Climate and monthly weather forecast
Nebraska, USA

Flag of Nebraska, USA
Flag of Nebraska, USA

The climate of Nebraska

Nebraska has a humid continental type of climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) in the east and semi-arid (Köppen BSk) in the west. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold and icy. Iowa in the east, Missouri in the southeast, Kansas in the south, Colorado in the southwest, Wyoming in the west and northwest, and South Dakota in the north, border the state. The Rocky Mountains influence the climate profoundly as the windward side of the mountains sucks the moisture from the air masses that pass over them.

Nebraska, the Cornhusker State, is part of the Midwestern United States and lies in the Great Plains region. The average elevation is 790 meters above sea level, and Panorama Point lies at the highest altitude of 1654 meters. The Platte, the Niobrara, and the Republican are the major rivers that flow through the state. Western Nebraska is part of the Great Plains that includes mixed-grass steppe, wetlands, ridges, and canyons. Eastern Nebraska consists of gently rolling prairie of the Dissected Till Plains and composed of sandy loam soils. Numerous small basins, lakes, and valleys are part of the sandhills section of the west.

Summers are hot and humid in Nebraska with daytime highs in the average 85°F (29.4°C) to 90°F (32.2°C) range at the peak of July. Temperatures cross 100°F (37.8°C) statewide and record as high as 115°F (46.1°C) at the height of summer. The northeast is coldest in the winter, while the panhandle has the lowest average temperatures during the rest of the year. Winters are harsh with average low temperatures in the 10°F (-12.2°C) to 20°F (-6.7°C) range in January. Temperatures routinely drop below 0°F (-17.8°C) in the majority of the state during the cold season. Spring has moderate temperatures but is a season of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Autumn has the best weather with moderate rain and heat but sees occasional storms in September.

The average rainfall in Nebraska is a moderate 25" (635mm) and varies from 32" (813mm) in the east to 14" (356mm) in the west and panhandle. May to September is the wettest period, which is at its peak in June and July. The eastern portion of the state is significantly more humid than the western part. Snowfall ranges from 21" (533mm) in the south to 45" (1143mm) in the northwest and lasts from as early as October to late as April. Nebraska receives ample sunshine, with 210 to 230 sunny days in the year. The average temperatures are uniform statewide, but temperatures and precipitation vary widely by season. Chinook winds have a limited influence that warms the western portion of the state during winter. Weather changes are frequent and sharp due to the interaction of various types of air masses.

Minden recorded Nebraska's highest temperature of 118°F (47.8°C) on July 24, 1936, while Camp Clarke recorded the lowest temperature of -47°F (-43.9°C) on February 12, 1899.

The best time to visit Nebraska

The best time to visit Nebraska is from September to October in the fall when the temperatures are moderate. The conditions are pleasant with low precipitation, bright sunshine, and fewer instances of stormy weather. The fall season is lovely, with beautiful colors, breezy evenings, and beautiful mornings. April and May have mild temperatures in the spring and are worth a visit. However, spring is prone to thunderstorms and tornadoes, as is summer. Summer is the hottest and wettest part of the year in Nebraska.

The worst time to visit Nebraska

The worst time to visit Nebraska is from December to February in the winter when the state is firmly in the grip of cold weather. Cold fronts are standard, and snowfall can begin as early as October. Night temperatures drop dramatically at the peak of winter and even dip below 0°F (-17.8°C). Day high temperatures register below freezing in many places during the peak cold of January. Strong gales blow during the cold season with no barriers in the form of mountains. The days are short, and the weak sunlight rarely lasts above a few hours. Periods of heavy snowfall compound the cold conditions, and an occasional blizzard may stall everyday life.

Weather hazards

Nebraska lies in the Tornado Alley of the United States that sees thunderstorms and tornadoes mainly in the spring and summer. Low-pressure systems with warm moist air are conducive for the storms. Thunderstorms average 45 to 50 days in the year, and a large percentage of rainfall occurs during the storms. An average of 45 twisters hit the boundaries of the state annually. Riverbanks flood due to excessive rainfall. Heavy rain during thunderstorms results in flash floods in many places. Droughts occasionally occur in the western part of the state, which receives less rainfall.

