Drought conditions expand rapidly in Nebraska

Aug 16, 2012

Drought conditions expanded rapidly in Nebraska during the previous week, according to a new report.

The National Drought Mitigation Center’s weekly report was released Thursday. Last week, 3 percent of Nebraska was in an exceptional drought. This week, it’s 22 percent.

Climatologist Brian Fuchs says the Center isn’t surprised by the expansion of the most severe drought conditions. “These areas are very similar to some of the other exceptional drought regions in the country, and it was just time to show that intensification, especially as we have not seen any relief through this time frame.”

Fuchs characterizes this year’s drought as a one-in-50-year event. He says more communities should follow Lincoln’s lead and put mandatory water restrictions in place. “We’re seeing a very significant event that’s impacting not only the agriculture in the state, but also the water ways with very significant low flows on many of the rivers and streams in the state. When we saw this drought developing and seeing how bad it was, the restrictions are definitely needed and warranted.”

A new forecast released Thursday by the National Weather Service predicts above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall in September.