Many Nebraskans are wondering how much longer the drought and extreme high temperatures will last, but the experts disagree on a timeframe.
Extension climatologist Elwyn Taylor says there are few signs indicating any changes in the current weather pattern.
“We’ve switched from the second-strongest La Nina event in recorded history, that’s a little over 100 years, to neutral. We haven’t quite moved into that El Nino, we’re right at the edge of it, some people say ‘I don’t believe we’ll make it’, some say ‘I don’t believe we will’,” Taylor explains. He says these are people who know something about the weather pattern, so right now, we are left with an unknown.
Taylor says many people are hoping the weather will return to an El Nino weather pattern.
“El Nino is kind of the friend of the Midwest farmer. Under El Nino, things just aren’t extreme. The high temperatures aren’t so much higher than normal, the cold temperatures aren’t so much colder than normal, and normal is not bad for crops,” Taylor explains.
The extreme heat returned to Nebraska last week after a short reprieve, but will it go away for good anytime soon?
“Well, we just can’t tell in a year like this. Just when we’re thinking it’s over, it’s still with us,” Taylor says. “The National Weather Service feels that it will be ending toward the end of September, so we’ve still got a calendar month to go.”
Some weather analysts say the drought may last into October, others say it may run well into next spring.