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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT – January 2018

 

January 2018 Drought Map

National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co – 730 PM MST  January 11, 2018 

…Moderate to Severe Drought expands across Southern Colorado… 

SYNOPSIS…

After a relatively wet late Summer and early Fall, especially across southeastern Colorado, a very warm and dry late Fall and early Winter has brought on moderate to severe drought conditions to much of the area. 

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday January 11th, 2018, has introduced severe drought (D2) conditions to Mineral County, as well as extreme southwestern portions of Saguache County,

western portions of Rio Grande County and extreme northwestern portions of Conejos County. Moderate drought (D1) conditions have expanded across most of the rest of south central and southeast Colorado including the rest of Saugache, Rio Grande and Conejos counties, as well as Alamosa County, Custer County and Costilla County. Moderate (D1) conditions are also depicted across most of Teller County and eastern Fremont County, as well as all of El Paso, Pueblo, Huerfano, La Animas, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties. 

FIRE DANGER…

Warm and dry conditions across the region over the past several months, combined with abundant cured fuels, has allowed for moderate to high fire danger to develop and persist across much of south central and southeast Colorado. 

AGRICULTURAL…

Despite a wet Spring and late Summer, especially across the southeast plains, the very warm and dry late Fall and early Winter has helped to dry out soil moisture across all of south central and southeast Colorado. The very warm and dry late Fall and early Winter also has hurt winter wheat crops across southeast Colorado. 

HYDROLOGIC…

According to the Colorado State Office of the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the start of the 2018 water year has been one of the driest on record for Colorado. 

The January 1st statewide snowpack came in at only 54 percent of median and is only 49 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. This is due to at late season storm that brought abundant snowfall to northern Front Range. 

In the Arkansas Basin, January 1st snowpack came in at only 48 percent of median, and is only 44 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. There are also big differences in the distribution of said snowpack, with the northern portions of the basin coming in at 81 percent of normal, while the southern portions of the basin running between 15 and 20 percent of normal. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, January 1st snowpack came in at only 29 percent of median, and is only 28 percent of last years snowpack at this same time. 

Water storage across the state at the end of December was at 115 percent of average overall, as compared to 105 percent of average storage available at this same time last year. 

In the Arkansas Basin, end of December storage was at 143 percent of average overall, as compared to 101 percent of average storage available at this same time last year. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, end of December storage was at 123 percent of average overall, as compared to 86 percent of average storage available at this same time last year.

 

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesCountyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseRecreationTourismTransportationWeather

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