Pueblo NWS Drought Information Statement-June 29, 2021

 

Southeast Colorado Remains Drought Free

SYNOPSIS:

Spring storm systems provided abundant precipitation to portions of south central Colorado, and especially southeastern Colorado, where precipitation accumulations through out the month of May totaled 3 to 4 inches, along with pockets of 6 to 7 inches of precipitation recorded across the southeast mountains. While the beginning of June brought some record breaking heat and dry conditions, a cool and wet end of the month had helped to keep much of southern Colorado drought free in the latest US Drought Monitor report, issued June 24th, 2021.

South central and southeast Colorado are indicated as drought free on the June 24th issuance of the US Drought Monitor. This includes the rest of Fremont, Saguache, Rio Grande and Conejos Counties, along with Teller, Custer, Alamosa, Costilla, El Paso, Pueblo, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties.

FIRE DANGER:

Abundant moisture across much of south central and southeast Colorado has helped to green up fuels and curtail fire danger across the region.

AGRICULTURAL:

Recent precipitation has helped to replenish soil moisture across eastern Colorado. Data from the June 20th, 2021 USDA Colorado Crop Progress Report indicated only 23 percent of topsoil conditions around the state rated at short or very short, as compared to the 5 year average of 31 percent being rated at short or very short.  As for subsoil moisture, 30 percent were rated at short or very short statewide, compared to the 5 year average of 31 percent being rated at short or very short.

HYDROLOGIC:

In the last Colorado Water Supply Outlook Report of the season, NRCS data indicated June 1st statewide snowpack was at 74 percent of median, which is 143 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year. However, most of the snowpack was located in the higher elevations of the northern and central basins, with much of the higher elevation snowpack across the western and southern basins already melted out.

NRCS data indicated June 1st snowpack in the Arkansas basin was at 71 percent of median, despite precipitation for the month of May being at 154 percent of average. This brings water year to date (Oct 2020 to Sept 2021) precipitation totals to 92 percent of average.

In the Rio Grande basin June 1st snowpack was down to 29 percent of median, despite precipitation for the month of May being at 162 percent of average. This brings water year to date (Oct 2020 to Sept 2021) precipitation totals to 86 percent of average.

NRCS data also indicated statewide water storage was at 84 percent of average overall at the end of May. While water storage volumes increased across the northern basins, reservoirs in the southern portions of the state remain below average as compared to the end of May of 2020.

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of May came in at 74 percent of average overall, as compared to 87 percent of average storage available at this same time last year.

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of May came in at 62 percent of average overall, as compared to 67 percent of average storage available at this same time last year.

June 1st streamflow forecasts in the Arkansas basin ranged from 92 percent of average on the Cucharas River near La Veta, to 51 percent of average on the Chalk Creek near Nathrop.

June 1st streamflow forecasts in the Rio Grande basin range from 79 percent of average on Ute Creek near Fort Garland, to 30 percent of average on the San Antonio River at Oritz.

CLIMATE SUMMARY:

The average temperature in Pueblo for the past month of May was 60.2 degrees, which is 1.2 degrees below normal. Pueblo recorded 4.95 inches of precipitation through the month of May. This is 3.38 inches above normal and makes May of 2021 the 3rd wettest on record in Pueblo. Pueblo recorded a trace of snow through the month of May, which keeps the 2020-21 seasonal snowfall total at 37.4 inches.

The average temperature for the Spring of 2021 (March, April and May) in Pueblo was 51.4 inches, which is 0.8 degrees below normal. Pueblo recorded 6.20 inches of precipitation and 7.9 inches of snow through the Spring of 2021, which is 2.24 inches above normal and near normal, respectively.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK:

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next two weeks indicate a slight nod to near normal temperatures and precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado. The outlook for rest of July, August and September indicates better chances for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across the area.

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