By Annie Andrews email@example.com
Rain possibly on the horizon this week as drought continues to spread, but it's not all good news. The National Weather Service says even if we get the thunderstorms expected, the danger lurking in the clouds could outweigh any potential benefit.
Thunderstorms, if they do come, most likely won't bring the rain necessary to avoid the hazards of a potential lightning strike. Many which could be similar to the one that lit up the Niobrara River Canyon Fire that was just extinguished Sunday.
With more crops dead and drying across Nebraska, a simple spark could be disastrous.
"You get to skip one job this year," said Dean Hamling, with a painful chuckle. "The fun job." As Hamling cracked a joke, the reality of his field cracked underneath his feet.
"All the rain in the world isn't going to do it any good," he said. Hamling isn't anywhere near alone. The entire state of Nebraska is seeing the same thing.
"We continue to be an extreme drought across the NTV listening area, and in some cases an exceptional drought," said Jeremy Wesely, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service.
Even with 20 to 30 percent chances for rain this week, Hamling said it's not going to be enough to bring crops back. "Folks that do see the rain, it will be isolated, so not anything that will bring widespread relief to the area," said Wesely.
Wesely said it also most likely will not be enough to take the land from Broken Bow to Ord out of its now exceptional drought realm. "Which is the highest classification for drought."
Exceptional: rating the highest for drought and danger.
"When you have a drought situation it increases fire danger," said Wesely. "We've already been seeing that this summer with more fires than we would normally see."
Most notably the biggest fire so far, which has claimed 119 miles along the Niobrara River Valley. Firefighters were finally able to contain the flames Sunday night, but the fear of devastation sparks concerns for the coming weeks and months.
"It seems like every year we have a few field fires during harvest, so that's another danger were going to have to watch out for," said Wesely.
It's a danger that fortunately won't pose a threat to Hamling and many others for unfortunate reasons.
"A lot of these fields will get chopped not enough grain to combine."