Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 23, 2013: Is the Great Plains Drought Over?

With the very active weather pattern the last few weeks and frequent rainfall (and even some snowfalls) in Nebraska and the Great Plains, it would seem to many that the drought in our area might have ended.

However, even if the topsoil is wet and there is some standing water in some fields, more of the long term deficit must be erased before we can officially declare that the current drought has ended.

The following map covers the time period April 24, 2012 through April 23, 2013 and shows (in inches) the current 12-month deficit in precipitation (departure from normal) for the High Plains region. Much of Nebraska has a deficit of 8 to 12 inches and parts of central Nebraska (in red) still have a deficit in excess of 12 inches (12 to 16 inches)



The following map shows the 12 month departure from normal precipitation as a percent of normal.  Much of Nebraska has had between 50 and 70% of normal precipitation during the past 12 months and central Nebraska (dark red) has an area which has only received between 25 and 50% of normal precipitation.




 The following two maps are for the same time period but for a larger region, the conterminous 48 states.









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