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CWCB May 2016 Drought Update

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Cooler than average temperatures and wet conditions across most of Colorado has eliminated most D0, abnormally dry, conditions since late April. Only 3.8% of the state is currently experiencing D0 conditions. Recent storms improved snowpack in the central mountains and have brought much needed moisture to the Southwest basins. The forecast over the next two weeks shows continued cool temperatures and more chances for precipitation. The long term CPC forecast predicts a wet and cool first half of the summer changing to warm and dry conditions going into the fall.

  • Statewide water year to-date precipitation as reported from NRCS is at 137% of average as of May 25, with the west slope benefiting from late April & May storms receiving up to 4 inches in certain areas.
  • Reservoir storage statewide remains above normal at 112%. The Arkansas basin has the highest storage levels in the state at 118% of average; the Upper Rio Grande has the lowest storage levels at 91%, just slightly below normal although the basin has been steadily improving since 2013.
  • The Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI) as of May 25th is near or above average across the majority of the state. At this time of year the index reflects reservoir storage and streamflow forecasts. May storms have helped increase SWSI values in the Southwest & Rio Grande basins.
  • May 1st streamflow forecasts are near normal to above normal in the northern half of the state and mostly below average in the southern half of the state. Due to May storms that have benefited the Southwest basin, the June 1 streamflow forecast should see more improvement.
  • Agricultural producers are experiencing a decent year so far benefiting from lower temperatures and higher humidity from statewide storms. Corn & bean planting is slightly below average at this time of year. Water Storage at John Martin Reservoir as of May 31, 2016 is 211,000 a/f.

Here is the amount of precipitation in inches, for counties in southeast Colorado as of May 31, 2016.

Walsh 5.4 SSW

5.95

Springfield 2.3 SE

3.80

Campo 7.8 NE

4.54
Las Animas 8.1 NE

4.55

Eads 0.45 E

6.66
Sheridan Lake 4.2 E

8.53

Burlington 0.58 NE

10.49
Trinidad 9 NE

6.29

Kim 0.2 W

3.74
La Junta 1.0 S

4.80

Holly 0.1 ENE

5.22
Lamar 2.9 S

5.24

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