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Drought Continues its Spread


The drought of 2012 has many looking back at the drought of 1988. In some parts of Indiana the two years are similar, although Austin Pearson from the state climate office at Purdue says in 1988 the drought started about a month sooner.

“Eighty-eight was much more severe than what we are right now but in the southwestern counties we do see a pretty similar comparison to what we saw in 1988,” he told HAT. “We’re a couple inches better than what we were back then but still during this stressed time for the crops it’s a very pertinent time with pollination. We need some rain for the crops to get better in the long run, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to turn out that way.”

Lack of rain has certainly been a problem this year, but 2012 has been burned by excessively high temperatures, even compared to 1988.

“Consecutively every month this year we’ve been warmer on average than what 1988 was. In 1988 we did see slightly cooler temperatures but we did see a stretch of a hundred degrees during June and July. But we are above average compared to 1988 and precipitation records, it’s pretty comparative when you see precipitation records in 1988 compared to now. They can kind of go hand in hand.”

Twenty-four years ago this month there was some drought relief in the form of Indiana rains. Pearson doesn’t see good things happening with this year’s weather though anytime soon.

“I think with this drought the way it’s heading, not a whole lot of precipitation in sight, so it could last a little longer and on in to the fall. Especially as we get to El Nino conditions this fall and it could carry on through the winter especially with below average precip and above average temperatures on in to the winter.”

Drought is spreading westward from Indiana and he says it will intensify if we don’t see significant rain soon. With the spread Pearson says that bad news holds true for the entire Corn Belt region of the United States.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Drought-outlook-not-good.mp3|titles=Drought outlook not good]