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'Send Us Moisture From the Gulf of Mexico'

'Send Us Moisture From the Gulf of Mexico'

So far, moisture coming from the south has been very scarce.

If you want to see an end to the long, dry summer, you need to hope for tropical storms to develop and send moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico. The biggest hope for the relief form drought in Indiana is to get moisture coming up from the south, notes Ken Scheeringa, assistant state climatologist. So far it hasn't been happening this year, especially since late March.

When weather forecasters have to look out a full week before they see a storm that might support reasonable rainfall amounts, that's not a good sign. It's also not a good sign when they say it's difficult to predict rainfall patterns after that point. Yet that's how Scheeringa says the forecast has shaped up recently.

'Send Us Moisture From the Gulf of Mexico'

In some ways it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. At first it looked like a storm arriving over the weekend of June 10 would bring relief. As it turns out, there wasn't enough moisture in the atmosphere over Indiana to sustain it, and it broke apart. Only minute areas here and there got a decent rain. Most areas got no rain at all.

"Fronts are coming through, but they're not bringing much moisture with them," Scheeringa says. Relative humidity during most of June was on the low side, meaning that there was little if any moisture to pick up and sustain clouds and storms with. The Jet Stream has parked itself over the U.S. and Canadian border.

The good news is that the upper Great Plains is in great shape in terms of getting enough rain. That extends into South Dakota as well. However, areas in the eastern two-thirds of Iowa and part of Illinois are beginning to turn abnormally dry as well.

What rain we're going to get right now will have to come from the northwest," says Dev Nyogi, state climatologist. And when it does come, he notes that showers are likely to be very spotty, not a widespread, soaking rain.
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