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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Shawn Amos basks in the sun in front of her home in the 4600 block of Calhoun Street on Monday morning. "Getting some cool air before it gets hot," Amos said.

Fort Wayne record heat wave: 20 days and counting

FORT WAYNE – The city's marathon heat streak continues, extending its record Monday with 20 consecutive days to hit 90 degrees or higher.

The National Weather Service in northern Indiana said that so far July has been the third warmest on record in the Summit City.

A top federal farm official has scheduled visits to three Indiana farms amid the state’s drought.

Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Julia Wickard said that Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Undersecretary Michael Scuse will travel to Indiana on Wednesday and Thursday to tour drought-stricken farm fields in Allen and White counties in northern Indiana and Johnson County south of Indianapolis,.

The National Weather Service has recorded 0.09 of an inch in rainfall in Indianapolis since June 1. If Monday’s forecast for no rain holds up, that total would match a stretch in August and September 1908 that’s the city’s driest since the weather service’s record keeping started in the 1870s.

Fort Wayne has recorded just 0.70 of an inch of rain since June 1.

A new report shows the drought gripping the United States is the widest since 1956.

The monthly State of the Climate drought report released Monday by the National Climatic Data Center says 55 percent of the continental U.S. is in a moderate to extreme drought. That's the most since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.

This year, 80 percent of the U.S. is abnormally dry, and the drought expanded last month with the 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record going back to 1895.

The nation's corn and soybean belt has been especially hard hit. The report says Midwest has experienced its seventh warmest and 10th driest April-to-June period. And it says crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at an alarming rate.

For current local conditions, including an update NOAA weather map, make our Weather page one of your favorites.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.