Recent rains and even snow storms in the western part of the state are helping to recharge soil moisture, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln state climatologist says. The recent two-day precipitation event gave many areas of the state a month’s worth of precipitation.
Average rainfall for October varies across the state between 1.75 to 2.55 inches, said Al Dutcher, state climatologist in the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Some areas of the state saw well over that amount.
“At most of our long-term stations, the wettest October on record is between 6 and 7 inches of precipitation,” Dutcher said. With 12 days of October remaining and another two to three precipitation events, this October could be one of the top 10 wettest on record even with moderate events.
Another system is already setting up for the end of this week, he said, and it appears weather patterns could remain active.
While this does slow harvest across the state, most fields should dry out in a few days since much of the moisture is getting into the ground as conditions have been dry. In addition, this is beneficial for the state’s newly planted winter wheat crop.
“Compared to last year, we are ahead of schedule,” he said. “This gets our surfaces wetted up, and we are off to a decent start for the soil moisture profile. However, on the flip side, there still are drought concerns to deal with. West central and southwest Nebraska missed out on this precipitation.”
See full story in the Oct. 16 West Point News