It’s been an unusually wet June in southwestern Indiana — so much so that Knox County is officially out of early drought stage.
This time last month, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that 84% of Indiana was either abnormally dry or in the midst of a moderate drought.
But not anymore.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis say thanks to a cold front that made its way through last week and unseasonably humid weather this week, much of Knox County has seen the average rainfall for June in its first 10 days alone.
“What you’re experiencing now is just that typical summertime pattern,” said Brad Herold, a hydrometeorological technician with the NWS. “These storms pop up, move slowly and sometimes dump a lot of rain.
“The heating of the day, that humid air mass tends to bring on that popcorn-type appearance we see on the radar. As we lose the heat of the day, we see those dissipate during the overnight hours only to start again the next day.”
With this type of weather pattern, too, rainfall totals can vary significantly over just a few miles.
Most observers from this area say, so far this month, most of Knox County has received 3.82 inches of rain; the average for the month of June is about 4 inches, Herold said.
Much of that fell last week when a cold front brought, in some places, more than three inches of precipitation.
As such, Knox County is no longer listed on the U.S. Drought Monitor. In fact, only a handful of counties remain marked as “abnormally dry.”
And fortunately for those with Vincennes Water Utilities, recent heavy rains haven’t affected the Wabash River.
Levee superintendent Hunter Pinnell, whose own gauges have recorded just over 3.5 inches of rainfall so far this month, said the river has fared very well.
At the Lincoln Memorial Bridge, water stands at just 6.5 feet, and it’s actually forecasted to drop.
“We’ve been fortunate so far this year,” he said. “I can understand why they considered our area as in a semi-drought stage because we’ve had far less rain so far this year than usual.”
Pinnell, too, added that Knox County came through the traditional flood season — which lasts from December through May — unscathed.
“The river has been great this year,” he said.
That said, June does sometimes bring troubles of its own; one of the most severe floods on record was in June 2008 when the Wabash River at the Lincoln Memorial Bridge exceeded 27 feet. But with rain chances exiting the forecast this weekend, a major flood this month is proving less and less likely.
Herold said while similar steamy — and rainy — conditions will linger through Saturday, dryer air will officially move in on Sunday.
It will still be hot as the forecast calls for a high on Sunday of 88 degrees and 89 on Monday, but it will not be nearly as humid — therefore bringing no chance of thunderstorms.
A slight chance of rain does move back into the forecast on Thursday, he said, but in looking at the extended forecast, this area should continue to see that dry air mass remain in place, bringing seasonable, less-humid highs in the low to upper 80s.