May hits record-breaking rainfall

Posted by: Laura Wilson


This time last year, more than 60% of Nebraska‘s population—including parts of Lancaster County—was facing drought conditions.

“Just a month or so ago, we were worried that if it stayed dry in May, we could be looking at pretty good drought, come summer,” said Climatologist Mark Svoboda.

Nebraska received record amounts of rainfall in May, though—10.83 inches so far for the month.

And the drought conditions percentage has dropped all the way down to under 8%.

“This is the first death blow to this drought so it’s good to see these rains–particularly in western Nebraska,” Svoboda explained.

“We did have a lot of ground to make up, but we certainly made up more than we needed to.”

A lot of that moisture came in the form of flooding this month—causing devastating damage to homeowners and even some farmers across the county.

Climatologist Mark Svoboda says what farmers need now is heat and dry conditions—but unfortunately that’s not in the forecast any time soon.

“Look at the record flooding in Texas and Oklahoma.  This has all sort of migrated up northward.  And we’ve really wetted up the whole Great Plains,” Svoboda said.

“So that combination of cooler weather and wetter weather seems to be in our forecast for the next 3 months.”

There is some good news for Nebraskans though—all drought conditions should be gone by mid-July.

“This is a great surge of water that can help replenish aquifers for Lincoln and other cities along the Platte River.  That’s really been needed.  We haven’t seen that in a long, long time.”