Weather & Climate – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Weather & Climate

Growing degree-day accumulations still lag while dry conditions linger
Beth Hall
Indiana State Climate Office

Abnormally dry conditions are still lingering in parts of Indiana (Figure 1) with interest growing on how much the warmer weather might exacerbate the situation.  Fortunately, the climate outlooks for the next several weeks and through June are favoring above-normal precipitation (in addition to above-normal temperatures), so hopefully any dry periods will be short lived.

The El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) pattern has finally shifted away from the La Nina phase to the Neutral phase.  It is expected that this Neutral phase will continue throughout the summer.  For Indiana, a Neutral phase this time of year has not correlated strongly with either above- or below-normal temperatures or precipitation, but have slightly favored higher corn yields.  This may imply that temperature and precipitation patterns could still be highly variable but average toward normal conditions at the monthly or even seasonal time scales. Hopefully, the variability swings back and forth often enough to provide the necessary relief every few days!

Modified growing degree-day (MGDD) accumulations (Figure 2) are still slightly behind the climatological average with the greatest lags in the southern counties (Figure 3).  However, as Figure 4 shows, for most of the state MGDD accumulations this year are slightly ahead of where they were in 2020.

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