September 13, 2012
Weather patterns showing signs of return to normal
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana is seeing a noticeable shift away from hot and dry weather to normal weather patterns for this time of year as frequent rain in recent weeks eases drought conditions.
The U.S. Drought Monitor update of Thursday (Sept. 13) showed continued improvement, with the west-central portion of the state now in only moderate drought, the first level of dryness. Only southern parts of Indiana, generally south of a line from Vincennes to Connersville, remain in the next highest level, severe drought. Much of the remainder of the state is in moderate drought, with the northwest abnormally dry.
At the height of the drought this summer, most of the state was in the two highest levels of drought - extreme and exceptional.
But frequent rainfall in August and September are reversing drought conditions. Precipitation this month to date was the result of two major storms - the remnants of Hurricane Isaac at the start of the month and one on Sept. 7.
"A strong cold front last Friday actually produced more rain than Isaac did," said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist.
September so far has been about two degrees warmer and three times wetter than normal. The central and southern portions of the state have been the wettest.
While the drought is reversing, its effects will persist for quite a while, said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist.
"It's not only about the amount of rain we had," he said. "We will likely see impacts on ecosystems, such as regional water supply sources, for the coming months."
A compilation of Purdue Extension drought resources is available at http://www.purdue.edu/drought
Monthly Indiana weather summaries are at http://iclimate.org/summary.asp.
Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Dev Niyogi, 765-494-6574, email@example.com
Ken Scheeringa, 765-494-8105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Indiana State Climate Office