La Niña could make spring a bumpy ride

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The current La Niña-controlled weather patterns have the potential to produce additional severe weather like what has hit Indiana, the Midwest and the South during the past couple of weeks, says state climatologist Dev Niyogi.

Based on historical data, Indiana's spring is expected to be wetter than normal with extreme variations in temperature, but La Niña makes predictions difficult, says Niyogi, who also is an assistant professor of agronomy and earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue University. The official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spring forecast is for an equal chance of precipitation and for temperatures to be above or below normal.

La Niña's continued influence is expected to persist for several months into late spring, Niyogi says. If the wet spring foreshadowed by historical data occurs, it also could impact crop planting.

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