Statewide Soil Moisture Update Sept. 21, 2015

Statewide Soil Moisture Update Sept. 21, 2015

Most of the state has less soil moisture today than at this time last week. In eastern Nebraska this isn't necessarily a problem and some folks around Lincoln might even have welcomed the warm, dry week. However, for much of central and western Nebraska, this makes about 10 straight weeks when the Monday report shows an SMI less than 0.0.

The good news is that there was some improvement (although minor) over parts of north central and northwestern Nebraska and the number of stations in the lowest (driest) SMI category has been reduced from eight to five.

The other good news is that significant precipitation is likely over the next week in much of central and western Nebraska, so hopefully that means there will be even fewer (or no) sites in the lowest SMI category next week at this time.

Note: A table of levels and changes from last week is not included due to missing data at some reporting stations.

Eric Hunt
High Plains Regional Climate Center

Soil Moisture Index map for 9/24/15
Figure 1. Soil Moisture Index as of Sept. 21, 2015. West of York, most of the state is reporting negative levels. 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.

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