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10/3/2017 12:13:00 PM
Southwestern Indiana enters first phase of drought

Jenny McNeece, Vincennes Sun-Commercial

Much of Southwestern Indiana has gone weeks without any significant rainfall.

And while precipitation has re-entered the forecast for later this week, meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis say it will provide little relief.

“You'll get something,” said meteorologist Al Shipe. “But it's going to stay on the dry side.”

Southwestern Indiana, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, has entered the first stage of a drought — or the “abnormally dry” category. Areas of west central Indiana, such as Vermillion County, have actually entered the “moderate drought” stage as they've seen less than an inch of rain in more than 60 days.

This area, Shipe said, has received less than 2 inches of rain in the last 60 days, and Hunter Pinnell, Wabash River levee superintendent, said the last measurable rainfall per his gauge was about a half-inch of rain on Sept. 19.

The river, too, is at less than three feet.

Shipe said August and September in much of central and southern Indiana were the driest since 1963.

But at least some rain, however, is on the way.

Rain chances move back into the forecast Friday and last into the weekend and early next week as well.

Portions of northern Indiana, Shipe said, could get upwards of 1.5 inches of rain.

Around here, however, he's predicting just a half-inch to an inch by Monday.

“But we'll just have to see how it goes,” Shipe said. “Our forecasts aren't as accurate the farther out we go.

“But we are expecting rain to finally return to Indiana come late Thursday.”

Looking ahead, Shipe said Hoosiers can continue to expect warmer than normal conditions as temperatures over the next 10 days show highs in the 70s.

The average high for October is 65 degrees with lows that dip down into the 40s.

Shipe said those models, for now, hold true through Oct. 15.

“And whatever rain we get later this week through early next week, based on the models, that's it,” he said. “It will start to dry up again.”

But, oddly enough, even if it doesn't rain another drop this year, Shipe said much of Indiana will likely still finish 2017 significantly ahead in terms of rainfall totals.

“And that's because we were already so far ahead,” Shipe said. “In the first seven months of the year, we were the wettest we'd been in 135 years.

“But, I assure you, whether we see rain in October or not, it will rain again,” he said with a chuckle.

Copyright 2017 Vincennes Sun Commercial






Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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