Negligible improvements have been occurring in the drought nationwide.
About 62 percent of the lower 48 states remain in some level of drought, according to the U.S Drought Monitor published this week.
That's down almost 4 percentage points from the peak at the end of September.
The longterm forecast continues to offer no promise of relief.
Nature does, however, have a way of surprising people. No one foresaw this extraordinary drought ahead of time, nor the historic flooding that hit the northern Great Plains in the spring of 2011.
Despite the modest nationwide improvement, Nebraska remains mired deep in drought.
About 95 percent of the state's soils are short to very short of moisture, and 97 percent of its rangeland and pastures are in poor shape or worse.
While a significant share of the state's agricultural yields has been sustained by irrigation, lack of rain and other pressures mean groundwater levels in Nebraska are further below normal than elsewhere in the lower 48 states.
Most of Nebraska and Iowa need about 9 to 12 inches of precipitation, according to the Palmer Drought Index. A portion of north-central Iowa needs more than a foot of precipitation.
Sources: NOAA Climate Prediction Center and National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Drought Mitigation Center, World-Herald archives