Drought Information Statement, NWS Pueblo – July 30, 2020

 

July 2020 Drought Map

 

Some Improvement in Drought Conditions across Southeast Colorado

 

SYNOPSIS… 

While warm and mainly dry conditions were experienced across much of Colorado through the month of June, there were spotty areas of beneficial rainfall across portions of the southeast Colorado plains, due to scattered thunderstorms. Through much of July thus far, thunderstorm activity has become more widespread across south central and southeast Colorado, bringing more beneficial rainfall to the area, especially across the lower Arkansas River Valley, where 3 to 4 inches of rain has fallen throughout July. 

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday July 30th 2020, indicates some improvement in the extreme drought (D3) conditions across Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers Counties, as well as north central portions of Las Animas County and northeastern portions of Baca County. 

Extreme drought (D3) conditions are now indicated across most of Kiowa County, extreme northern Prowers County, western through south central portions of Baca County, and western and southern portions of Las Animas County.  

The latest US Drought Monitor now indicates severe drought (D2) conditions across Otero County, Crowley County, western Kiowa County, Bent County, most of Prowers County, and extreme northwestern into southeastern Baca County.  

DROUGHT IMPACTS: 

FIRE DANGER… 

After a warm and relatively dry start to the month of July, cooler, wetter and less windy weather over the past few weeks has helped to curb the fire danger somewhat across portions of south central and southeast Colorado. The cooler and wetter weather over the past few weeks has also led to slight but steady improvement in soil moisture across the area, with the latest 1 week and 1 month Evaporate Demand Drought Index (EDDI) indicating improving conditions across much of southern Colorado. 

AGRICULTURAL… 

The week ending July 26th, 2020 USDA Colorado Crop Progress Report indicated 67 percent of topsoil moisture across the state was rated at short or very short, compared to 71 percent reported at short or very short the previous week. This, however, compares to only 23 percent being reported at short or very short at this same time last year, with the 5 year average being 28 percent. 

Subsoil moisture showed similar results with 70 percent being reported as short or very short statewide, as compared to 74 percent reported at short or very short the previous week. This, however, compares to only 20 percent being reported at short or very short at this same time last year, with the 5 year average being 26 percent. 

HYDROLOGIC… 

NRCS data indicated statewide precipitation for the month of June came in at 81 percent of average, as compared to 143 percent average at this same time last year. This brings statewide 2020 Water Year precipitation to 83 percent of average overall, as compared to 125 percent of average overall at this same time last year. 

In the Arkansas basin, NRCS data indicated June precipitation was 84 percent of average, as compared to 117 percent average at this same time last year. This brings Arkansas basin 2020 Water Year precipitation to 79 percent of average overall, as compared to 118 percent of average overall at this same time last year. 

In the Rio Grande basin, NRCS data indicated June precipitation was 84 percent of average, as compared to 56 percent average at this same time last year. This brings the Rio Grande basin 2020 Water Year precipitation to 65 percent of average overall, as compared to 128 percent of average overall at this same time last year. 

NRCS data also indicated statewide water storage was at 91 percent of average overall at the end of June, compared to the 103 percent of average storage available statewide at this same time last year. 

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of June came in at 71 percent of average overall, as compared to 87 percent of average storage available at this same time last year.

 

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