Heading into spring 2018, we were very dry across the region, with drought conditions spread across large portions of the region. We've been gaining ground on drought conditions since then, and the recent rain continues to help!
In the latest Drought Monitor, released by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Thursday, June 21st, we continue to see improvements across southern Nebraska and Iowa where "abnormally dry" and "moderate drought" conditions persist.
In Nebraska, 15% of the state is classified as "abnormally dry" or worse, an improvement of 2 percentage points from a week ago. While that may seem like a small gain, 91% of the state was seeing some type of drought conditions to start the year.
In neighboring Iowa, the numbers are slightly higher. About a quarter of the state is at least "abnormally dry" which is also a huge improvement from the start of 2018.
We will likely see more improvement to the drought in the region next week, because the latest drought numbers use data up to Tuesday morning, June 19. Since then, we've seen more rain fall across the region.
At Omaha's Eppley Airfield, we are now up to 5.84 inches of rain in June, putting us more than 2.5 inches above average for the month. The last time we saw close to that amount of rain in a single calendar month was in August 2016, when we picked up 5.78 inches for the month.
This has helped reduce the rain deficit for 2018. Omaha is now up to 12.64 inches on the year, putting us just over 1.5 inches below average.