Colorado Water Conservation Bureau – May Drought Summary

Non-Representative Drought Map

Representative Drought Map


Cool and wet conditions across much of Colorado throughout May have resulted in widespread elimination of drought conditions, abnormally dry conditions are present in Mesa and Park counties and will continued to be monitored. Water providers have no immediate concerns and expect reservoirs to fill. Some crops have been lost as a result of freeze, but will be replanted.

Statewide water year- to- date snowpack as of May 25th is at 149% of normal, however this time of year small amounts of snow accumulation can result in large percentile increases. All basins have seen their peak accumulation for the year and begun to melt out. Reservoir storage statewide remains high at 112% of normal and all basins are at or above normal, with the highest storage levels in the Gunnison (126 percent) and the lowest in the Upper Rio Grande (98 percent).

While the higher elevations were a bit drier in April (89% of average precipitation), the statewide average April precipitation was 117% of average, primarily due to the large amounts that accumulated at the end of the month in southeast Colorado. Given recent precipitation both streamflow forecasts and the Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI) are expected to rise in the June 1 update.

The June-August forecast from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) supports the possible development of an El Nino with more moisture than average through the growing season. The temperature outlook indicates warm conditions in the south and west with equal chances of below, normal and above average temperatures in the east and north.

Currently only 6 percent of Colorado is classified as abnormally dry, the lowest amount since July of 2016. Recent precipitation has helped to eliminate drought conditions across the state. However, portions of western Colorado remain abnormally dry.

The Flood Threat Bulletin began May 1st and can be found at

Additional information can be found at or by contacting Ben Wade at

Here are the precipitation levels for southeast Colorado counties for March-May, 2017 and the same period for 2016:

2016 2017

Springfield 0.5 NW

2.78 7.41
Walsh 20.1 SSE 5.95


Campo 7.8 NE

4.54 7.44
Las Animas 8.1 NE 4.02


Eads 0.45 E

6.18 7.16
La Junta 1.0 S 4.38


Rocky Ford 0.4 SE

5.48 8.87
Lamar 2.9 S 5.11



N/A 7.11
Wiley N/A


Holly 0.1 NE 5.25


Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseWeather


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