Climate Change

Published 2013

Because Nebraska’s location on the North American continent is far removed from large bodies of water, Nebraskans experience a strong continental type climate. As such, residents do not benefit from the moderating influence of the ocean, and temperatures can have wide swings from day to day and season to season. Typical characteristics for a continental climate at this latitude are large temperature variability with warm summers dominated by convective thunderstorms, and cold winters influenced by snow and wind from mid-latitude cyclones.
From east to west across the state there is a considerable difference in climate, particularly for precipitation and humidity. The eastern half of the state receives moisture from southerly winds coming across the Gulf of Mexico. The western half usually cannot benefit from these moist southerly winds; therefore, it is much drier on average and less humid. Annually, precipitation ranges from more than 30 inches in the east to approximately 15 inches in the west.

Publication Details


Martha D. Durr

Natalie Umphlett

Tapan B. Pathak

Kenneth G. Hubbard


Natural Resources

Climate and Weather

Publication Date August 20, 2013
Last Revision Date August 20, 2013
Language English


Series NebGuide