TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - This past summer was the third hottest on record and was also one of the driest.
So, what can we expect now that the heat and extremely dry weather conditions have tapered off?
Storm Team 10's Lindsey Monroe takes us on a look back at other historical droughts for the answer.
Our summer has been one of extreme heat: well-below-average rainfall and, therefore, one of the worst droughts in history. It has been decades since a drought has done such widespread destruction to the Wabash Valley.
The most recent droughts occurred during the summers of '88 and '83 with 2012 being comparable to the worst of years.
The Dust Bowl era of 1934 and 1936, severe dust storms, extreme heat and prolonged drought put the 1930s on top of the record books, until now.
But, what can looking back at the worst five droughts in history tell us about the future? More specifically, what will a winter after an extreme drought bring?
The average amount of winter precipitation is just over eight inches. The winter of 1936 ironically saw nearly 20 inches of precipitation leading to tremendous flooding. Precipitation was also above normal by several inches for the winters following 1954 and 1988.
These three years, plus 1934's, saw slightly above average temperatures during the winter seasons.
Winters after the hot and dry summers of 1934 and 1983 had slightly below normal precipitation. However, the winter following 1983 was the only one to see below average temperatures.
While there are many other factors that will impact our winter weather, history shows that, more times than not, winter conditions that follow a drought summer contain slightly above average temperatures and more precipitation than normal.
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