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Redefining drought could lead to better preparation

A team of researchers, including two from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have developed and proposed a new definition of drought that integrates ecological, climatic, hydrological, socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of drought. This novel approach to thinking about drought may help decision makers better prevent and respond to drought impacts.
Read more.

Redefining drought could lead to better preparation

Warning system gets the early drop on drought

Agricultural crops can wither in a flash when the days turn hot, the air dries, the rain stops and moisture evaporates quickly from the soil. A new early warning system developed by two nationally recognized centers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, along with the U.S. Geological Survey, can help alert stakeholders as drought begins.
Read more.

Warning system gets the early drop on drought

Forecast: Expect High Heat Indices after July 4

Convection this week has brought welcome moisture to areas east and south of Grand Island, as several complexes developed on a daily basis from June 24 to 26. Unfortunately, a substantial portion of northern and western Nebraska missed out on these events and a substantial increase in abnormally dry conditions is depicted on this week's Drought Monitor (Figure 1). Rainfall reported after 7 a.m. on June 27 will be incorporated in next week's edition.
Read more.

Forecast: Expect High Heat Indices after July 4

Continued rains in early April forecast; possible snow mid-month

Al Dutcher, associate Nebraska state climatologist with the Nebraska State Climate Office, predicts that rainy weather will continue through early April, but snow may be coming by mid-month.
Read more.

Continued rains in early April forecast; possible snow mid-month

Climatologists on using climate data to manage risk

Improving our understanding of weather and climate can improve our management of production risk in agriculture. Further, state of the art seasonal forecasts can likely improve producer decision making. On March 29, Nebraska and Iowa climatologists gathered in Lincoln to speak on how to use weather and climate data to market crops and manage agricultural production risk.
Read more.

Climatologists on using climate data to manage risk

HPRCC, Extension host National Climate Assessment workshop

Changes in climate do not necessarily translate into changes to management practices and interactions between sectors remain quite complex. Those topics were key discussions during the Northern Great Plains Regional engagement workshop for the Fourth National Climate Assessment
Read more.

HPRCC, Extension host National Climate Assessment workshop

Drought Center releases inaugural annual report

The National Drought Mitigation Center has announced the release of its first annual report and the unveiling of its new logo. Over the last year, the drought center has worked on 24 projects and hosted or co-hosted 76 events in 15 countries, and partnered with 18 state and federal partners.
Read more.

Drought Center releases inaugural annual report

U2U program wrapping up, brought climate tools to farmers

Researchers at nine universities, including University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are celebrating the completion of a six-year, $5 million program that reinvented the way climate scientists connect with farmers.
Read more.

U2U program wrapping up, brought climate tools to farmers

As temperatures warm, spring conditions could turn wet

The Nebraska State Climate Office's Al Dutcher writes that we are now two-thirds of the way through our meteorological winter (December-February) and it is time to take stock of how the current upper air pattern will likely influence the remainder of our winter. What he projects? Spring could turn wet.
Read more.

As temperatures warm, spring conditions could turn wet

HPRCC releases first annual regional climate summary

The High Plains Regional Climate Center recently released its first annual regional climate summary, covering climate conditions, data and rankings, and extremes events for the year 2016.
Read more.

HPRCC releases first annual regional climate summary

Centers partner for increased climate resiliency of South Dakota tribes

Through two new federally funded grants, the High Plains Regional Climate Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be helping four tribes in South Dakota reduce their climate vulnerability
Read more.

Centers partner for increased climate resiliency of South Dakota tribes

Detecting seasonal changes in evergreens provide new tool in climate change research

Though not apparent to the naked eye, evergreen conifers actually do go dormant in the winter. Researchers recently visualized this dormancy and a spring awakening using newly available satellite data. The discovery could improve scientists' understanding of how conifer photosynthetic activity is changing in a warming climate, and could provide a way to assess evergreen forests' role in the global carbon budget, which so far has been elusive.
Read more.

