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August 2022: A Historically Dry Month

Where August 2022 stands on the record books
Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 06, 2022

August was a dry month, but if you look at the entire state it was a historically dry month. Here are the official rainfalls for the month across both Nebraska and Iowa. The Missouri River was basically the cut-off point for seeing decent rainfall over in Iowa, to seeing hardly anything at all in Nebraska.

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Rainfall totals for the month of August for Nebraska and Iowa

Even in the places that saw more than 1" of rainfall, like Omaha, it still fell well below the average rainfall for August. Typically, August is a wetter month for the state of Nebraska. Places in the panhandle and western Nebraska sees between 1-2", central and eastern Nebraska between 2-4", and places like Omaha seeing 4.6" on average. Many cities fell 1-2" below the average rainfall for the month of August.

For Omaha, rainfall was below average, but nowhere near the driest month on record. This is an exception to the norm, where most locations in Nebraska seeing the top 10 driest August's on record. Falls City and Kearney had their driest August on record. While most other locations were in the bottom 5, this graphic sums up the dire need for rainfall in the state.

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August rainfall rankings, many of these numbers date back to before 1900.

In Iowa, many places fared remarkably better. Some locations in northern Iowa, like Mason City, actually saw their second wettest August on record.

Unfortunately, the lack of rainfall for August did not help the drought. Take a look at the coverage of the state of Nebraska in numbers:
—August 1 Drought Numbers—
Level 1 "Abnormally Dry" - 90%
Level 2 "Moderate Drought" - 75%
Level 3 "Severe Drought" - 47%
Level 4 "Extreme Drought" - 12%
Level 5 "Exceptional Drought" - >1%

Drought Monitor Aug 2.png

—August 31 Drought Numbers—
Level 1 "Abnormally Dry" - 100%
Level 2 "Moderate Drought" - 85%
Level 3 "Severe Drought" - 60%
Level 4 "Extreme Drought" - 20%
Level 5 "Exceptional Drought" - 6%

Drought Monitor Aug 31.png

In many spots, we need nearly 200% of our normal rainfall through the end of the year to bust the drought. Good news is rainfall is on the way for the weekend, hopefully helping to keep the drought from expanding.