FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Even though we saw snow on the ground in parts of the area over the weekend, we are still dealing with drought conditions across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. In fact, conditions have worsened throughout the fall.

The latest version of the drought monitor shows part of the area in a moderate drought while other locations are seeing abnormally dry conditions. These conditions are current as of Tuesday, November 8th. An update to these conditions will be taken on Tuesday and released on Thursday this week.

These drought conditions throughout the fall have been both positive and negative. Meteorologist Michael Skipper with the National Weather Service Northern Indiana office says farmers have actually thrived off of the dry conditions as of late. 95 percent of the soybean harvest has been completed in Indiana, which is two weeks ahead of schedule. 91 percent of the corn harvest has also been completed, which is a week and a half ahead of schedule.

The negative side is that the dry conditions have caused a number of field fires, as combines get too hot and cause the dry grass to catch on fire. Skipper says he recently received a phone call about a field fire spreading into a forest. In fact, there is actually a burn ban in place in Jay County right now in our area. You can read where these bans are in place by clicking here.

We are experiencing a longer term drought in our area. Right now, we’re seeing very dry soil conditions. As a result, there will be a larger day to night temperature spread when skies are clear because the cold can reach down deeper into the soil. Come winter, this could cause some issues with plant roots making it through to the spring. Any remaining crops are also very dry.

In addition, water levels are low. While this is not a big concern right now, we need more precipitation in the winter to sustain the spring growth. As long as the soil remains dry though through the winter, the risk for spring flooding is lowered.

Skipper says Fort Wayne can typically expect drier times from November through March. We typically see a total of 12.84 inches of precipitation in this timeframe, which is around 2.6 inches per month. The key is for us to have heavy rain or deep, wet snow events throughout the winter in order for water to get into the ground. The water equivalent of snow is the key, as dry, powdery snow will do little to help the drought situation.

We’ll just have to watch and see how the situation evolves over the winter. For now, there’s no need to worry, but you may want to water the dry ground when it warms up a little, especially if you have some dormant plants. You could also conserve some water.

To keep an eye on when we could see some rain or snow, make sure you stay tuned to our WANE 15 Forecast Page.