Weather does little to alleviate drought - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Weather does little to alleviate drought

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By: Bill Schammert

With the five-and-a-half inches of snow mother nature brought us this weekend, Lincoln's total is now more than 20-inches on the season.  But experts say it's done little to alleviate the statewide drought.

"For short term, if it can help out with farming practices, that'll be a good thing," regional climatologist, Natalie Umphlett, said. "As far as long-term, didn't make much of a dent."

Taking a look at the UNL Drought Monitoring system, 77-percent of the state remains in an exceptional drought, the same percentage as three months ago.

"Winter is the time of the year we get the least amount of precipitation anyways, so we wouldn't expect to see much improvement, or much degradation," Umphlett said.

Climatologists say typically, it takes more than a foot of snow to equal just one inch of precipitation.

"Half an inch here, half an inch there.  It takes a lot of those events to add up," Umphlett reiterated.

Overall, Nebraska remains about 10-inches behind normal for precipitation.

However, there is some good news.

Umphlett says much of the soil in eastern Nebraska has began to thaw, thus whatever moisture this snow does contain, will most likely soak into the ground.

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