Lincoln sets record: 297 days snow-free

By: Megan Palera

Lincoln is now on its longest streak of snow-free days. Those 60 degree temperatures in December may be a nice treat, but the lack of moisture is only making the drought worse.

“People think that we're gonna get out of this drought in this next three months, they're in for a rude awakening,” State Climatologist Al Dutcher said.

Some strong words from Dutcher. As he look at the models for a chance of snow this weekend, he doesn't hold out hope. 297 days of no accumulating snow in Lincoln – a record breaker – and Dutcher says the future doesn't look promising.

“The concern that I have is that we still have just enough moisture at the surfaces that if we get a cold stretch, we can freeze our soil surfaces and if we put snow on top of it, it's not gonna have the impact of being able to melt into the profile.”

If that Arctic air moves in soon, the low levels in the Platte River could also freeze making it harder for water to get through channels that feed into Lincoln's water supply. That means mandatory water restrictions, like the ones we saw this summer, could kick in even earlier next year.

“Be aware, we have low flows and if the trend like we've established the last 15 months continues, its not gonna be a positive in terms of increasing flows.”

Dutcher says best case scenario, we get a wet, snowy pattern in late winter and the rain continues through the spring. That will help with a good corn yield. But that's only a small recovery. It's going to take much longer to get out of this disastrous drought.