Lack of rain is causing farmers to worry and run irrigation systems non stop to keep their crops from dying. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency due to the drought conditions in Nebraska.
Gov. Heineman authorized an emergency declaration for statewide drought that allows state personnel and resources to assist with emergency situations and prevention, and allows maximum flexibility to the state to deploy Nebraska National Guard and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency assets and resources as needed.
Not only is the extreme heat and dry conditions parching the area, but animals and humans alike are paying the brunt of the excruciating temperatures.
In the central and southern Great Plains region, an area of heavy rainfall (2 inches or greater) was observed during the last 14-days over sections of southeastern Nebraska and adjacent northeastern Kansas, and near the Texas Coast. During the last 60 days, rainfall deficits of 2 to 4 inches (locally even greater) accumulated over central and eastern portions of Texas, 4 to 8 inches over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, and 2 to 6 inches across Nebraska. For the first 5-days of this outlook, the persistent upper-air ridge over the central portion of the CONUS will continue to steer moisture and storms around its periphery, resulting in little to no rainfall for the central and southern Plains. Instead, the arc-shaped moisture corridor favors monsoonal moisture heading northward through the southern and central Rockies, then turning northeastward across the Dakotas and upper Mississippi Valley, and continuing southeastward from there across the Ohio Valley and southern Appalachians. The CPC extended-range precipitation forecasts favor slight relief over Texas. CPCs 30-day and 90-day outlooks favor a tilt in the odds for above-normal temperatures for both July and July-September. The precipitation outlooks for these same time periods are less certain, with Equal Chances predicted for most areas. The best chances for below-median rainfall is across eastern sections of both Nebraska and Kansas in July.
Forecast confidence for the central/southern Plains is moderate. (Climate Prediction Center, 7/5/2012).
The U.S. Drought Monitor map provides a summary of drought conditions across the United States and Puerto Rico. Often described as a blend of art and science, the map is updated weekly by combining a variety of data-based drought indices and indicators and local expert input into a single composite drought indicator.
The map denotes four levels of drought intensity (ranging from D1 – D4) and one level of “abnormal dryness” (D0). Also depicted are areas experiencing agricultural (A) or hydrological (H) drought impacts. These impact indicators help communicate whether short- or long-term precipitation deficits are occurring.
The U.S. Drought Monitor sets the standard for communicating location and intensity of drought to a broad audience. The map summarizes and synthesizes information from the local and state level to the national scale, making it the most widely used gauge of drought conditions in the country. Policy makers use it to allocate relief dollars, states use it to trigger drought response measures, and media rely on it. The USDA uses it to distribute millions, even billions, of dollars in drought relief to farmers and ranchers each year, and the Internal Revenue Service also uses it for ranching-related tax determinations.