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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Nebraska

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Nebraska using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in Nebraska. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Rangeland conditions decline
68.5
of NE
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Pasture and crop growth are stunted
  • Surface water levels decline
21.8
of NE
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop yields are low; ethanol production decreases and plants begin to close
  • Fires increase; firework restrictions are possible
  • Well levels are dropping; mandatory surface water irrigation restrictions are implemented; water use is high
2.2
of NE
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Hay is scarce and expensive; producers are selling cattle early and culling; horses are abandoned
  • Fish kills claim thousands of fish; drought-tolerant trees are dying
  • Water temperatures are high; Platte River is dry in sections; water recreation is limited
0.0
of NE
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Crop germination is stunted; high levels of nitrate are found in corn
  • Wildfire season is destructive and costly
  • Municipality water supply is low; trade navigation is hindered on major rivers due to low flow and obstructions
0
of NE
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Rangeland conditions decline
68.3
of NE
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Pasture and crop growth are stunted
  • Surface water levels decline
17.9
of NE
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop yields are low; ethanol production decreases and plants begin to close
  • Fires increase; firework restrictions are possible
  • Well levels are dropping; mandatory surface water irrigation restrictions are implemented; water use is high
2.6
of NE
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Hay is scarce and expensive; producers are selling cattle early and culling; horses are abandoned
  • Fish kills claim thousands of fish; drought-tolerant trees are dying
  • Water temperatures are high; Platte River is dry in sections; water recreation is limited
0.7
of NE
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Crop germination is stunted; high levels of nitrate are found in corn
  • Wildfire season is destructive and costly
  • Municipality water supply is low; trade navigation is hindered on major rivers due to low flow and obstructions
0
of NE
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Rangeland conditions decline
67.7
of NE
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Pasture and crop growth are stunted
  • Surface water levels decline
18.2
of NE
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop yields are low; ethanol production decreases and plants begin to close
  • Fires increase; firework restrictions are possible
  • Well levels are dropping; mandatory surface water irrigation restrictions are implemented; water use is high
4.9
of NE
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Hay is scarce and expensive; producers are selling cattle early and culling; horses are abandoned
  • Fish kills claim thousands of fish; drought-tolerant trees are dying
  • Water temperatures are high; Platte River is dry in sections; water recreation is limited
0.9
of NE
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Crop germination is stunted; high levels of nitrate are found in corn
  • Wildfire season is destructive and costly
  • Municipality water supply is low; trade navigation is hindered on major rivers due to low flow and obstructions
0
of NE
134,310
people in Nebraska are affected by drought
0
counties with USDA disaster designations
13th
driest June was in 2021, over the past 127 years
55th
wettest year to date was in 2021, over the past 127 years

Explore Drought Conditions by City and County

Summary

View up-to-date drought conditions down to the city and county level, including temperature, and precipitation conditions, key drought indicators, outlooks, historical conditions, and water supply, agriculture, and public health maps.

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Drought in Nebraska from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Nebraska lasted 348 weeks beginning on February 5, 2002, and ending on September 30, 2008. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of October 2, 2012, where D4 affected 77.61% of Nebraska land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.