More rain needed to show lessening of drought in Indiana

August 9, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Although parts of Indiana got a good drenching over the past week, a longer trend  of significant  rainfall is needed before the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a reversal of dryness that has been intensifying since the spring.  

The Drought Monitor (,MW) update of Thursday (Aug. 9) showed very minor improvement in drought conditions in extreme east-central Indiana. Most of the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought - the two highest levels. That is despite rain of at least 3 inches in some areas, especially the southwest, and lesser amounts in the north.

"The Drought Monitor is unlikely to show lessening of drought based on only a week of decent precipitation," said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist based at Purdue University. So even though heavier rain has started to fall, evaporation and runoff will immediately take away some of this new moisture.

"There needs to be longer-term improvement before there are widespread changes in drought categories. Since April 1, the state still shows rainfall deficits of 5-11 inches."

Drought worsened in the southern extent of east-central Indiana and the southeast because rain last weekend largely bypassed that section of the state.

The State Climate Office provides a map of weekly rainfall on its website. The latest map is at

A compilation of Purdue Extension drought resources is available at

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722,

Source: Ken Scheeringa, 765-494-8105,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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