Nearly all of Nebraska is now in either the extreme or exceptional drought category — the worst two.
Climatologist Elwyn Taylor says cooler temperatures and rainfall we’ve seen lately do not mean the drought is wrapping up.
“It definitely has not broken yet, it maybe has for a few locations, but for the most part it is still with us,” Taylor says.
Some areas of the country have seen only marginal relief from the dry conditions, while others are finally starting to recover.
“The southeastern United States is done with their drought, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona — we won’t say done with the drought — but much moderated there and disappearing in places but still at strength in the Midwest and out into the Rocky Mountains,” according to Taylor.
He says about 80% of our region’s rainfall comes from the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are seeing a flow of moisture, at least a moderate flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico,” Taylor says, “and it’s only about half the strength, or a little less than half the strength, and with that being weak we’re not seeing a real quick end to this.”
While Taylor says factors influencing the region’s weather are moderating toward more normal temperatures and moisture in the immediate future, he expects the drought to continue into next spring in most areas.
Other forecasters predict this current weather pattern may break as soon as October.