Many Indiana residents, and citizens all across the country, are confused. To understand their confusion, one must simply go outside; no jacket is necessary. The weather has taken a turn for the better this winter, and everyone can feel the change.
The 2011-2012 winter has been quite a disappointment to cold-lovers. The season keeps heating up to uncharacteristic temperatures. The National Weather Service claims this winter as the 11th warmest in nearly 150 years, with average temperatures 5.6 degrees warmer than usual.
Several culprits have been identified, such as La Nina and global warming. Yet, Mark Dahmer, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says the unusual heat has no real cause; it is a random effect.
“I wouldn’t necessarily attribute it to global warming or anything, I just think that seasons change, and as far as it being global warming, I wouldn’t attribute it to that, no.”
IU Geography Chair and Professor Scott Robeson believes the weather is in fact part of a trend. He sees a general move toward smaller, warmer winters for the future.
“What has been happening in a lot of locations is that winter has been compressed somewhat, so that fall is extending longer into the autumn, and spring is happening earlier, and to some extent the winter temperatures are milder,” he says. “It’s a relatively clear trend superimposed on the variability that we have day to, year to year.”
Whether a fluke or a sign of things to come, blue skies and warm breezes seem to have taken well to their new February home.