
"Do what you need to do to get ready, have that emergency preparedness kit in your car. Be thinking of those things as we head into the winter season,” said Lashley.
The winter outlooks are updated every month by the Climate Prediction Center. The next outlook will be available November 21st.