September 4, 2007

Strange Weather?

Purdue says it's all part of being a Hoosier.

During the first half of August, a streak of 14 consecutive days of 90 degrees or hotter was recorded in Indianapolis, the longest such hot period since 1983. In addition to the heat, a dry spell that began during April persisted and worsened, with much of central Indiana experiencing its driest period during this time frame since 1966. Some portions of eastern Indiana experienced the driest conditions in 53 years, said Logan Johnson of the National Weather Service's Indianapolis office.

Weather factors indicate that through November there is an enhanced likelihood of continued above-normal temperatures for most of the state and continued widely scattered precipitation, Johnson said. Indiana is stuck in a neutral weather pattern that has halted rain from the tropics and the West, major sources of precipitation for Indiana in a normal summer.

Though these conditions are sobering, Niyogi said it's part of the Midwest's climate variability.

"While more research is clearly needed, at this point it does not seem likely that the current drought is anything different than a naturally occurring variation in our climate pattern," said Niyogi, who also is a Purdue assistant professor of agronomy and earth and atmospheric sciences.

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