Seasonal weather outlook dampens hopes for drought relief


Seasonal weather outlook dampens hopes for drought relief

The drought in parts of the Western Corn Belt is intensifying and a climatologist says the 90-day outlook doesn’t look promising.   

Brian Fuchs is with the National Drought Mitigation Center. “We start getting into April and May, we see our precipitation numbers really start jumping and we would hope normal precipitation would be enough to change that drought status but those outlooks that are going through the end of May aren’t showing any relief.”

He says he’s concerned this could be like the drought in 2012. “Once it does get hot, we’re going to see the drought explode. That’s kind of the kicker.  If we don’t see our fortunes change, and we go into late spring or early summer with this same kind of situation, that moderate drought that we’re seeing across the state I would anticipate that definitely intensifying to more severe to extreme drought.”

But, he says, the Eastern Dakotas, Eastern Kansas, Western Iowa and Western Missouri have benefited from recent moisture and doesn’t expect drought to develop this spring.

The latest drought monitor showed 91.2 percent of Nebraska is experiencing a classification of drought.

Brian Fuchs, Climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center: