With climate trends pointing towards a dry, warm weather in the Midwest, Indiana could experience another drought this year,
Indiana University’s Provice Professor of Atmospheric Science Sara Pryor believes that although the seasonal forecast does suggest that dry summer lies ahead, it is difficult to make an accurate forecast for six months in the future.
“Our forecasts for precipitation aren’t as good even in the short term, so equally they aren’t as good in the longer term,” she says. “So what I would say yes, I think it likely that it will be a drier summer, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it.”
Since the Midwest is major source of various crops, droughts within these regions have a great negative effect on consumers. Since the last three summers have been dry, Putman County farmer Mark Legan is protecting his crops by minimizing risk exposure to preserve nutrients within the soil. Although livestock sales helped farmers keep afloat last year in spite of lower crop yields, another dry summer could increase the amount of farmers having to scale back their operations.
“With ending stocks at record low levels with grains, its going to be very difficult on a lot of people,” Legan says. “Any probably force some people out of business.”
Pryor’s fieldwork shows a tendency towards floods in the spring and much drier summers; therefore the probability of summertime drought is increasing.