The drought afflicting Indiana has eased so much that all of northeast Indiana is now rated as being in moderate drought.
Only a week ago, the majority of this corner of the state was in severe drought.
Throughout the state, the drought has eased, too. Sixty-four percent of Indiana is rated as being in severe drought or worse, down from 81 percent last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report issued Thursday morning.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, maintained by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, combines many measurements and indexes to assess the severity of droughts across the country. It is issued each Thursday, based on measurements as of the preceding Tuesday.
The most obvious measurement is rainfall. The monitor also factors in soil moisture, stream flow, vegetation health, groundwater levels, reservoir storage and pasture or range conditions.
The National Weather Service reports that 3.51 inches of rain fell at Fort Wayne International Airport so far in August, 0.09 of an inch more than typically would fall in that period. However, only 8.51 inches of rain have fallen since June 1, which is 3.31 inches below normal, and the 18.86 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1 is 7.76 inches below normal.