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Recapping The Rainfall Over The Weekend

Plus a drought update
Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 12, 2022

Saturday brought some much needed rainfall to the area, with many locations seeing rainfall 0.5" to 1". This was not one of our summer-time rains, where one town could get drenched and the town over remain dry. Everyone saw some beneficial rainfall this time around.

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Even the lowest totals at Norfolk, Wayne, and Beatrice still picked up .4" of rainfall. While the higher rain totals was seen in a band from York to Tekamah, where those locations saw over 1".

The rainfall is welcome news as drought conditions continue to worsen across the state of Nebraska. As many saw one of their driest August's on record, the drought has expanded quickly. Parts of Madison, Stanton, Colfax, Dodge, Cuming, Wayne, and Thurston Counties are now under the "exceptional drought". The last time eastern Nebraska had exceptional drought was back in 2012, ten years ago.

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For Omaha, we typically have seen 25.08" of rainfall by this time of year, but so far we've only seen 19.46". As Omaha sees 31.86" of rainfall per year, we usually see another 6" between mid-September and the end of December.

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However, to completely break the drought. Omaha would need to pick up 10.71" of rainfall, meaning we have to see all our normal rainfall through the end of year, plus several more inches. This is the same in drought stricken northeast Nebraska, where nearly a foot of rainfall needs to fall through the end of the year to formally break the drought.

That is to completely end the drought. To reduce the drought to more manageable levels, Omaha would need 7.08" of rainfall through the end of the year to reduce the drought. Northeast Nebraska would need 8.23" to bring drought levels down. It is doable, but it is unlikely any significant change will come anytime soon. One good rainfall does not break a drought, we need rainfall like last weekend multiple times to break the drought.