Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (NE) Nebraska Drought Update

Date: Wed, 01 May 2013 10:49:16 EDT

Summary: Over the past 30 days, Nebraska has received precipitation (in the form of rain and snow) in the range of 2-6 inches in the eastern half of the state, and 0.5-3 inches in the western half of the state. This and cooler-than-average temperatures for April (http://journalstar.com/news/local/drought-improves-thanks-to-cooler-temps-rains/article_c9c65871-4848-50b9-938e-32ea164dbf85.html) has decreased the extremity of the drought across portions of the state. But less-than-average precipitation still persists as shown by the city of North Platte, Nebraska, having gone more than 365 days without recording more than an inch of rain on a given day (total precipitation since April 28, 2012 has been 7.23 inches). More on this can be found at http://journalstar.com/news/local/north-platte-shatters-record-for-driest-days/article_5c16c871-6c5f-518d-b0a0-436e98bad19b.html.

Hydrologic Conditions:
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions in Nebraska have improved throughout most of the state, classifying 8.3 percent of Nebraska in the "Exceptional" drought category (down from 75.7 percent as of April 2), 78.2 percent in the "Extreme" drought category (down from 94.0 percent on April 2), while 96.9 percent of the state remained in at least the "Severe" drought category (down from 100 percent just one week ago on April 16).

Records or Milestones:
Of 60 long-term USGS streamgages (>30 years record) in Nebraska, 3 (or 5 percent) are at no flow (a 2-percent reduction from the Drought Report of April 1, 2013). The 7-day average streamflow for 17 of the long-term streamgages (28 percent, down from the reported 70 percent from the Drought Report of April 1, 2013) are classified as being "Below Normal" to "Extreme Hydrologic Drought." The USGS Groundwater Watch shows that more than 1,250 groundwater wells are at or less than the 24th percentile ("Below Normal" or "Much Below Normal"). 46 percent (down from 60 percent in the previous Drought Report) of ranked wells in the Nebraska Continuous Groundwater-Level Network are less than the 24th percentile ("Below Normal" or "Much Below Normal").

Additional Efforts Required due to the Drought:
No additional low-flow discharge measurements or low-end rating extensions were required in the past month.

Special projects:
None in the past month.

Communications and Outreach:
Nebraska WSC staff have answered numerous media requests for drought information to date (none in the past month).

A WWW page is available http://ne.water.usgs.gov/drought/
No news release is planned.
Storm Surge: no

Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States

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