Ind. (AP) - Plentiful January rains have left Indiana’s farmland in good
shape for crops following last summer’s record heat and drought, the state’s
University-based state climatologist Dev Niyogi said a warm and wet start to
Indiana’s planting season is forecast before drier conditions arrive during
the growing season. Parts of Indiana could see mild to moderate drought
conditions later in the growing season, he said.
climatologist Ken Scheeringa told the Journal & Courier that mild to
moderate droughts are not unusual at some point in Indiana during the
hottest summer months.
He said this winter
has been wetter in Indiana than last year and a repeat drought is a long
Scheeringa said the
extreme drought and 100-degree readings that Indiana and other parts of the
Midwest saw last summer occur only two or three times every century and
back-to-back droughts are a rarity.
“We’re not going to
have that this year,” Scheeringa said. “We had some dandy rains in January.”
forecasts are only accurate about three months out, so it’s hard to say for
sure what this summer might bring to Indiana, he said.
Scheeringa said a
wet spring could sustain Indiana’s farmers through the summer and into the
fall harvest by recharging soils with moisture.
The U.S. Drought
Monitor shows that most of the Great Plains region remains in drought
conditions. The only portion of Indiana close to drought conditions is the
state’s far northern counties, which are listed as abnormally dry.