WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — If you’re hoping for an early end to
winter, keep dreaming. The bitterly low temperatures and frequent snow showers
of the past two months will continue through February, the Indiana State Climate
“There’s really no relief in sight,” said Ken Scheeringa,
associate state climatologist. “We’re in for a true Indiana winter — like the
ones we old folks remember from our youth.”
February temperatures in Indiana will be colder than normal,
but may reach highs in the 40s with lows in the 20s by the end of the month, he
said. Precipitation this month will be greater than normal with a continuation
of weekly snow showers.
Scheeringa said that weather after February is harder to
predict. Current forecasts show equal chances for above-normal, normal and
The brutal weather in Indiana this winter is due to the
position of the polar jet stream, the fast-flowing air current that this year
starts in northwest Canada and plunges into the central U.S., Scheeringa said.
The current is unusually high this winter, forming an open
“pipeline” between the Midwest and the frigid airs in Canada and the North
“That pathway was open almost all of January,” the
climatologist said. “We’ve been right in the storm track with lots of cold air
Following the jet stream are Alberta clippers — small,
quickly moving storms that dump several inches of snow as they pass. Clippers
moved through Indiana every few days in January with hardly a pause between
storms. As a result, January was the fourth snowiest month in the Indianapolis
area since records began in 1884.
While snowfall will taper off slightly this month, Indiana
residents still should prepare for frequent storms, Scheeringa said.
Travelers should exercise caution and delay their journey if
heavy snowfall is imminent.
“Be careful on highways,” the climatologist said. “Prepare
to be stuck. Pack food, emergency supplies and a snow shovel in your car. This
winter is all business.”