North-central and northeast Indiana got a real taste of winter last week. Companies and trailers of cattle coming from the north to the Hoosier Beef Congress at the state fairgrounds brought snow along with them. There wasn't any snow at the fairgrounds, but there was enough left around for some innocent snowball fights- first of the season.
According to both state and national forecasters, that's just a sign of things to come. The La Nina event, or cool phase of the El Nino/La Nina cycle reformed after a brief neutral phase. Ken Scheeringa, assistant state climatologist at Purdue University, says that it's been more common in recent years for a La Nina to reform instead of going from the neutral cycle into a new El Nino phase.
La Nina winters bring stormy weather mixed in with times of above normal temperatures across this part of the Midwest, forecasters say. Overall, they say to expect outbreaks of snow and cold. Part of the winter could be much colder than normal. At this point, Scheeringa sees this pattern of lots of movement along the storm tracks holding all the way into spring. In many ways, he believes it may be a replay of last winter. Farmers are hoping that forecasters aren't right about the wet spring.
Instead of dreading the cold and snow, you can use it to your advantage. Take part in the Snow guessing game sponsored by Beck's Hybrids and Indiana Prairie Farmer. Simply guess total snowfall through March 1 for three locations: South Bend, Indianapolis, and Evansville. Submit that guess. You can do it online However, if you do it on line, please include name, address, email, phone number, cell phone number, and actress of each crop you raise. Entries not containing all of this information may be disqualified.
You can also find an entry form in either the December or January Indiana Prairie Farmer and submit it by mail. The address is listed on the form. All entries must be postmarked or delivered by email by midnight, January 15.
Becks will award free seed to the top three places in contest. The overall winner will get the six bags of Beck's seed corn. Second place will get six bags of soybean seed, and third place will get six bags of seed wheat or equivalent. Employees of Beck's Hybrids are not eligible. One entry per family please.Happy guessing!