Statewide Soil Moisture Update

Statewide Soil Moisture Update

Sept. 14, 2015

Table 1. Average Soil Moisture Index by USDA NASS Crop District on Sept. 7, 2015. (Districts and EPA Ecoregions Defined) The number in parentheses shows the change from the previous week.*
Northwest - 2.6 (-2.4)
North Central -1.9 (-2.1)
Northeast -1.8 (-2.0)
Central -2.5 (-2.2)
East Central 2.9 (1.5)
Southwest -2.2 (-1.7)
South Central -2.2 (-1.6)
Southeast 0.1 (-1.5)
*The Soil Moisture Index (SMI) is based on the estimated field capacity and wilting point at three depths (10 cm, 25 cm, 50 cm) at Automated Weather Data Network (AWDN) sites under grass cover. The index may not necessarily be representative of conditions of a nearby field, particularly if differences in total precipitation over the previous week have been significant.

As with many reports over the past six to eight weeks, this one features another Soil Moisture Index (SMI) map where eastern Nebraska levels are in stark contrast with the dryness in the rest of the state.

The good news is that some places that needed precipitation received it and there are two fewer stations where the SMI is below 0.0 than a week ago at this time. However, with unseasonably warm weather and slim chances for precipitation over the coming week, the only thing that seems likely is continued drying statewide. While this is not necessarily bad news in some parts of eastern Nebraska, this is most definitely not good news in the rest of Nebraska.

Eric Hunt
High Plains Regional Climate Center