Headline: Is this a Dry Spell or Drought Returning to Eastern Nebraska?
As of Friday morning July 19, 2013 it has been 22 days since the last measurable precipitation in Lincoln, NE. The precipitation deficit going back to June 1, 2013 is -3.93 inches.
The following map of the High Plains is a strange pattern of blue and red. Some areas have had some beneficial rains and have had above normal rainfall for the last 30 days. However, as noted in southern and southeastern Nebraska, much of the area has had less than 50% of normal precipitation including some small areas receiving less than 25% of normal precipitation. The extreme dryness of the last 30 days in Nebraska extends down into much of Kansas as well. The U.S."Percent of Normal Precipitation" map for the last 30 days is located below the High Plains regional map.
The good news is the forecasts for the next week to ten days, also included below, has the word "Thunderstorm" in the forecast listing. The highest probability of precipitation is only 50%, but it is the most promising forecast that we have had in weeks for potential precipitation.
A map showing the forecast total U.S. precipitation for the next 7 days is included near the end of this posting.
If we can receive some significant rainfall in the next few days, the past four weeks are merely going to be remembered as a "dry spell" however, if the precipitation misses us, or is light in intensity this coming weekend, we may be starting another period of drought.
Several drought impact photos are included at the end of this posting.
A lack of rain has caused the soils to dry out and crack in this farm field near Lincoln, NE.
A quarter is shown in the photo for scale