Indiana’s Winners And Losers With Recent Precipitation

While drought has been on many people’s minds lately, Indiana has had several rain events pass through that brought much needed moisture. Unfortunately, the entire state has not benefited evenly from these events. True to most summertime precipitation, where and when the rain falls can be quite spotty. Periodically, a nice front will pass through, but even those tend to only favor some areas leaving others wondering when they’ll get a good rain shower. Figure 1 shows how much rain has fallen over the last 14 days (i.e., June 16-29, 2023). While the southeastern and northern counties received over 1.5 inches during this period, other counties such as those along western and southwestern Indiana received less than a quarter of an inch. Figure 2 compares these amounts to what has fallen during that same 14-day period from 1991-2020. Clearly, much of the state is still receiving less than the normal amount (where 100% would be normal) for this time of year. This has led the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 3) to continue categorizing much of the state as Abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate Drought (D1), or Severe Drought (D2).

Fortunately, the last few weeks have seen temperatures that have averaged 1-3 degrees below normal. This has kept evapotranspiration relatively moderate for this time of year. This has also meant that accumulated growing degree-days have stayed less than normal across the state for an accumulation start date of April 15 (see Figures 4 and 5).

The short-term forecast is calling for increased rainfall amounts around 1.5 to over 4 inches across much of the state over the next 7 days (Figure 6). Unfortunately, there can be a lot of uncertainty given the type of storm patterns producing these rainfall events. Many forecast products may be offering a probability of precipitation around 50% indicating abiguity in the timing and location of impact. Beyond the next 7 days, climate outlooks are favoring above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation over the next few weeks. Confidence for above-normal precipitation is greater after July 8th. This is extraordinarily promising news for our current drought outlook. Stay cautiously optimistic, however, since there is still likely to be much variability in rainfall locations, intensity, and amount. In other words, we may be continuing to see areas across Indiana that are winners with other areas begging for something to help the crops, lawns, and water supplies.

 

Figure 1. Accumulated precipitation (in inches) from June 14-27, 2023.

Figure 1. Accumulated precipitation (in inches) from June 14-27, 2023.

 

Figure 2. Accumulated precipitation from June 14-27, 2023 compared to the climatological normal amount for that same 7-day period that fell from 1991-2020.

Figure 2. Accumulated precipitation from June 14-27, 2023 compared to the climatological normal amount for that same 7-day period that fell from 1991-2020.

 

Figure 3. U.S. Drought Monitor representing conditions through June 27, 2023

Figure 3. U.S. Drought Monitor representing conditions through June 27, 2023.

 

Figure 4. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 15-June 28, 2023.

Figure 4. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 15-June 28, 2023.

 

Figure 5. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 15-June 28, 2023, represented as the departure from the 1991-2020 climatological average.

Figure 5. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 15-June 28, 2023, represented as the departure from the 1991-2020 climatological average.

 

Figure 6. Forecasted rainfall amounts (in inches) for June 29 through July 6, 2023.

Figure 6. Forecasted rainfall amounts (in inches) for June 29 through July 6, 2023.

 

 

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