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What a persistent, strong El Niño could mean for late winter in central Indiana

Ryan Late Winter El Nino

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Central Indiana has seen an unimpressive winter so far, and February has started with a warm stretch.

So, what is left over for late winter?

Since October, Indianapolis has only picked up 4.2 inches of snow. Our average snowfall from October to Feb. 6 is 17.6 inches.

Similar El Niño late winters

A strong El Niño pattern will hold in place until at least early spring, according to the Climate Prediction Center. When looking at similar years that had a strong El Niño pattern, snowfall is not looking promising for late winter into early spring.

February through April typically averages 9.4 inches of snowfall in Indianapolis. The years 1983, 1998 and 2016 had below-average snowfall for every single month from February through April.

Something those years had in common was the early last snowfalls. On average. Indianapolis has a last season snow of 1 inch or more on March 7. In each of these strong El Niño years, the last 1 inch snow fell before March 7.

Of course, prior years only give us an idea of the broad weather pattern to expect. Things can always change in the short term. Be sure to visit our weather blog for the latest 8-day forecast.