This is the time of year that can be really challenging as a meteorologist. Earlier today I asked Tim Deegan, a meteorologist from Florida if he wanted to come to Indiana to break the news to you and I could just do the weather in Jacksonville and focus on a sea-breeze front bringing some nice cool beach breezes inland to Mandarin and eventually Orange Park. But I am going to Man-Up and tell you to not plant the annuals even if I am forecasting our first 80 degree day in about 6 months today. You know our Spring weather here in Indiana is volatile. The Mother's Day rule still applies this year. Take care of Mom on May 11th and then we can talk about planting tomatoes and other annuals. By May 25th we can focus more on putting the house plants outside. But until then forget about it! The long-range maps have a colder than average look coming in by Sunday and continuing until at least early May. The latest summer outlook maps are turning cooler and drier and I will try to post the very latest on this here tomorrow on the blog. I do not see a repeat of the hot and dry summer last year and you can thank our wet winter and soggy start to our Spring for this.
Another good rule of thumb to use this time of year is the fact that it is turkey hunting season and I see it as a time nature tries to make turkeys out of you and I. But this friendly meteorologist will not let this happen to us. I see lows by next Tuesday and Wednesday dipping into the lower to middle 30s with a light freeze or frost possible. Ouch! But I do not see the sub-zero weather and snow like they have had out West in Montana and Wyoming. Last year over 13,000 turkeys were harvested in Indiana. This year's wet weather could mean another record year for the turkey catch. Folks in Attica tell me they have been waking up to rooster crows and turkey gobbling which is quite unusual. Just throw in an earthquake or two and that pretty much sums up what we have been dealing with over the past couple of weeks. But I really do have good news for the turkey hunters. What happens is the delay in planting crops due to our stormy weather makes more waste grain available for these birds to feed on allowing them to thrive. The weather forecast also looks good at least at the start of the hunting season which is when most turkeys are harvested.
One other thing that pops up with turkey season and nature's musical seasons is of course mushrooms. Send in those pictures! Here is the first one I have received you see above from Joyce Johnson. The location is top secret and I promised to keep it hush-hush. The mushroom season could be shortened though if we get a heavy enough frost next week, so I will certainly keep you posted. There are rumors that mushrooms are going for 47 dollars per pound at some outlets and this price may go up if this upper-level storm you see below actually moves in as predicted by late weekend and early next week. Beware of the Mushroom Mauler. This may be our nickname for the storm coming in. I know it is not in alphabetical order from our past storms, but it works.
This big dip in the jet stream combined with a cold-core low pressure system is never good news for those in the Midwest this time of year, especially if you have already put your coats away in the attic. The Mushroom Mauler will be watched carefully, that is for sure. Now on a more serious note, the farmers have been asking for some rain, but not too much so they can continue to catch up on planting crops. Well, I have perfect planting weather for the farmers because the latest precision weather maps have us receiving less than a half-inch of rain between now and Friday night and only light amounts into next week. As I showed you below on the blog yesterday we still have a surplus of over 5 inches for the year. So this is welcome news even if it means we have to put away the shorts. Notice the deeper greens showing the heavier rain stays well west. You can thank our summer-like ridge over us for weakening this system.
We are also dodging the bullet on the severe weather this week, so even though we have a few tough days ahead by early next week, we are doing pretty well by Hoosier standards! Carry on and have a great day. I rode my bike to work yesterday like I said I would. It took an hour to go the 9 or so miles, but it was well worth it! I may have to do this every day after looking at the latest gas prices. Off to Frontier High School later this morning! Dan's class is always fun to visit this time every year. I will snap some pictures for you and see you soon! Keep those mushroom reports and pictures coming in.