Detecting seasonal changes in evergreens provide new tool in climate change research

Drought management framework for Africa approved

Ministers present at the African Drought Conference in Windhoek, Namibia, approved NDMC climatologist Tsegaye Tadesse's drought risk management strategic framework proposal, "Drought Resilient and Prepared Africa," an ambitious effort to create drought plans for the entire African continent.
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Drought management framework for Africa approved

Shulski, Umphlett earn grant to aid cities in planning for extreme weather impacts

Climatologists Martha Shulski and Natalie Umphlett recently were awarded just over $200,000 to analyze climate data for cities planning for extreme and damaging weather events. The grant from the NOAA Climate Program Office's Sectoral Applications Research Program will run through June 2018 and will focus on determining critical precipitation levels for municipal water resource management. It will target 10 cities in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, four of the lower Missouri River Basin states.
Read more.

Shulski, Umphlett earn grant to aid cities in planning for extreme weather impacts

NU agencies lead project to help MENA region respond to drought

The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska are co-leading a $4 million research effort with the Dubai-based International Center for Biosaline Agriculture. The project is designed to help the Middle East and North Africa region balance water consumption and increase agricultural productivity, with a focus on drought management. The U.S. Agency for International Development is funding the MENA Regional Drought Management System project through March 2017, with $1 million dollars designated for research activities conducted by the NDMC, Water for Food Institute and UNL's Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies.
Read more.

NU agencies lead project to help MENA region respond to drought

Shulski, Birge to represent UNL at UArctic Congress 2016

Dr. Martha Shulski and Hannah Birge, of the School of Natural Resources, will represent the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at UArtic Congress 2016 this fall in St. Petersburg, Russia. UArctic is a cooperation of universities, colleges, research institutes and organizations dedicated to research and education in the far North. By pooling knowledge, infrastructure and resources, UArctic is better able to address the complex social-ecological needs of the region than any individual entity on its own.
Read more.

Shulski, Birge to represent UNL at UArctic Congress 2016

Videos from seminar on Climate Change available on SNR site

Don Wilhite, SNR professor of applied climate science, worked with Sen. Ken Haar's office to organize a seminar to familiarize senators on the science and implications of climate change on the state. View videos from the speakers at go.unl.edu/climatechangeseminar.
Read more.

Videos from seminar on Climate Change available on SNR site

SNR represented strongly in series of podcasts by students

Five from the School of Natural Resources were featured for their climate change expertise in the student-produced Streaming Science podcasts, aired on soundcloud.com. They are: Martha Schulski, Larkin Powell, Kim Morrow, Crystal Stiles and Steve Hu.
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SNR represented strongly in series of podcasts by students

Shift to La Nina Likely in Late Summer or Earlier

It has been exceptionally wet since mid April with south central and southwest Nebraska receiving enough moisture to eliminate short-term dryness concerns that dominated the early February through mid-April period. Moisture data from NERain stations show that at least 253 stations recorded over 5 inches of moisture April 15-30. Arcadia, in Valley County in central Nebraska, had 10.3 inches, the highest two-week total, but it wasn't unusual: 38 locations recorded more than 8 inches of moisture.
Read more.

Shift to La Nina Likely in Late Summer or Earlier

April showers expected to continue in spurts

A well forecasted spring storm system brought significant moisture to a substantial area of the southern and central High Plains this past week. National Doppler radar estimates (Figure 1) show the heaviest precipitation falling in the more arid regions of the High Plains. Amazingly, little significant flooding was reported across the central Plains as the moisture fell over several days, allowing soils to soak up the moisture like a sponge.
Read more.

April showers expected to continue in spurts

Forecast: More Storms, Moisture on Track for Nebraska

After an exceptionally warm and dry start to March, a powerful storm system moving across the country dropped significant snowfall accumulations from eastern Colorado through northern Michigan mid-week. Heavy snow accumulations were reported in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. On the southern side of the storm, severe weather was reported in southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa, and northern Missouri.
Read more.

