Drought Conditions Improve but Winter Will be Key

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The drought that has affected Nebraska for almost two years is nearly over after rain fell at the right times this year and the state benefited from Colorado's floodwaters.  Climatologist Mark Svoboda says things are improving and the southwest corner of the state is the only area still in bad shape.  The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says only about 5 percent of Nebraska remained in extreme drought this week.  But experts say drought conditions would return if the state experiences another dry winter.  Across Nebraska, soil moisture generally looks good down to two or three feet. But State Climatologist Al Dutcher says he'd like to see the soil saturated to at least five feet before spring planting.