TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The newest Drought Monitor for Indiana now shows that much of the viewing area is officially under a drought. It's all because of the hot and dry weather.
In the past month, grass, trees and crops have been turning brown. Although this is normal for this time of year, the record breaking temperatures make the plants turn browner faster.
The latest Drought Monitor shows Tippecanoe, Benton, Newton, Warren, Montgomery and Fountain Counties under a moderate drought. Associate Indiana State Climatologist, Ken Scheeringa, said the D1 category means we're officially in a drought.
"It's important for people to realize that when you have abnormally dry, or D0 category, that is not drought. We do not consider it drought," said Scheeringa.
Last week, we were in a D0 category, but the dry weather put us in a drought situation.
What goes into making a Drought Monitor map?
"It's actually a very tedious process and I think people would be amazed with how much work goes into producing one week's map," said Scheeringa.
Step one: Climatologists have to go through data, such as rainfall totals and the wear and tear on crops in the past week. At that point, a mock map is made.
"Okay now it's fair game for anyone out there in the state who live there to say. No I disagree with that or change this. Move this over that. And they'll get very specific down to the sub county level on where that line should be drawn," said Scheeringa.
After collaborating, the final drought map is available for the public to see by Thursday mornings. Scheeringa said there are five categories for the Drought Monitor. He said the worst category is D4, which means exceptional drought.
For now, the region is under a D1 moderate drought. Scheeringa said he expects more deterioration in crops and vegetation for the state in the next couple weeks.
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