Forecast: More Storms, Moisture on Track for Nebraska

New Report Details Impact of Changing Arctic on Central U.S. Agriculture and Water Resources

Earlier snowmelt, decreasing soil moisture, decreased corn yields, increasing extreme precipitation events-- these are some of the weather effects currently observed in the central United States that might well have their origin in the rapidly warming Arctic.
Read more.

New Report Details Impact of Changing Arctic on Central U.S. Agriculture and Water Resources

Has spring arrived early on the Great Plains?

With spring on nearly everyone's minds, some of UNL's climate and horticulture experts offered some thoughts about the recent warm(er) weather.
Read more.

Has spring arrived early on the Great Plains?

Cooler Temperature Swing Likely in Second Half of March

Well above normal temperatures continue to dominate the western two-thirds of the United States, a trend that has been in place since our Groundhog Day blizzard event. The strongest warmth has been felt over the past two weeks with daily temperatures as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
Read more.

Cooler Temperature Swing Likely in Second Half of March

What Weather and Climate Information Do You Need?

How can you use climate information to aid crop production? Perhaps in irrigation management? Freeze projections? Fertilizer & herbicide application timing? Pest forecasts? What are you using and what tools do you need?
Read more.

What Weather and Climate Information Do You Need?

Nebraska Ag Climate Update for March 2016

View soil moisture and soil temperature maps as well as outlook maps for the next 30 days.
Read more.

Nebraska Ag Climate Update for March 2016

HPRCC Becomes a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador

In early February, the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) became an ambassador for the Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) program
Read more.

HPRCC Becomes a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador

March 2016 Weather Forecast: a Lion on the Plains

Expect a stormy start to spring and an El Nino likely to stay through summer.
Read more.

March 2016 Weather Forecast: a Lion on the Plains

Experts point to humans' role in drought

Droughts aren't just a natural phenomenon. Humans' land and water use patterns affect how dry spells play out, according to an article by an international group of experts released Feb. 2, 2016, in Nature Geoscience.
Read more.

Experts point to humans' role in drought

Nebraska Ag Climate Update and Forecast - February 5, 2016

February started with a winter storm for the record books for many locations in Nebraska. Portions of southern, central, and northeastern Nebraska saw snow amounts well above 12-15 inches accompanied by strong winds with gusts over 45 mph. This led to closure of roads, schools, and businesses, as well as a lot of hard work for individuals caring for animals or calving cows.
Read more.

Nebraska Ag Climate Update and Forecast - February 5, 2016

Nebraska Climate Centers Train Tribes on Climate Data

In the last decade, drought hit the Wind River Reservation in west-central Wyoming hard. The tribes that live there: the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone, depend almost entirely on snowpack for their water supply. And even that often isn't enough.
Read more.

Nebraska Climate Centers Train Tribes on Climate Data

UNL report: Nebraska must be proactive with climate action plan

The report shares the findings from eight roundtable discussions on the implications of climate change, hosted last fall by the School of Natural Resources.
Read more.

UNL report: Nebraska must be proactive with climate action plan

El Nino Is Here, So Why Is California Still in Drought?

A parade of El Nino-fueled storms has marched over California in the last few weeks, bringing bouts of much needed rain and snow to the parched state. But maps of drought conditions there have barely budged, with nearly two-thirds of the state still in the worst two categories of drought. So what gives?
Read more.

El Nino Is Here, So Why Is California Still in Drought?

Dewey: Storm could bring heavy snow, rain or nothing at all

Awareness is key as weather system takes shape. A weak weather disturbance blowing across the Pacific might build into the next major snow event for eastern Nebraska or it could usher in nothing more than a cloudy, gray Midwestern winter day.
Read more.

Dewey: Storm could bring heavy snow, rain or nothing at all

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Jan 8, 2016

This past month, we again saw above normal tempera- tures for most of the state, making it the fourth straight month that warm temperatures dominated. Even though we ended the month with cold, snowy weather, most of the month provided much above normal temperatures and record rainfall in southeast Nebraska.
Read more.

