Dry Weather Continues

Tonight our dry weather continues, and it looks to stay that way most of the week.

Lows tonight will drop into the mid 50s across the metro area, a few spots especially outside the metro could drop to the upper 40s!  It’s going to be a cool night with mostly clear skies.  Some patchy fog could develop for your commute tomorrow morning.  Basically expect what we’ve seen the past couple of days.

Monday, another nice sunny day will be coming our way.  Highs will reach the low 80s.

Tuesday, a few more clouds will build in, with a slight chance for sprinkles in our southern counties.

Our next chance for rain moves in Thursday, even then, it’s only a 20% chance.  We’ll keep an eye on rain chances, I know a lot of you are anxious to green up your lawns!

Colts should win 12 again

The Colts open the season today with a new head coach. And while no one has more respect for coach Tony Dungy than me, I don’t think his retirement will hurt the Colts success this season.

The Colts open the season today with a new head coach. And while no one has more respect for coach Tony Dungy than me, I don’t think his retirement will hurt the Colts success this season. Remember when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl the year after Dungy was fired? Tony was given and deserved much of the credit for what was already in place to take the Bucs to the top. The Colts are in even better shape than the Bucs were a season after Dungy’s departure.

The team is better than a year ago, deeper and more talented. Peyton Manning is healthy. The offensive line is healthy, with excellent depth. The coaching staff stayed largely intact after Tom Moore and Howard Mudd added “senior” to their titles and worked out their pension plans. The defense has a new coordinator and more size up front to stuff the run. Bob Sanders starts the season on the shelf. But the Colts have gotten used to playing without him.

For all those reasons, I’m picking the Colts to win 12 games again and return to their normal spot as AFC South champions with a strong finish. Here’s the breakdown:

Wins – vs. Jacksonville, vs. Seattle, at St. Louis, vs. San Francisco, vs. Houston, vs. New England, at Houston, vs. Tennessee, vs. Denver,  at Jacksonville, vs. New York Jets, at Buffalo  

Losses –  at Miami, at Arizona, at Tennessee, at Baltimore

The Colts open with a win over the Jaguars today to open the season. Then come tough back-to-back close losses in a tough turnaround Monday night in Miami and in Arizona Sunday night. After an easy win at home over Seattle, the Colts lose at Tennessee. The team is only 2-3 heading to the bye week, winless on the road and Jim Caldwell is facing adversity with this team for the first time.

The schedule lightens up and the Colts get rolling with four straight wins capped by a Sunday night win over the Patriots. The Colts are 6-3 at this point.

The last loss of the regular season comes November 22nd at Baltimore. The Colts are 6-4, looking mediocre trailing Tennessee in the division race. After Thanksgiving, the Colts win 6 straight games going into the playoffs. A win December 6th against the Titans puts the Colts back in the division race. But the Colts must win January 3rd in Buffalo to win the AFC South. 

Then come the playoffs. I won’t predict the matchups. But Pittsburgh, Tennessee and San Diego will all be in the picture. I’m guessing the Colts will have to get by the Chargers if they want a shot at the Super Bowl. I don’t consider the Colts a favorite to win it all. But they are a contender.

Another great season, 12-4, undefeated at home and the first playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium. There is much to look forward to this year for Colts fans. Let’s kick it off!

-Rich Nye, WTHR Sports Reporter

rnye@wthr.com

TheSportsGuy13 on Twitter

Great Weekend Ahead

There are tons of events happening across Central Indiana this weekend, and the weather will be just perfect for it all!

Highs Saturday and Sunday will reach about 80 degrees with mostly sunny skies.  A light breeze out of the Northeast will feel nice and cool!

Tonight, clear skies mean chilly temperatures!  In the metro, temps will drop to the mid 50s.  In outlying areas temps in the low 50s are expected, and I think a few spots in our Northeast viewing area could reach the upper 40s… brr!

So far, the month of September has been pretty dry.  We’ve only had .17″ of rain in Indianapolis.  However, keep in mind that we are more than seven inches above the average for the year.

