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Don't let the cold snap fool you: Winters in Indiana are still warming

Average winter temperatures have gone up for every city  Climate Central studied in Indiana since 1970. Evansville saw the highest increase, while South Bend saw the lowest. This chart shows Lafayette's winters warmed an average of 3.5 degrees.
Provided by Climate Central
Average winter temperatures have gone up for every city Climate Central studied in Indiana since 1970. Evansville saw the highest increase, while South Bend saw the lowest.

Extremely cold temperatures over the holidays delayed some Hoosiers' travel plans and burst their water pipes. But Indiana winters are still getting warmer on average.

According to the independent research and reporting collaboration Climate Central, the average winter temperature has gone up for every Indiana city it studied since 1970.

Evansville saw the biggest increase with an average of 4.5 degrees. South Bend saw the lowest with a less than 2 degree increase. Almost all of those cities now experience an extra 10 to 11 winter days above normal.

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Even winter cold snaps — the number of consecutive days where the temperature is below normal — are shrinking. Cold snaps in Indiana cities lasted an average of six more days in 1970 than they did in 2021.

Climate Central said warmer winters can lead to lower fruit crop yields, more disease-carrying pests like mosquitos and ticks, and less money for ski resorts and other industries that depend on snow.

Contact reporter Rebecca Thiele at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

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Rebecca Thiele covers statewide environment and energy issues.