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Jan 8, 2016

IANR establishes Nebraska State Climate Office

The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has established the Nebraska State Climate Office within the UNL School of Natural Resources. The office will serve as the primary source of climate information for Nebraska.
Read more.

IANR establishes Nebraska State Climate Office

El Nino-fueled storms will put dent in California drought

The rain and snow hitting California this week - partly fueled by an El Nino now tied with the strongest on record- will put a dent in the state's 5-year-old drought, but there's a catch.
Read more.

El Nino-fueled storms will put dent in California drought

Current El Nino Runs Counter to the Norm

During the past 30 days an aggressive precipitation pattern has taken shape across Nebraska and most of the High Plains region from North Dakota south through Texas. Although a strong El Nino event is currently reaching its peak and is projected to weaken through spring, precipitation patterns across the United States have not conformed to typical El Nino signals.
Read more.

Current El Nino Runs Counter to the Norm

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Dec 4, 2015

The month of November turned out to be the third month in a row with above normal temperatures for Nebraska. This summer provided mostly below normal temperatures and we have been primarily experiencing above normal temperatures in the Midwest since Labor Day; however, November has been the only month where almost all of Nebraska saw normal to above normal precipitation. These warm temperatures allowed most of the Nebraska precipitation to fall as rain, which is uncommon for November.
Read more.

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Dec 4, 2015

New issue of Great Plains Research focuses on climate change

According to projected climate changes, Nebraska will see an increase in extreme events such as drought, heat waves and heavy precipitation in the future. Understanding how to address these problems now is vital not only for the future of Nebraska, but for the future of the Great Plains.
Read more.

New issue of Great Plains Research focuses on climate change

How Will this El Nino Affect Nebraska and the Plains?

The current El Nino event unfolding before our eyes has been well forecast for nearly six months and will likely lead to above normal temperatures this winter for the northern half of the continental U.S.
Read more.

How Will this El Nino Affect Nebraska and the Plains?

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Nov 6, 2015

Warm temperatures last month, and most of this fall, made for a very pleasant start to the season. Temperatures were slightly above normal for the eastern Corn Belt and much above normal for the western and northern plain.
Read more.

Nebraska Ag Climate Update - Nov 6, 2015

UNL researchers contribute to award-winning effort to bring climate info to farmers

Useful to Usable, a multi-institution effort led by Purdue that includes several UNL researchers, earned the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Partnership Award for mission integration, presented Oct. 22 in Washington, D.C.
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UNL researchers contribute to award-winning effort to bring climate info to farmers

Workshop to address implications of Arctic climate change on central U.S.

The workshop will provide a framework for future research, planning decisions and the identification of possible adaptation and mitigation measures, said Don Wilhite, professor and climatologist in UNL's School of Natural Resources.
Read more.

Workshop to address implications of Arctic climate change on central U.S.

Poll: Rural Nebraskans ready to act on climate change

Many rural Nebraskans are concerned about potential weather problems in their area and most believe the state should develop a plan for adapting to climate change to reduce its impact on agriculture, communities and natural resources, the Nebraska Rural Poll shows.
Read more.

Poll: Rural Nebraskans ready to act on climate change

Rains Forecast Over Next 10 Days

Weather models indicate numerous opportunities for measurable precipitation during the next 10 days as several strong upper atmospheric troughs move across the northern Plains.
Read more.

Rains Forecast Over Next 10 Days

Soil Moisture Update - August 3, 2015

The eastern quarter of the state (i.e., east of Highway 81) is generally sufficiently moist with all sites reporting a soil moisture index (SMI) above 0.0, indicating some surplus soil water. West of Highway 81 conditions look much worse.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - August 3, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - July 27, 2015

It took until the end of July, but we finally have a report where the statewide SMI is below 0.0. Drier conditions in recent weeks combined with periodic spells of hot weather have led to declines in soil moisture across the state
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - July 27, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - July 13, 2015

