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Winter drought impacts

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We often talk about drought conditions in the summer time and we can see impacts like brown grass but there are invisible damages in the winter time.

The latest drought monitor has much of Indiana now in the moderate drought category. The moderate category has moved up to include parts of Indianapolis, Muncie and Richmond. Northwest Indiana is under the abnormally dry category and that stretches down to Lafayette.

There are a few impacts with soil and vegetation if drought conditions persist into the winter months. First soil impacts. According to horticulture experts, drought conditions in the winter mean the soil is unable to handle large temperature swings which is likely during the winter months. The frost also tends to go deeper into the soil.

Vegetation can be stressed during a winter drought. The lack of moisture can cause disease and the roots of plants are unable to absorb moisture.

It can also cause invisible damage. It can push trees, plants and shrubs out of the ground exposing roots.

There’s been a rainfall deficit in the past 30 days. Indianapolis and areas south are seeing an inch or more.

As of Wednesday December 7th so far much of the state hasn’t seen much rainfall. Bloomington picked up a third of an inch and only a trace in Lafayette.

We have several rain chances in the next few days so hopefully we can see a little relief in some areas of Indiana.