Dry August heading to record books

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The month of August has been so dry in central Indiana this year that it appears headed for the record books.

With just 0.85 inches of rainfall, Indianapolis has experienced the seventh driest August on record in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. Statistics show 2010 was the driest August ever, seeing just 0.37 inches of precipitation.

“We’re just like in the early stages of things,” said the National Weather Service’s Al Shipe. “It’s something we have to watch because when you start to see dry conditions now when it’s typically dry, they could persist. Then things could get worse, but as far as your reservoirs going as low as they did last year, that takes several months to happen and that’s not likely to happen.”

In mid-2012, the U.S. Drought Monitor listed much of central Indiana in the “extreme drought” category, the highest level. As of last week, central Indiana found itself in the “abnormally dry” category, which is one step below the “moderate drought” stage.

Shipe does not believe mandatory water bans will happen this year, as they did earlier in the summer of 2012. However, dry weather could lead to an increased fire danger, he said.

“Droughts sort of sneak up on you,” said Shipe. “It’s good weather that just keeps going on and on and on and it never ends. Then after three months, or out west after a couple of years, you wonder when the rain’s gonna come.”

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