DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT-April 18, 2022

April 2022 Drought Map

…Drought Conditions Continue across South Central and Southeast Colorado…

SYNOPSIS:

March of 2022 started out and ended warm and dry, however cool and unsettled weather was the rule for the rest of the month, as several weather systems brought cold and unsettled weather to much of south central and southeast Colorado. This, along with pockets of above normal precipitation since the beginning of 2022 has brought some relief in the drought across the Front Range through portions of the Southeast Mountains and San Luis Valley. However, very dry conditions through the month of April thus far, especially across southeast Colorado, has allowed for the drought to deepen across the far southeast plains.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor issued Thursday, April 14th, 2022, indicates exceptional drought (D4) conditions across southeastern Baca County.  Extreme drought (D3) conditions are depicted across extreme southern and southeastern Las Animas County, most of the rest of Baca County, extreme southeastern Bent County and the southern half of Prowers County.

Severe drought (D2) conditions are indicated across central portions of Las Animas County, extreme northwestern Baca County, Bent County, extreme northeastern Otero County, extreme eastern Crowley County and Kiowa County into the northern half of Prowers County.

Moderate drought (D1) conditions are depicted across the rest of Crowley, Otero and Las Animas Counties.

FIRE DANGER…

Very dry and windy weather since the end of March has brought high to extreme fire danger to most of the snow free areas of south central and southeast Colorado. There have been several new wildfire starts across south central and southeast Colorado since the beginning of April, prompting new fire restrictions across portions of south central and southeast Colorado.

The latest information on fire bans and restrictions across the area can be found at: www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html

AGRICULTURAL:

The USDA`s “Colorado Crop Progress” report for the week ending April 17th, 2022 indicated minimal moisture and windy conditions further depleted crop and range conditions, especially across the southeast Colorado plains. The crop progress report also indicated 76 percent of topsoil moisture and 75 percent of subsoil moisture across the state being reported as short or very short. The shorter term (1 week, 1 month) Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) data also indicates very dry conditions across the southeast Colorado plains.

HYDROLOGIC:

NRCS data indicated the statewide snowpack on April 1st was down to 90 percent of median, as compared to 99 percent of median at this time last year.In the Arkansas basin, April 1st snowpack came in at 98 percent of median, as compared to the 112 percent of median snowpack at this time last year. April 1st snowpack came in close to median thanks to abundant precipitation across southern portions of the basin, which helped to boast total basin precipitation  to 140 percent of median through the month of March. This brings water year to date precipitation to 100 percent of median in the Arkansas basin.

In the Rio Grande basin, April 1st snowpack came in at 101 percent of median, as compared to 121 percent of median at this time last year.  March precipitation across the Rio Grande basin came in at 122 percent of medium which brings water year to date precipitation to 94 percent.

NRCS data also indicated statewide water storage was at 76 percent of median overall at the end of March, as compared to the 84 percent of median storage available at this time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of March came in at 91 percent of median overall, as compared to the 90 percent of median storage available at this same time last year.

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of March came in at 93 percent of median overall, as compared to the 86 percent of median storage available at this time last year.

April 1st streamflow forecasts in the Arkansas Basin range from 46 percent of median at Trinidad Lake inflow to around 110 percent of median at Chalk Creek near Nathrop and at the Arkansas River at Salida.

April 1st streamflow forecasts in the Rio Grande Basin range from 44 percent of median at Culebra Creek at San Luis to 96 percent of median at the Conejos River near Mogote.

CLIMATE SUMMARY:

The average temperature in Pueblo for the past month of March was 41.2 degrees, which is 2.7 degrees below normal. Pueblo recorded 1.33 inches of precipitation through the month of March. This is 0.51 inches above normal and makes March of 2022 the 17th wettest March on record in Pueblo. Pueblo recorded 8.9 inches of snow in March of 2022. This is 4.4 inches above normal and makes March of 2022 tied as the 28th snowiest March on record.

Filed Under: AgricultureCountyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseUtilitiesWaterWeather

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