June 18, 2023
The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor has revealed that nearly half of the state of Indiana is facing varying degrees of drought conditions. The monitor, which depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country, classifies drought levels into five categories, with D0 representing “Abnormally Dry” conditions, and D1 to D4 indicating increasing severity.
According to the data released by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the current drought situation in Indiana is as follows:
- D0 (Abnormally Dry): Approximately 50.4% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. These areas are either transitioning into or emerging from drought but still face the risk of water scarcity.
- D1 (Moderate Drought): Approximately 44.3% of the state is grappling with moderate drought conditions. This classification suggests a higher level of severity, indicating that the affected areas are experiencing deficits in soil moisture and water supplies.
- D2 (Severe Drought): Around 5.4% of Indiana is facing severe drought conditions. This level of drought signifies a significant impact on crops, water resources, and other essential sectors that rely on adequate water availability.
- D3 (Extreme Drought) and D4 (Exceptional Drought): Fortunately, no areas in the state currently fall under the extreme or exceptional drought categories. These levels represent the most severe drought conditions, with widespread crop and pasture losses, water shortages, and potential ecosystem collapse.
When considering the combined areas affected by D1 to D4 drought levels, it becomes evident that approximately 49.7% of Indiana is currently grappling with some form of drought.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture utilizes the Drought Monitor’s data to trigger disaster declarations and determine loan eligibility for affected regions. While these declarations provide some support, individual states and water supply planning authorities rely on additional information to inform their decisions and actions in response to the drought.
- National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)