Our next chance for rain enters the forecast Tuesday (20%), however I think it’s more likely Wednesday into Thursday.

34th Coolest Summer

This summer was cool, but once all the numbers are crunched it was actually the 34th coolest on record!

The following article is from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  To read the text from their website and see graphical pics of the data, click here.

The average June-August 2009 summer temperature for the contiguous United States was below average – the 34th coolest on record, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. August was also below the long-term average. The analysis is based on records dating back to 1895. 

U.S. Temperature Highlights – Summer

 

  • For the 2009 summer, the average temperature of 71.7 degrees F was 0.4 degree F below the 20th Century average. The 2008 average summer temperature was 72.7 degrees F.
  • A recurring upper level trough held the June-August temperatures down in the central states, where Michigan experienced its fifth, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota their seventh, Nebraska its eighth, and Iowa its ninth coolest summer. By contrast, Florida had its fourth warmest summer, while Washington and Texas experienced their eighth and ninth warmest, respectively.
  • The Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota region experienced its sixth coolest summer on record. Only the Northwest averaged above normal temperatures.

U.S. Temperature Highlights – August

 

  • The average 2009 August temperature of 72.2 degrees F was 0.6 degree F below the 20th Century average. Last year’s August temperature was 73.2 degrees F.
  • Temperatures were below normal in the Midwest, Plains, and parts of the south. Above-normal temperatures dominated the eastern seaboard, areas in the southwest, and in the extreme northwest.
  • Several northeastern states were much above normal for August, including Delaware and New Jersey (eighth warmest), Maine (ninth), and Rhode Island and Connecticut (10th). In contrast, below-normal temperatures were recorded for Missouri and Kansas.

U.S. Precipitation Highlights – Summer

 

  • The Northeast region had its eighth wettest June-August summer on record. By contrast, the South, Southeast and Southwest regions, were drier than average. Arizona had its third driest summer, while both South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth driest.

U.S. Precipitation Highlights – August

  • In August, precipitation across the contiguous United States averaged 2.34 inches, which is 0.26 inch below the 1901-2000 average.
  • Above-normal averages were generally recorded across the northern U.S., west of the Great Lakes. The South and Southeast regions experienced below-normal precipitation.
  • Precipitation across the Southwest region averaged 0.85 inches, which is 1.10 inches below normal and ranks as the 4th driest August on record. Arizona had its fourth driest, New Mexico its fifth, and it was the eighth driest August on record for Colorado, Utah and Texas.

 

  • By the end of August, moderate-to-exceptional drought covered 14 percent of the contiguous United States, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought intensified in parts of the Pacific Northwest and new drought areas emerged in Arizona and the Carolinas. Montana, Wisconsin and Oklahoma saw minor improvements in their drought conditions.
  • About 27 percent of the contiguous United States had moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of August, according to the Palmer Index (a well-known index that measures both drought intensity and wet spell intensity). 

Other Highlights

  • There were more than 300 low temperature records (counting daily highs and lows) set across states in the Midwest during the last two days of August.
  • A total of 7,975 fires burned 1,646,363 acres in August, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. August 2009 ranked fifth for the number of fires and sixth for acres burned in August this decade. From January through August, 64,682 fires have burned 5.2 million acres across the nation. 

NCDC’s preliminary reports, which assess the current state of the climate, are released soon after the end of each month. These analyses are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as increased scientific methods improve NCDC’s processing algorithms.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

Perfect Weekend Ahead

I am loving this weekend forecast, and I hope you do too!

There are tons of festivals and events happening around Central Indiana this weekend, and the weather look to cooperate!

Highs today will reach the low 80s with mostly sunny skies.

Saturday and Sunday highs will reach about 80 degrees with mostly sunny skies.  A few more clouds may move in Sunday afternoon as a cold front comes pushes through the state.  At this time, the front looks to move through dry.  So tailgating weather seems to be a-ok!

Our next chance for rain moves in Monday and Tuesday.  We’ll keep a close eye on the timing of showeres to make sure they don’t affect your weekend!

