Skip to comments.Climatologists: Recent snowfall provides drought relief, but not enough
Posted on 02/26/2013 6:42:02 AM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
While some have welcomed the added moisture provided by Thursdays snow, others say it did little to affect Nebraskas ongoing nine-month drought. The snow accumulation, ranging from a modest few inches in the southeastern portion of the state to deeper drifts in the west, fell upon frozen ground, preventing it from reaching thawed soil and eventually trickling down and recharging the groundwater supply. Its a shot in the arm, very beneficial, but we still have some ground to make up, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center, located on the University of Nebraska-Lincolns East Campus. Nebraska is experiencing a water deficit of approximately 12 to 15 inches, according to Brian Fuchs, another climatologist with the center. This places Lincoln in the extreme category and Western Nebraska in the exceptional category. Thursdays snow accumulation amounted to less than an inch of moisture, according to Svoboda. When youre in a drought youre never going to say that a precipitation event was not helpful, Fuchs said. But in the big picture, did it make a big dent in the situation? Not really. Though the water from the recent snow is unlikely to reach the soil moisture profile, once the snow melts, it can help other areas stressed by the drought. The soil moisture profile is the capacity of soil to hold water. The moisture here is what sustains vegetation during a dry spell.
(Excerpt) Read more at m.dailynebraskan.com ...
Not sure why people still think it’s reasonable to try to farm in the state of Nebraska. Been pretty clear for a century that it just doesn’t get enough rainfall.
"We're in a drought. BUT ..... all the rain that we just received isn't the right kind of rain. It's (too hard, too soft, not enough, too much, too fast, in the wrong place, etc, pick one)."
There's just no making people happy, sometimes. What the heck, at least they didn't blame Global Warming.
Until they get a pipeline going to the Great Lakes that place should be left to grazing animals and plants that don't need much water.
Here in Colorado, we average 33” of snowfall during the winter according to the local news. Right now, we are at 30” and have another storm on the way. This should get us back to normal but will not have done anything to make up for the drought.
We need several 1 to 3 inch snow storms over the next two months and perhaps some rain to start refilling the lakes and streams.
I live in Kansas.
The ground was not at all frozen before our big snowfall last week. And its snowing again today. The ground is insulated and not at all frozen...and the majority of this snow will go into the soil.
I think this article oversimplifies a variety of issues at hand. First of all, the soil is plain desiccated...and the snow will help. I think its better than rainfall, since it doesn’t immediately run off like rain from a thunderstorm. But beyond that, the aquifer in central Kansas has been dropping for decades...no this won’t help. We do have a variety of streams that are so low, the water rights are being suspended...this snow will help that. Now the most important thing is to actually get rain while the crops are in the field....which can never be predicted.
I know what you mean. Here in Virginia, we were in a moderate drought during the summer and well into the fall. The local weatherfolk never let us forget it, and when rain finally came along at the end of the year, they immediately started griping and moaning if the rain didn’t confine itself to the workweek.
You’re right. It’s never enough and the wrong kind. Thankfully, the LCRA (river authority) has finally woken up to the fact that sending precious water down to rice farmers in south Texas might just be the wrong thing to do. Uh, helloooo, trying to maintain wet rice patties in south Texas when there’s been a drought for years and years??? That makes no sense.