Pressure : 29.78 in
Dewpoint : 44.1 °
Wind : West
Climatologists analyze severe drought
Our hot and dry conditions have dominated the headlines this summer and with no end in sight these conditions are expected to continue into the fall.
One place keeping an eye on these conditions is the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln.
For more than a decade, they have been providing the country weekly update on drought conditions.
News 5's Josh Egbert got a look at how they put these reports together and if there's any relief in sight.
Since 1999 they have been proving updates across the country.
"Our goal was to raise awareness of drought as one of the leading cause of economic loss year in and year out in the US," said Mark Svoboda.
Mark Svoboda helped create the drought reports 13 years ago.
"I think it has really been beneficial of raising awarness on drought and it's brought a lot of focus into the effort of both the University of Nebraska, the state of Nebraska, and the National Drought Mitigation Center," said Svoboda
This summer has been a busy one for Mark and fellow climatologist Brian Fuchs.
"This year we not only have the warm period but the dry period," said Fuchs.
It's the worst drought the country has seen in 50 years.
"We were not anticipating this drought event developing," Fuchs said.
In fact, this past spring was pretty wet and in April and May, they were'nt expecting a lot of drought this summer.
"We can go back to the middle of May and much of Nebraska even was not seeing any drought at the time," said Fuchs.
But about 8 weeks ago, that all changed.
"In the last 8-10 weeks we've really seen not only the dryness, but the well-above normal temperatures, the triple digit heat and all that has really combined to put us where we're at right now," said Fuchs.
And it came on fast.
"Many have called what we're seeing a flash drought with just how quickly it developed," said Fuchs.
But it actually wasn't a surprise to Mark, the creator of the drought report.
"The high pressure has shunted all the moisture up to the U.S.-Canadian border for the most part, and it's also, at the same time, as it blocks it and moves it north, it's been blocking that moisture from the Gulf of Mexico," said Svoboda.
Mark has been gathering the numbers and reports from across the country to put into the drought report, which is released every Thursday morning.
"We're still to that dry time of year where we're not going to make up the deficits we're looking at - at least not anytime soon," said Svoboda.
As the summer comes to an end, don't expect the drought to let up anytime soon.
"Going forward, we don't see a change in this pattern, right now we're anticipating the dryness and the heat to maintain itself through at least October with the last seasonal drought outlook," said Fuchs.
Even if we do get a little rain, don't expect the drought to just end.
"It isn't one rain event, it isn't two rain events, it's getting enough precipitation to recover from the impacts you've seen and so for different areas of our state that's going to mean different things," said Fuchs.
A busy summer for these climatologists, and by the look of things, a busy fall and possibly winter.
"Definitely, it will take some time," said Fuchs.
The climatologists say there is a 60-percent chance for El Nino this winter, which brings above average moisture to the region.
KHASTV on Facebook