For the first time in nearly a year, part of Nebraska no longer is in drought.
It's a hard-won victory, requiring weeks of healthy rains just so about 2.8 percent of the state could shift from moderate drought to “abnormally dry” status.
All or portions of six southeast Nebraska counties have made the shift, according to the National Drought Monitor. The monitor is a weekly map published by the National Drought Mitigation Center, which has its headquarters at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Natalie Umphlett, regional climatologist for the UNL-based High Plains Regional Climate Center, said the corner of Nebraska now technically out of drought has received above-normal moisture for at least two months — including 150 percent to 300 percent greater-than-normal rainfall in the past 30 days.
In general, greater-than-normal precipitation has occurred in both eastern and western Nebraska, but only modest drought relief has been registered in the Panhandle.
While most of the state has gotten above-normal moisture, a corridor from the southwest corner through north-central Nebraska remains noticeably behind. Umphlett said that corridor received 50 percent to 70 percent normal rainfall for the past two months.
All of Nebraska has been in drought since early July.
All of Iowa was in drought from mid-July until early February.
Heavy rains in Iowa continue to lift that state out of drought. About 21 percent of the state is classified as being in drought this week, compared with about 36 percent last week.
Contact the writer: