When it is hot and dry, water evaporates. This is a simple concept and is a very easy explanation as to why soil moisture values have dropped significantly over Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri over the last couple weeks. Precipitation has been near zero for a large portion of the area, with some exceptions for the areas that were able to see some rain from localized thunderstorms. Profile soil moisture values are still above or near normal for all of Nebraska (see below); however, it has been the rapid surface drying and quick degradation of soil moisture that has a lot of farmers and ranchers concerned, and rightfully so.
The forecast for temperatures is not positive for the foreseeable future (see below), especially if we remain dry.
I study weather and climate impacts on agriculture, climate variability, and using weather and climate information to make better agricultural decisions.