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Where is all of the snow?

We have not seen much snow here in Muncie since winter has started. You may be wondering where is all of the snow?

One large factor that has been affecting our recent weather patterns is El Niño . El Niño is one of the two climate patterns that occur in the Pacific Ocean. Depending on which one we are in, it can affect the amount of precipitation we get. El Niño is the warmer climate pattern and in turn puts Indiana at a drier and warmer than average season. We have been in the El Niño pattern for quite some time now. The effects of El Niño and La Niña can vary each period that they occur. Let’s take a look at the weather data from December and January:

For December, we only received 1.28 inches of precipitation. That is quite a bit off of our normal value of 2.57 inches. As far as temperatures, our average high temperature was about 49 degrees with the normal high temperature for December being about 41 degrees. While this is not a large difference for precipitation or temperatures, it is still notable. While other factors influence our fluctuating weather patterns, El Niño is one reason for these values.

January felt more like winter as the average high temperature was about 35 degrees. The normal value was 36 degrees, so we were almost just at normal. As for precipitation, we were actually above average with a monthly total of 3.43 inches. This is 0.91 inches above normal. Out of the entire month, 15 days were considered to have light snow and 10 days were considered to have light rain. This shows that while El Niño is a contributing factor to our weather, there are also other components as well.

So far, February has been very dry. The National Weather Service has only recorded 0.01 inches of precipitation.

To find the current status and predictions of the ENSO Oscillation, check out this website:

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/february-2024-enso-outlook-all-along-la-nina-watch-tower

Sources:

https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=ind

https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=IND&issuedby=MIE&product=CLM&format=CI&version=2&glossary=0

https://www.weather.gov/ind/el_nino

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ninonina.html#:~:text=El%20Ni%C3%B1o%20causes%20the%20Pacific,drier%20conditions%20in%20the%20North.

-Weather Forecaster Rachel Stinger

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