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* Indiana State Climate Office

June 22, 2007

Climatologists: Weekend rain likely not enough to stop drought

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Weekend rainfall will help parched Indiana but it isn't likely to pull the Hoosier state out of a moderate drought, said climate experts at Purdue University and the National Weather Service.

Most of Indiana should receive rain as storms move across the state through Sunday (June 24). Amounts are expected to vary, depending on the track and strength of the storms. Hot, dry conditions are likely to set in again next week.

"Since a week ago, only one widespread rain event has visited Indiana and that was on Tuesday (June 19) evening," said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist at the Purdue-based Indiana State Climate Office. "Less than a half inch of rain fell over most the state, with only the northeast corner and isolated points elsewhere receiving up to three-quarters of an inch. These showers have all been scattered in nature, typical of a summertime pattern."

The extended outlook through Independence Day calls for below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures, said Logan Johnson of the Indianapolis office of the National Weather Service.

"We will return to sunny, dry and hot weather by early next week," Johnson said. "Temperatures in the low to middle 90s may again occur next week, with little or no chance of rainfall. The extended 8-14 day outlook through July 4 indicates below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures."

Indiana has been stuck in a dry weather pattern since early May. Rainfall deficits across the state range from 1-8 inches, with most counties 3 inches or more below normal for the period. Normal precipitation this time of year in Indiana is about 1 inch per week.

A drought that began in the Deep South is expanding northward, with the southern two-thirds of Indiana in a D1 "moderate" drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The northern third of the state is D0 or "abnormally dry."

"One week ago, the National Drought Mitigation Center classified the southeast quarter of Indiana in D1 drought status, in which localized water shortages may be experienced by water utilities and damage to some crops may begin," said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist at Purdue.

"An updated drought report from NDMC on June 19 indicates the D1 drought status has now spread from covering 38 percent of the Hoosier state a week ago to 65 percent this week. The net result is that all but 7 percent of Indiana is now in drought status, either in D0 or D1."

Abnormally dry to drought conditions could continue in the Midwest through the remainder of the summer, Scheeringa said.

"The seasonal drought outlook from late June through mid-September indicates the persistence of moderate to severe drought in portions of the Ohio River Valley and, possibly, continuing a northward spread into the southern Great Lakes region," he said. "There is an enhanced likelihood of above normal temperatures through September."

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, sleer@purdue.edu

Sources: Dev Niyogi, (765) 409-3476, dniyogi@purdue.edu

Ken Scheeringa, (765) 494-8105, kens@purdue.edu

Logan Johnson, (317) 856-0360, Logan.johnson@noaa.gov

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

Note to Journalists: Dev Niyogi is available for media calls this weekend. He can be reached at (765) 409-3476.

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