Drought Information Statement for South Central and Southeast Colorado 

 

Valid November 30th, 2023 – Issued By: NWS Pueblo, Colorado

U.S. Drought Monitor – Drought intensity and Extent:
D0: Abnormally Dry:  Portions of Chaffee, Saguache, Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Kiowa and Prowers counties.

 

Recent Change in Drought Intensity – Four Week Drought Monitor Class Change.

Drought Worsened: Portions of Saguache, Mineral, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley, Otero, Bent Kiowa and Prowers counties.  No Change: Most of south central Colorado.

 

Precipitation:
A few storm systems at the beginning and end of October and in the first and third week of November brought some beneficial moisture to south central and southeast Colorado.  However, unseasonably warm and dry conditions have prevailed for much of past two months (October and November) as a whole.

Temperature:
While a few passing weather systems brought spells of cold weather, most of south central and southeast Colorado has seen above normal temperatures over the past 60 days.

Hydrologic Impacts:
While statewide snowpack is running below median (58%) through the end of November, statewide water storage is running around 100 percent of median.

Agricultural Impacts:
Soil moisture deficits are increasing across portions of south central and southeast Colorado.

Fire Hazard Impacts:
Dry conditions and cured fuels have fire danger in the moderate to occasionally high category across the snow free areas of south central and southeast Colorado.

Mitigation Actions:
Please refer to your municipality and/or water provider for mitigation information.

Hydrologic Conditions and Impacts:
Current stream flows are at or above normal across most of south central and southeast Colorado, save for below normal readings across the lower Arkansas River basin.  NRCS data indicates statewide mountain precipitation for the month of October was at 84 percent of median, as compared to 80 percent of median at this time last year. In the Arkansas basin, October precipitation came in at 86 percent of median, as compared to 91 percent of median at this time last year. In the Arkansas basin, October precipitation came in at 86 percent of median, as compared to 91 percent of median at this time last year.

Hydrologic Conditions Colorado Snowpack :
As of November 30th, Colorado Statewide Snowpack was running at 58 percent of median. In the Arkansas basin, snowpack was at 60 percent of median.  In the Upper Rio Grande basin, snowpack was at 46 percent of median.

Agricultural and Water Storage Impacts:
CPC data indicates increasing soil moisture deficits across portions of south central and southeast Colorado.  NRCS data indicates statewide Colorado Reservoir Storage was at 100 percent of median at the end of October, as compared to 76 percent of median at this same time last year.  In the Arkansas basin, reservoir storage was at 112 percent of median at the end of October, as compared to 90 percent of median at this same time last year.  In the Rio Grande basin, reservoir storage was at 135 percent of median at the end of October, as compared to 112 percent of median at this same time last year.

Fire Hazard Impacts:
Unseasonably warm and mainly dry conditions throughout the fall, combined with cured fuels, has kept fire danger in the moderate to occasionally high category across the snow free areas of south central and southeast Colorado.

Long-Range Outlooks:
The CPC Temperature and Precipitation Outlook for the month of December leans to above normal temperatures, along with equal chances of above, below and near normal precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado.

Drought Outlook:
Drought conditions are predicted to persist across portions of south central Colorado in December and through the rest of the Winter of 2023-2024

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseUtilitiesWater

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