South Bend, Ind. — For the first time this year, all 92 Indiana Counties are in a level of draught, according to a recent U.S. Drought Moniter update.Counties in the northeast, southwest and south-central portions of the state are in extreme drought, the second highest level. Parts of Vanderburgh and Posey Counties are now in experiencing the most intense level of drought, exceptional drought. The counties are experiencing between 11 and 13 inches below normal in precipitation.
The dome of high heat and high-pressure system that has kept away moisture from Gulf of Mexico is caused by the position of the jet stream just north of Indiana, said Austin Pearson, student research assistant in the Indiana State Climate Office based at Purdue University.
While rain is expected this weekend due to a slight shift in the jet stream, it will likely not be enough to relieve the counties of the dry conditions.
“We will see rain this weekend,” Pearson said. “We’re just waiting on the Gulf moisture to eject into the Indiana area. We could see some decent rainfall, but as of right now, this does not look like a drought-buster.”
Storms with heavier rainfall are likely in the southern part of Indiana.
“My concern is that some areas could get too much rain at once and we would see a lot of it run off,” Pearson said.
He said it would take much more than just a few storms to bring the state out of the drought, which has hindered development of crops and lowered waterways.
“In order to bring us out of this drought, we’re really going to need several sufficient rainfalls over a long period of time,” Pearson said. “We don’t want everything to come at once because that will wash everything away, and it’s mainly going to be runoff – not a lot will be stored in the ground.
“We could probably use a tropical depression or a tropical storm that will go through the Texas area and then come back up to the Midwest. We’re just going to need to see a big pattern break if we’re going to see any major rainfall.”
Purdue Extension has compiled farmer, homeowner and consumer drought resources at http://purdue.edu/drought.
Source: Purdue University