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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT from NWS for May

May 11, 2019 Drought Map

NWS Pueblo Co – Sat May 11 2019 -/- Abnormally Dry Conditions Remain
Across Portions of South Central and Southeast Colorado 

SYNOPSIS 

Abundant precipitation across the state of Colorado over the past several months, especially for areas over and near the higher terrain from January through March, has brought significant improvement in the drought that has had its grip on the state for over a year. 

The latest Drought Monitor, issued Thursday May 9th 2019, indicates Moderate Drought (D1) conditions confined to extreme southwestern portions of the state, with all of south central and southeast Colorado listed as drought free or abnormally dry. According to the US Drought Monitor, 0.59 percent of Colorado is currently classified in D1 to D4 Drought, compared to 67.98 percent of the state in D1 to D4 drought at this same time last year. Currently, 15.77 percent of Colorado is listed in D0 to D4 Drought conditions, compared to 81.98 percent of the state in drought at this same time last year. 

With that said, Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are depicted across extreme southwestern portions of Otero County, extreme southwestern portions of El Paso County, northeastern through southwestern portions of Teller County, and extreme southeastern Chaffee County. 

Drought free conditions are indicated across Crowley County, the rest of Otero County, eastern portions of Las Animas County, as well as all of Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties. 

FIRE DANGER 

Abundant Fall, Winter and early Spring precipitation has helped to ease fire danger across south central and southeast Colorado, with snow cover still in place across much of the higher terrain, along with most of the southeast Plains in greenup at this time. 

AGRICULTURAL 

At or above normal precipitation over the last 6 months across most of south central and southeast Colorado has helped to improve soil moisture, especially across southeastern and southwestern portions of the state, where the latest Vic Soil Moisture data is indicating surplus soil moisture at this time. 

HYDROLOGIC 

The May 1st Colorado Water Supply Outlook Report indicated statewide precipitation for the month of April came in at 90 percent of average, bringing statewide 2019 Water Year precipitation to 118 percent of average overall. 

In the Arkansas Basin, NRCS data indicated April precipitation was 85 percent of average, which brings water year to date precipitation down to 113 percent of average overall. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, NRCS data indicated April precipitation was 76 percent of average, which brings water year to date precipitation down to 118 percent of average overall. 

Colorado NRCS data indicated statewide snowpack at the end of April was at 123 percent of average overall, which is 211 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. 

In the Arkansas Basin, NRCS data indicated the May 1st snowpack was at 127 percent of average overall, which is 261 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. Again, in stark contrast to last year, the northern and southern portions of the Arkansas Basin are both above normal levels. The Upper Arkansas Sub-Basin came in at 137 percent of average overall at the end of April, as compared to the 73 percent of average snowpack at this time last year. The Cucharas and Huerfano Sub-Basin came in at 103 percent of average overall at the end of April, as compared to 6 percent of average snowpack at this same time last year. The Purgatoire Sub-Basin came in at 205 percent overall at the end of April, as compared to zero percent of average snowpack at this same time last year. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, NRCS data indicated the May 1st snowpack was at 124 percent of average overall, which is 1,079 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. 

NRCS data also indicated statewide water storage was at 90 percent of average overall at the end of April, as compared to 111 percent of average storage available statewide at this same time last year. 

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of April came in at 92 percent of average, as compared to 129 percent of average storage available at this same time last year. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of April came in at 79 percent of average, as compared to 115 percent of average storage available at this same time last year. 

The May 1st report also stated that with runoff season upon us, volumetric forecasts remain above normal for most of Colorado`s major streams. 

In the Arkansas Basin, current streamflow forecasts range from 97 percent of average for Grape Creek near Westcliffe, to 138 percent of average for the Arkansas River at Salida. 

In the Rio Grande Basin, current streamflow forecasts range from 109 percent of average for Culebra Creek at San Luis, to 150 percent of average for the Rio Grande River at Wagon Wheel Gap. 

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK

 

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the two next weeks indicates better chances of below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado. The outlook for rest May, June and July gives equal chances for above, below and near normal temperatures across south central Colorado, with a slight nod to below normal temperatures for southeast Colorado. As for precipitation, the outlook gives better chances for above normal precipitation across all of south central and southeast Colorado.

 

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCountyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleasePublic SafetyRecreationWaterWeather

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