HASTINGS – The National Weather Service in Hastings is saying that much of South Central Nebraska is experiencing drought conditions due to the lack of rainfall during the summer. Most of the area is in moderate to severe drought levels, causing some towns to declare water emergencies. It is the first time they’ve seen conditions like this since 2017.
Mike Mortiz, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Hastings, says that it’s not only been a dry summer, but a dry year for much of Nebraska.
In Hastings, we’ve had just over 13 inches of rainfall and that’s our driest year since 2012 and it’s really one of our driest years so far, in the last twenty years. So quite a contrast from last year. Adams, parts of Clay County, Kearney County, up into Hall and Buffalo County have just continued to worsen, in drought conditions. And when you kind of take the bigger picture, about 68 percent of Nebraska is in some sort of drought as of this time.
Just about three months ago, only 11 percent of the state was in a drought. The NWS is also expecting dry conditions during the fall as well.
These drought conditions can lead to damages to crops and pastures, more fires, streams, reservoirs and wells being at low levels, and water shortages in towns and municipalities.