Pharos-Tribune

Local News

March 4, 2013

Warmer, wetter spring in store for region

Dry summer forecast not nearly as severe as last year’s drought

Purdue climatologists now say they’re expecting a warm, wet spring this year.

Dev Niyogi, state climatologist based at Purdue University, said a warmer and wetter start to farmers’ planting season is likely to give way to some drying during the growing season.

Cass County has received roughly the normal amount of rainfall over the last month, according to the National Weather Service. Storms headed through the area were moving too fast to drop heavy precipitation, said Purdue assistant climatologist Ken Scheeringa, but the storm track slowed down “tremendously” last week.

“During most of February,” Scheeringa said, “the storms were just racing here like a horse race, one storm right after another.... Those did not bring us a lot of rain or snow, they just came often.”

However, a storm last week took days to cross the state, he said, a trend that’s likely to continue. “The storm is coming in and staying a while before it’s leaving.”

“It’s possible that it could get too wet,” Scheeringa said. “It just depends on if we continue with the same storm track.”

Soil moisture has been improving in the area after last year’s severe drought, according to a release from Purdue, enough to eliminate the drought conditions. The Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts about 2.5 inches of extra Indiana rainfall through May, when last year’s for the same period fell short by more than 4 inches.

And while “mild to moderate” drought might develop late in spring and over the summer, it’s unlikely to be anything like last year’s parched weather, Scheeringa said.

While the Great Plains farther west are headed into a second severe drought year, states in the eastern half of the Midwest have better times ahead.

“When we say drought again, that’s what people are thinking about, ‘oh no, it’ll be another 2012,’” he said. But the kind of drought conditions climatologists expect are more akin to a fairly usual drought affecting parts of the state for two or three weeks over the course of the year.

A minor drought of that sort “doesn’t necessarily impact the bottom line as far as the crop yields go,” Scheeringa said.

In fact, “that’s very common,” he said, happening about every two or three years. “The drought that happened last summer may happen two or three times in a century.”

One area farmer said even if the spring gets “too wet” for corn and beans, in any case the season’s likely to be better for farmers than last year.

“Overall, as long as we get some more moisture here come this winter to replenish the moisture in the subsoil and the topsoil, I don’t think to start off the season it’ll be that bad,” said Brad Plank, who farms corn, beans and tomatoes in Cass County with his father.

“If it’s warmer and wetter spring, then depending if it’s raining when the guys are planting, it could affect how soon a guy gets out there,” he continued. “If a guy’s able to get out there and plant, it’ll help greatly.”

The only negative effect, he said, could be on corn roots, which may grow shorter if plenty of water is available in shallower soil.

“That could have an effect on us later in the summer when it does turn dry because the roots won’t be as deep, they’ll be shallow,” Plank said.

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeastern school board reopens its search for a principal at Lewis Cass WALTON -- Southeastern School Corp. officials thought they had found their new principal for Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School. The position was offered to a candidate, but he declined to accept it, Superintendent Trudie Hedrick reported to the school b

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Guests will be able to climb into a carved-out pumpkin that will circle above Indiana Beach in one of the park's latest rides -- the Pumpkin Ferris Wheel.

    April 22, 2014

  • shelly maness Woman arrested in meth lab find MACY — A narcotics investigation led to the recent arrest of a Fulton County woman on several drug charges. Shelly Maness, 35, Macy, was arrested on two felony counts of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of meth, possession of an illegal drug la

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition