As you well know, it's been a strange week for weather across much of the U.S. Here in Nebraska, you've given it all to us in the past week - blizzards, thunderstorms, ice, rain. I don't know if you get online much, but your tomfoolerly with the weather has inspired some comical internet memes.
It doesn't seem as if you can make up your mind as to what season it is. A reminder -it is Spring. We all like Spring, please bring it back.
I would like to sincerely thank you for the precipitation that came with the odd weather, as it has brough some much-needed moisture to many parts of the U.S. Again, I don't know what kind of internet access you have, but the Drought Monitor map released April 4, 2013 by the National Drought Mitigaion Center showd 85% of Nebraska as being in the most severe stage of drought; the map released yesterday shows that reduced to just 15%!
Thank you! Yes, drought conditions have eased in America's "farm belt" but it's certainly not over by any means. Mother Nature, please remember - Nebraska simply went from realy, really bad to just really bad on the drought scale, so additional moisture would be much appreciated.
While a week of good moisture can certainly make a difference, as you most certainly know, it's important that water managers and all of us continue to plan for a dry summer. Denver and cities in Texas have already imposed mandatory water usage restrictions due to lower than average winter moisture levels, and I would guess that many others around the country will follow suite in the next several months. The Climate Prediction Center's Drought Outlook, another one of the cool online tools we have, shows the persistence of drought in much of the West with some areas of improvement.
Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation Program Manager, and Water Users Everywhere