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Climatologist: Dry, warm fall no cause for alarm

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- A state climate expert says Indiana's relatively warm, dry fall should be no cause for alarm for farmers still smarting from this year's devastating drought.

The lack of November rainfall has caused parts of northern Indiana to slip back into moderate drought and left parts of northern and southern Indiana abnormally dry.

Those dry conditions and a persistent western U.S. drought has some farmers worried Indiana could slip back into a severe drought, but associate state climatologist Ken Scheeringa says Indiana has history is on its side.

He says Indiana historically hasn't had two significant back-to-back droughts, in part because its position due north of the Gulf of Mexico regularly allows in Gulf moisture.

Scheeringa says the Purdue-based climate office's research shows Indiana's longest droughts have lasted about 18 months.