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Recent rainfall helping drought conditions, Nebraska experts say we are not out the woods yet

The moisture hasn’t exactly been plentiful for the past several months
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - May showers are a welcome sight for many in the metro, especially farmers.

“Going back to last fall is kind of where this story starts.”

The moisture hasn’t exactly been plentiful for the past several months.

The metro didn’t see much snowfall over the winter, contributing to the drought we are seeing now.

6 News Senior Chief Meteorologist Rusty Lord says this rain is helping to chip away the drought we are in. You can tell by this latest map.

“We are actually making up a little bit of the deficit here. I think with what falls today, we should cut into our yearly deficit, and probably make up for the hole we’ve been in for spring,” says Rusty Lord, 6 News Senior Chief Meteorologist.

Experts say any rain is good but the light misting rain we’ve seen the past few days isn’t going to be enough to get us out of the drought. It’s only enough to saturate topsoil.

“The problem is the drought monitor and what you see on maps goes back a lot further than that. It’s not just for this year. We dug ourselves a big hole in winter with only 11 inches of snow in the metro and it goes back further than that from a dry year that we’ve had. It’s kind of this cup that we are trying to fill up more and more and it’s going to take a lot more rain than we’ve had,” said Lord.

Brian Fuchs is a Climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center. He’s based out of Lincoln and he’s on a task force that updates the governor on drought conditions across the state. He says the state hasn’t seen a widespread drought like this one since 2013.

And he says all those factors Rusty mentioned are exactly why he’s focused on what’s to come.

Fuchs says the outlook may not be what we want to hear.

“I don’t want our citizens in the state to be taken off guard by this. I think we still need to be thinking of the drought that is in place and we could just as easily go back into seeing some of that drought intensification taking place vs the easing of these conditions that we’ve seen over the last few weeks so we are not out of the woods,” said Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center Climatologist.

Fuchs says we will have a better picture by August. He says that will help farmers know what to expect when harvest rolls around.

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