Nebraska has a typical continental climate with wide seasonal variations in temperature.
Winter temperatures below -20°C (0° F) and summer temperatures in the upper 30°s C (lower 100°s F) are common.
The average January temperature varies from about -7° C (about 20° F) in the northeast to about -2° C (about 29° F) in the southwest. The average for July, the hottest month, ranges from about 26° C (about 78° F) in the south central section to about 20° C (about 68° F) along the western tip of Nebraska.
Nebraska is fortunate in that approximately three-fourths of its precipitation falls during the April through September growing season. Normally, May and June are the wettest months and December and January are the driest. Average snowfall normally ranges from about 500 to 1,000 mm (about 20 to 40 in) with the heaviest snows in late winter. Blizzards are common. The blizzard in 1888 claimed thousands of livestock and many lives, and the blizzard in 1949 required the aid of United States armed forces. Precipitation in the northwest averages about 360 mm (about 14 in) annually, increasing to more than 860 mm (34 in) in the southeast.
Along the 100th meridian, which bisects the state, annual precipitation averages about 500 mm (about 20 in). Severe storms, with damaging winds, hail, and torrential rains of 100 mm (4 in) or more, are common. Tornadoes occur every year, but their number and intensity vary. Hailstorms are very severe in western Nebraska, which probably has the highest hail frequency in the country. During dry years, dust storms occasionally develop in the Panhandle and in the southwestern part of Nebraska.
The growing season ranges from 130 days in the west to more than 170 days in the east. The last killing frost is usually in late April or early May, and the first killing frost generally occurs in late September or early October. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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