Precipitation over the past week mostly defied the projections as the areas with the most precipitation and largest soil moisture improvements were generally over the northern third of the state. Other sites in the northwest, north central, and northeast also had slight to modest improvements with the combination of precipitation and cooler temperatures through much of the week.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - July 13, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - July 6, 2015

The latest soil moisture index maps reveal soils are continuing to dry across most of the state and 12 sites are now below a soil moisture index of 0.0. However, the SMI is relatively close to 0.0 at most sites and would be brought above the 50% mark with one decent rain.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - July 6, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - June 29, 2015

For the first time this year, most locations in the state saw under an inch of precipitation and several locations saw no precipitation in the last week. The dry week is evident in the latest SMI map as there are now five stations across the state with an SMI below 0.0. Last week there were two and there were none the week before that. Several others, particularly in the Panhandle and southwest, will join the list next week if precipitation doesn't materialize.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - June 29, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - June 22, 2015

Conditions remain quite moist statewide, with all crop reporting districts having an average soil moisture index (SMI) of well above 0.0 - the break-even point for soil moisture. Three districts (East Central, South Central, and Southeast) have an average SMI above 4.0.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - June 22, 2015

How Solar Radiation, GDDs Compare with Normals

A preliminary analysis of solar radiation values from the High Plains Regional Climate Center's automated station network supports the notion that sunshine has been below normal the past six weeks. Every station in the network shows below normal solar radiation for the periods May 1-June 16 and May 15-June 16. Since June 1, solar radiation values have begun to push closer to normal, but continue to be well below normal across southeast Nebraska.
Read more.

How Solar Radiation, GDDs Compare with Normals

Soil Moisture Update - June 8, 2015

It was another wet week for most of Nebraska, with most locations picking up more than an inch of rain. Many areas of south central and southeastern Nebraska picked up over 4 inches, with flash flooding an issue in some spots.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - June 8, 2015

June 5, 2015 Weather Recap and Forecast

As we move into the heart of the growing season, excessive moisture and cool conditions during May have led to planting delays, especially across the southern third of Nebraska and in the Panhandle.
Read more.

June 5, 2015 Weather Recap and Forecast

Western Nebraska Soil Moisture Profile Still Full - June 2, 2015

There were few changes to the map in the last week with the dry areas remaining dry and the moist areas remaining moist to reaching near saturation levels. Here's a quick roundup by region
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Western Nebraska Soil Moisture Profile Still Full - June 2, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - May 26, 2015

It was another wet cool week for most of the state, especially western Nebraska where 1-3 inch precipitation totals were widespread. Soil Moisture Index (SMI) values are now over 5.0 for much of this region, indicating the top 2 feet of the soil profile is at or nearing saturation.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - May 26, 2015

Soil Moisture Update - May 18, 2015

After another relatively wet week, soil moisture is still plentiful across most of the state, though most areas are not as waterlogged as a week ago.
Read more.

Soil Moisture Update - May 18, 2015

Spring Freeze Climatology Update and Forecast

Now that we are only days away from the mid-way point of the 2015 spring season, we can focus on when to expect that last freeze.
Read more.

Spring Freeze Climatology Update and Forecast

April 24, 2015 Weather Recap and Forecast

While Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas saw the most severe weather from last week's storms, many areas of Nebraska saw storm precipitation totals over 2 inches, particularly in the western two-thirds of the state.
Read more.

April 24, 2015 Weather Recap and Forecast

Research explores ag advisers' ability to communicate climate info

A team of researchers led by UNL's Tonya Haigh have determined that relatively little is known about the readiness of different types of agricultural advisers to use weather and climate information to help their clients manage risk under increasing climate uncertainty.
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Research explores ag advisers' ability to communicate climate info

Platte Basin Timelapse project presentation is Dec. 3

What if you could follow a drop of water from the top of the Platte River Basin in the Colorado Rockies through Wyoming and into Nebraska, where it reaches the confluence with the Missouri River?
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Platte Basin Timelapse project presentation is Dec. 3