In the latest United States Drought Monitor, released each week, drought conditions appear to be improving during a critical time for farmers.
Parts of southern Nebraska and Iowa shaded in yellow in the map above, represent areas seeing abnormally dry conditions, which is the lowest level of the drought scale. A small part of Nebraska and a portion of Iowa are also under a moderate drought.
Over the last 3 months, Omaha's Eppley Airfield has been running below average for rain. Here are the rain totals (along with some melted snow) from March, April, and the first half of May.
March: 2.82" (0.83" above average)
April: 0.27" (2.69" below average)
May: 0.96" (1.08" below average)
Even with these numbers, which vary across the state, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska shows Nebraska and Iowa gaining ground on the drought conditions. The center calculates the percentage of each state under abnormally dry drought conditions.
At the beginning of the year, 91% of Nebraska was being impacted by drought conditions. At the same time, 71% of Iowa was hit by some level of drought. Just 3 months ago, big improvements were being made, and we are now down to 23% of Nebraska and 39% of Iowa being at least abnormally dry.