Recent rains have finally eased the official drought status of northeast Indiana.
All of LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Whitley, Huntington, Wabash and Kosciusko counties are now rated in severe drought, upgraded from extreme drought, along with about a third of Allen County, about a third of Wells County and most of DeKalb County.
Adams County and the remainder of Wells and Allen counties are rated as being in moderate drought, upgraded from severe drought, according to the national drought report issued Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The most important difference is continuing rain.
The National Weather Service reports that 2.48 inches of rain fell at Fort Wayne International Airport through Wednesday – about two-thirds of an inch more than typically would fall in that period. However, only 7.48 inches of rain have fallen since June 1, which is still 2.74 inches below normal, and the 17.83 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1 is 7.19 inches below normal.
Drought eased throughout the state, according to this week's report. In the state as a whole, even more of the state is classified as being in extreme drought. About 46 percent of the state is rated as being in extreme or exceptional drought, down from about 69 percent last week.