More precipitation and snow may be on the way

Posted By: Veronica Ortega

Over the past few days Nebraska has been lucky enough to get a break from a very cold and wet winter. Associate State Climatologist Al Dutcher says that’s all about to change. He says Climate Prediction Center Models are forecasting we will be getting below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation very soon.

"As we narrow in on the 30 day forecast for the month of March we see a much more northern and northeastern displacement of that above normal precipitation to include essentially the southwest three quarters of the state of Nebraska," says Al Dutcher.

Dutcher says this El Nino effect is normal for the western Corn Belt. We get some nice weather for a short period, only to be hit hard again by the cold. Farmers say the ground is already saturated and more will cause problems.

"Rain we get in March and April it probably will just run off, but the water that’s already in the ground, there’s springs running already and stuff. So those were running last year and hardly ever stopped so it is going to be kind of a nuisance again this year," says local farmer, Larry Heyen.

Eastern Nebraska has had 300% more precipitation than normal and the central part of the state has had 200% to 300% more.  Dutcher says conditions are even wetter than they were this time last year, and we can probably expect more flooding and snow this spring.

"More snow would not be a good thing. We don’t try to disturb the ground and we rely on freezing out for our ground to loosen up decent for our planting time, and snow at this point would just pack the ground more," says Larry Heyen.

Dutcher says there are other possible outcomes for Nebraska’s spring, but again he’s leaning toward more precipitation. He says the faster El Nino dies down, the quicker we’ll see dry conditions.