Record Heat in Nebraska has Potential to Produce Flash Droughts Throughout Summer Months

June 13, 2022, 5 a.m. ·

The sun goes down on Niobrara State Park.

A stretch of hot weather kicks in Monday with highs expected in the upper 90s to 105 degrees throughout Nebraska. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Applied Climatologist Ken Dewey said the hot weather will continue throughout the week and the remainder of June with only a few breaks of temps in the 80s and 90s.

"It's going to be a double whammy, if you will. Not only is it going to be hot – as far out into the future as I can see – but because we're not used to it, it's going to pay a toll on our bodies," Dewey said. "We'll notice we're going to get hot faster and sweat a little bit quicker."

Dewey said it'll be important to pace yourself when outside, taking as many breaks in the shade as you can and staying hydrated. The climatologist said this stretch of heat could also produce flash droughts, where heat sets in without any precipitation.

"This could be devastating for crops, because the water disappears out of the soil very quickly with windy, 100-degree weather. If we don't have timely rains, the ultimate problem could be flash droughts, and we'll know within a couple of weeks if the rain just goes away," Dewey said.

Dewey said computer models indicate the multi-year drought that's crippling the southwest U.S. is spreading to the plains. The climatologist said record-breaking heat could stay in Nebraska for the rest of June and the remainder of the summer. On average, the hottest week in Nebraska is the third week in July.