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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT

January 2018 Drought Map

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT – 1055 AM MST Friday, Jan 26, 2018

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

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday January 25th, 2018, has expanded severe drought (D2) conditions across portions of southern Colorado to include all of Mineral, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa,and Costilla Counties. Severe (D2) drought conditions are also depicted across southern portions of Saguache County, western portions of Custer, Huerfano, and Las Animas Counties, as well as southwestern portions of Baca County.

Moderate drought (D1) conditions are indicated across most of the rest of south central and southeast Colorado including the rest of Saugache, Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas and Baca Counties. Moderate (D1) drought conditions are also depicted across most of Teller County, eastern portions of Fremont County, as well as all of El Paso, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers Counties.

Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are depicted across western portions of Fremont County and all of Chaffee and Lake Counties.

DROUGHT IMPACTS. – 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 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.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK…Updated

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook across south central and southeast Colorado for the next two weeks better chances for near normal temperatures and below normal precipitation, save a slight nod to below normal temperatures across the southeast Colorado Plains. The outlook for rest of January, February and March indicate a slight nod to warmer than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado.

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEnvironmentEventsFeaturedMedia ReleaseRecreationTourismTransportationUtilitiesWeather

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