Dry Conditions Expected Into Early August

After several weeks of above-normal precipitation across much of Indiana, we are now entering a relative dry period.  The national Climate Prediction Center is indicating enhanced chances for below-normal precipitation amounts over the next several weeks.  Temperatures are also expected to be above normal over this period which will cause increased rates of evapotranspiration.  This may induce the onset and establishment of a flash drought – defined as a rapid intensification of drought conditions and impacts sustained for a relatively short amount of time (e.g., less than a year).  The key is to start planning and preparing for this now, even if a flash drought does not end up developing, so that one is being proactive rather than reactive to drought impacts.

Modified growing degree days range from about 1500 units (northern Indiana) to 200 units (southern Indiana) (Figure 1).  With temperatures being relatively mild lately, this has kept accumulated MGDDs within about 100 units of what is average for this time of year. Southern Indiana locations are further behind previous years compared to northern locations (Figure 2).

contour map

Figure 1. Modified growing degree day accumulations from April 1 to July 21, 2021.

modified growing degree day

Figure 2. Comparison of 2021 modified growing degree day accumulations from April 1 – July 21 to the past four years.

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