Climatologist: 2012 drought far from over

By: Megan Palera

Climatologist with the National Drought Mitigations Center say the drought in Nebraska is far from over and could continue into next year.

This year is on track to be the warmest year on record in Nebraska. This summer was among the driest – some months beating out the 1930s Dust Bowl. And the drought of 2012 is being felt everywhere.

“We've only seen droughts like this 3 times in the last 100 years,” Climatologist Mark Svoboda said.

Tuesday night in Lincoln, the National Drought Mitigations Center held a seminar to talk about the impacts. The entire corn belt was hit, from Nebraska to Ohio. The USDA already estimates a $30 billion loss in agriculture and that could mean higher food prices beginning next year, if not sooner.

“Obviously the corn and soybeans issue. Even in the irrigated areas we're seeing some reduction in yield. We're also seeing a lot of issues with range and pasture land for grazing of livestock, particularly cattle,” Svoboda said.

So how do we get out of this drought? Hope that mother nature gets even this winter.

“We were behind the 8 ball before it ever started. And unless we can get some recharge in the fall or winter, we're gonna be fight back into that place because we've totally depleted the soil moisture going into 2013,” Svoboda said.