Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Has Recent Rain And Snow Ended the Drought in Nebraska??

The question "has recent rainfall and snowfall ended the drought in Nebraska" has been posed to me multiple times by the media during the last two days.

The following maps (from the High Plains regional Climate Center) have been put together to show that there are only two areas in Nebraska which have benefited from recent precipitation and, to show how large the long-term deficit is in the state of Nebraska.


 The two recent snow and rain events during this past week are obvious in the first map with two zones of surplus.  Going back to January 1 there are two smaller areas of surplus precipitation. However, the last map, going back to one year ago, has deficits in excess of 12 inches in a large area of the state.   

It is too early to say the drought is over and we can only be cautiously optimistic with the recent wetter pattern.

The maps  shown below are for the state of Nebraska.  You can generate regional and U.S. maps for various time periods using the various pull down menus at:
    http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current/




Starting with the last 7 days, here are the precipitation departures from normal





 Going back to the first of the year, here are the precipitation departures from normal.




 Going back 6 months, here are the precipitation departures from normal.

 Going back one year, here are the precipitation departures from normal.

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