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El Niño is developing, what does that mean for this summer in central Indiana?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Meteorological summer began only a few days ago with the start of June. Now, the big thing to watch over the next few months on a larger scale is the development of El Niño.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate pattern that involves water temperatures off of the South American coast that can have global implications in the jet stream. Right now, we are transitioning from the neutral phase to the El Niño phase. Last year, La Niña was the dominant phase most of the time.

What does this mean for central Indiana?

Let’s look to the past. The years 2015, 2009, and 2004 were our last 3 summers (June – August) that had an El Niño in place. While there weren’t huge similarities with the average temperatures, precipitation was above average each summer.

For this summer (June – August), the Climate Prediction Center is favoring above-average precipitation for Indiana in their outlook released late in the month of May. With regard to temperatures, there are equal chances of above or below average for our area.