Burn bans expand as historic dry spell continues

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FALL HAS ARRIVED

It is a brand new season as autumn began at 9:31 a.m. Tuesday. That is the precise time when the direct rays of the sun reached the equator, signaling the start of fall in the northern hemisphere. The term “Autumnal Equinox” was derived from the Latin words “autumnus,” meaning autumn, and “aequus,” for the equal amounts of daylight and nighttime.

Though today marks the start of fall, we still had 12 hours and 10 minutes of daylight. It will be Saturday ( September 26) when we will have precisely 12 hours of day and night.

DRY SPELL ROLLS ON

It will get worse before it gets better. The historic dry spell has reached five weeks. There hasn’t been a substantial rain here since August 19, and many locations in central and south-central Indiana are approaching four inches below normal in rainfall for this span of days.

Checking weather records, only one other time on record has been this dry for these dates — 1908.

The mere .04″ of rainfall in the span fell in September, and that too is elevating the month to record status. It now ranks third driest on record. Weather records in Indianapolis date back to 1871.

With no real rain expected for several more days, more counties have been added to burn bans, and that list will likely grow. On Tuesday, the counties of Daviess, Vermillion and Knox went under a ban, joining Martin and Lawrence.

So WHEN will we get some rain? At this time, we will wait on a true autumn storm system diving south Monday into Tuesday next week. Rain and wind are in the forecast for early next week, along with a real chill to follow.

We will monitor those trends and before that system arrives. The first weekend of fall will be a warm one. Mid-80s are coming this Saturday.

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