February-to-date is running significantly above average (a whopping 9°+ above average at IND).
The anomalous warmth is impressive enough, but perhaps the most impressive is the duration of the unseasonably warm, April-like, warmth. By the time all is said and done (Friday night), many communities will set multiple new records for so many consecutive days of 60°+ level warmth in the month of February. That doesn’t set well for spring vegetation. Given the look to the overall pattern in the weeks ahead, it’s hard to deny the glaring signs for additional well above normal warmth (speaking in “overall” terms). Accordingly, vegetation will likely continue to sprout and bloom early with such a pattern- even as far north as here in central IN.
That said, even in the warmest of patterns, “jabs” of late-season arctic air can make it’s presence felt. Despite our thoughts on being finished with sustained wintry conditions, we’re far from finished with cold “jabs.” With spring vegetation likely to be well ahead of schedule, concerns are valid for potential damage to early season growth as we move forward over the coming weeks.
Let’s remember, on average, it’s not until we get to mid and late April before we can signal the “all clear” on the last 32° freeze. Still have a long way to go, friends…