Weather in January

January is by far the coldest and snowiest month of the year in Nebraska, with the mercury column sliding rapidly towards the bottom. Wind chills routinely make the weather feel colder than actual temperatures. The average low temperatures are in the frigid 10°F (-12.2°C) to 15°F (-9.4°C) range, while the average high temperatures are in the cold 33°F (0.6°C) to 41°F (5°C) zone. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is cold in Nebraska with bone-chilling cold nights and ample snowfall in the state. The average temperatures are in the cold 13°F (-10.6°C) to 45°F (7.2°C) zone across the state. Chadron in the west averages between a frigid 13°F (-10.6°C) to 42°F (5.6°C), while Omaha in the far east ranges between a cold 18°F (-7.8°C) to 38°F (3.3°C). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is a combination of warm days and cold nights cold in Nebraska as early spring sets its feet in the state. Eastern Nebraska is colder than the western part, but nights are below freezing statewide. Lincoln in the east averages between 28°F (-2.2°C) to 52°F (11.1°C), while Kimball in the west registers in the 23°F (-5°C) to 49°F (9.4°C) range. Precipitation is light and rarely crosses 1" (25mm) to 2" (51mm) in early spring. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April brings welcome warmth to Nebraska as the spring season advances rapidly. The days are occasionally wet as the precipitation sees a marked increase to register 2" (51mm) to 3" (76mm) in the majority of the state. The thawing of snow provides suitable grounds for the growing season by the last week of April. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is warm and wet in Nebraska with comfortable temperatures. The skies are partly cloudy as rain and shine alternate frequently. Day temperatures average in the pleasant 68°F (20°C) to 73°F (22.8°C) range, while the nights register between 48°F (8.9°C) to 53°F (11.7°C). The chirping of birds, the vast prairie landscape, fresh aroma of flowers, lakes, and rivers filled with freshwater are the highlights of the spring season. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June is hot and sunny, but also humid and wet in the summer of Nebraska. The brilliant 10 to 11 hours of daily sunshine also see periods of dark cloudy skies that bring heavy showers. Thunderstorms are frequent and often bring torrential rain. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is usually the hottest month of the year in Nebraska with the average high temperatures in the state between 86°F (30°C) to 91°F (32.8°C). Temperatures routinely shoot past 105°F (40.6°C) and stay there for many days. Southerly winds bring moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and result in heavy precipitation. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is a hot summer month in Nebraska with soaring temperatures amid the blazing sun. The average high temperatures in the hot and humid 84°F (28.9°C) to 89°F (31.7°C) range, while the average low temperatures are between a temperate 57°F (13.9°C) to 62°F (16.7°C). Places like Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings, and North Platte in the south-central region see ample sunshine of 10 hours with temperatures that frequently cross 100°F (37.8°C). Weather in August »

Weather in September

September welcomes the beautiful fall season to Nebraska with a dazzling display of colors over the landscape. Temperatures drop steadily with each passing day as average highs register between the 75°F (23.9°C) to 80°F (26.7°C). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is a beautiful month in the autumn of Nebraska with bright sunshine, moderate temperatures, and light rain. Peak fall foliage brings brilliant hues of crimson, yellow, orange, magenta, and purple. The average high temperatures are in the range of 63°F (17.2°C) to 68°F (20°C), while average low temperatures register between 31°F (-0.6°C) to 40°F (4.4°C) across the state. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November has mild to cold weather in Nebraska as the fall season wanes gradually. Birds migrate to warm climates as the sunny days slowly wither away. Day temperatures are mild in the average range of 47°F (8.3°C) to 50°F (10°C), while nights are freezing between 19°F (-7.2°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is the beginning of the cold winter season in Nebraska with gloomy skies and short days. The sunlight is weak as cold air masses loom in the atmosphere. Temperatures often register below 0°F (-17.8°C) during the nights, and even during the day, it is cold enough to dress in layers. Weather in December »
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