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February 27, 2013

Under snow, Plains still facing drought

ST. LOUIS — Nearly 2 feet of snow should offer some relief for the parched states in the Great Plains — but it’s no drought-buster.

Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma have been buried in the past week by twin snowstorms that dropped nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas.

Those states also have been at the epicenter of the worst drought the nation has seen in decades.

The bad news is that a foot of snow equals only about an inch of rain, so even the big storms seen recently won’t break the drought in areas that are short as much as 20 inches of rain.

Also, snow that melts on top of frozen ground tends to run off into lakes and streams rather than absorbing into the dry soil.

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