Weather systems throughout the month of June have brought some precipitation across the State of Colorado. However, the bulk of the precipitation has been focused across northern and extreme eastern portions of the state, with the precipitation received across South Central and Southeast Colorado more spotty, and not enough to overcome the extremely warm and dry weather that has been experienced over past several months.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday July 12th, 2018 is now indicating Exceptional Drought (D4) conditions across eastern Pueblo County, north central Las Animas County, Otero County, the southern 2/3rds of Crowley County, southwestern portions of Kiowa County, and western portions of Bent County. The latest US Drought Monitor is also indicating some improvement in drought condition across extreme eastern portions of Kiowa, Prowers and Baca Counties, which are now depicted in Moderate Drought (D1) conditions.

Exceptional Drought (D4) conditions remain depicted across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado, which includes portions of Costilla, Las Animas, Huerfano, Alamosa, Custer and Saguache Counties.

Extreme Drought (D3) conditions are also indicated across southern portions of Fremont and El Paso Counties, the rest of Custer, Pueblo, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley and Bent Counties. Extreme Drought (D3) conditions are also indicated across western Kiowa, Prowers and Baca Counties.

Severe Drought (D2) conditions are also indicated across southern Teller County, most of the rest of El Paso County, as well as central portions of Kiowa, Prowers and Baca Counties.

Moderate Drought (D1) conditions are also indicated across the rest of Lake County, northern Teller County and northwestern El Paso County.


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 persist across much of South Central and Southeast Colorado. Several large and destructive wildfires have been reported across the state over the past month, including the Spring, Chateau, Weston Pass and Adobe fires across South Central and Southeast Colorado. With that said, many land management agencies continue to enforce strict fire bans and restrictions.


The very warm and dry conditions across the area over the last several months continues to dry out soil moisture across south central and southeast Colorado, with the greatest deficits being realized across the Southeast Colorado Plains. The latest USDA Colorado Crop Report also indicates 45 percent of topsoil and 43 percent of subsoil moisture reported at short or very short across the state, as compared to 40 percent and 39 percent of topsoil and subsoil moisture reported as short or very short last week.


With the hot and dry conditions, water storage across the state fell to 82 percent of average overall at the end of June, as compared to 107 percent of average storage available at this same time last year.  However, data for all reservoir`s across the state did not make it into the July 1st storage report.

The lack of winter snowpack and runoff has also prompted some water restrictions across the state, including the Beulah area in southwestern Pueblo County.


Departure from normal precipitation levels in inches for the past 365 days:


15.42 down 0.26

16.39 up 1.19


18.14 up 1.18
Walsh 1 Mile West

20.33 up 1.17

Rye 1 Mile Southwest

17.95 down 7.16
Kim 15 Miles North-northeast

16.08 down 0.76


13.83 down 4.21

14.54 down 1.77



The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next week indicates better chances of above normal temperatures and precipitation across South Central and Southeast Colorado. The outlook for the rest July, August and September indicate better chances for warmer than normal temperatures and equal chances for above, below and near normal precipitation across the area, save a slight nod to above normal precipitation across western Colorado and into South Central Colorado.

Filed Under: AgricultureEconomyEventsFeaturedMedia ReleaseRecreationWeather


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