Say one thing for the loopy weather the Midlands has seen so far this (cough, cough) spring: It’s begun to turn back the drought.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says that, for the first time since June 2012, less than half of the lower 48 U.S. states remain in moderate drought or worse.
Recent heavy rains and a little snow helped reduce drought in Iowa, eastern Nebraska and the Panhandle, according to the recent U.S. Drought Monitor.
Much of Nebraska has moved from the map’s worst drought category, exceptional, to extreme drought, and parts of the east that were extreme are now down to severe. Much of Iowa has moved from extreme and severe drought down to lesser stages, and some of eastern Iowa is no longer considered in drought conditions.
It’s not quite time to celebrate when all of Nebraska remains in some stage of drought, but continued progress toward more normal precipitation is a bit of a silver lining in the season’s gray skies.