Republican River Runs Dry. No – Really.
January 29, 2013
I could have titled this “A River Used to Run Thru it”.
Nebraska had its driest year on record in 2012.
The result: In 2012, the red state of Nebraska got a lot redder. On 3 January 2012, none of the state was in extreme or exceptional drought (and less than 1% was in moderate or severe drought). By 1 January 2013 over 96% of the state was experiencing extreme or exceptional drought – and most of that (over 77%) was in exceptional drought. See the map below for the situation on 22 January 2013,
(D3-D4 drought, bright red and dark red on the map).
Adding insult to injury, the Republican River – which runs from Nebraska into Kansas – ran dry. The discharge for the Republican River near Orleans, Nebraska, in September 2012 was 0.00 cubic feet per second. It stayed that way for the month of October. Not until mid-November did the rate substantially increase – but still the Republican River is flowing “much below normal.”
Below: Streamflows for the Republican River near Orleans, Nebraska.
Below: Republican River at zero flow