Hurricane Fred

We are tracking a new hurricane in the Atlantic.

We are tracking Hurricane Fred that’s still far out in the Atlantic at this point.

We’re not looking for any quick development of this system, by Tuesday, it is still expected to be far out at sea.

To track Hurricane Fred, just click here.

On a side note, one of our news writers is named Fred.  I joked with him that the next named storm would be Fred, his reply?  “People already say I’m going in circles!”  Love the weather humor!

Practical talk about private school dominance

Mike McGraw, Hoosier Authority Executive Director

Well, we are three weeks into the football season and the usual suspects are at hand. That is a subtle way of saying that once again private institutions are favorites to win all four classes below 5A. In turn, that means the football message boards are once again full of chatter from public school fans decrying the unfair advantages and unethical practices of their private rivals. I don’t know about you, but I would certainly be happy to see the complaining disappear.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not an apologist for private schools. I merely believe that before we shuttle them off to a class of their own or penalize them in some way for excellence, we need to consider a few facts. The first of those is that there is a big difference between recruiting athletes and using outstanding athletic programs to recruit students. I would agree that in those instances where the first occurs, it is unethical and should be investigated. However, the second is not only not unethical, it is imperative to any school that depends on enrollment and tuition for its survival.

Secondly, for every advantage that a private school gains by not having geographic boundaries, there are disadvantages they incur. Remember, at least four of the private school powers in central Indiana do not even have a home football field. Check out the weight room facilities at private school sometime. You will find in most instances they pale in comparison to those of public schools. The same holds true for training rooms. Consider also the number of lay coaches that private schools have to employ. I question whether that is a disadvantage, but public school athletic administrators certainly do all they can to avoid having to use coaches who do not teach in the district. These are just a few of the factors that in theory should level the playing field.

Finally, we need to acknowledge that there may be other reasons for private school dominance. Have you ever taken the time to compare the level of CYO football to that played at the middle school level? Isn’t it possible that things like tradition and identification with a school community might have something to do with all of this?

As I said, I am not a private school apologist. I get as tired as the next guy with their seeming constant superiority. It simply is way too predictable for my liking. What bothers me is listening to public school supporters use the circumstances as a crutch to excuse their own school’s failures. It shortchanges the accomplishments and dedication of private school players and also undercuts the efforts of the players they support. I don’t think Bellmont much cared about horrible advantages for private schools when they thumped Evansville Memorial in the 3A title game last year. The same can be said for Northwood when they throttled Chatard a few years ago or of Sheridan who has made a practice of doing it nearly every year.

Life isn’t fair. We should hope to be rearing a generation of youth who will understand later in life that sometimes you simply have to bear down and overcome the odds, not simply whine about the unfair nature of your circumstances. There is nobility in taking the position of “Just shut up and get better”.

While I am on the subject, the same is in many ways true in 5A football. Yes, those few schools in Indiana that enjoy monstrous enrollment are darn hard to beat. However, that does not mean we need to rush to the rescue of the average 5A school and dilute our titles even further by adding a sixth class. At some point, the ceaseless efforts to “level the playing field” start to pay diminishing returns.

I doubt I have changed anyone’s mind, but I feel better. So, here are a few public school candidates fans can rally around. In 1A, you probably shouldn’t tell Pioneer that Lafayette Central Catholic is going to walk to the title. Speedway might well challenge the defense of Heritage Christian in 2A. There is a public school in 3A who is definitely not afraid of Chatard. The name is Bellmont. You might remember them. In 4A, Plymouth and Lowell are not likely to bow down to the mighty Irish without a fight. There is still a lot of football to be played.

Drying Out

Not everyone has seen rain over the past week as showers as storms have been spotty, but now a dry forecast is setting up for most of Central Indiana.

Highs today will reach the low 80s with partly cloudy skies around Central Indiana.

Expect the same mainly dry weather pattern through Saturday with temperatures comfortable in the low 80s.

We’re watching a developing storm pattern that could move in Sunday, the timing of it is still in question, so we’ll keep you updated.