Southeast Colorado NWS Hydrology Report

Increased showers this past April brought some relief in drought conditions across southeastern Colorado.

Several weather systems moving across Colorado through the first half of April brought much needed precipitation to eastern portion of the state.  The increased moisture allowed for continued improvements in drought conditions across the southeast Plains. 

The current U.S. Drought Monitor indicated severe drought (D2) conditions across most of Crowley County, as well as south central through southeast Las Animas County and extreme southern Baca County.  Moderate drought (d1) conditions have been depicted across the rest of Las Animas County, most of the rest of Baca County, as well as Otero and Bent Counties.  Moderate drought (D1) conditions remain across western Kiowa and western Prowers Counties.  Abnormally dry (D0) conditions remain apparent across central Kiowa County, most of eastern Prowers County as well as northeastern Baca County. 

However, with the very warm, dry and windy weather over the past six weeks, drought conditions have expanded across the western and central portions of Colorado.  The moisture in April rains has allowed much of the plains to green up, reducing the fire danger from what it was this time last year.  Those winds and warmer than usual temperatures for March and April has allowed for a much earlier than normal melting of the snowpack across the higher terrain and could lead to an early fire weather season across the area. 

CPC soil moisture calculations indicate mainly drier than normal conditions across most of south central and southeast Colorado.  Some portions of the far southeast Plains, where deficiencies of up to 60 millimeters (up to 2 inches) are still indicated. 

South central and southeast Colorado saw well above average temperatures over this past March.  Alamosa was 3.9 degrees above the monthly average, making March of 2012 the 4th warmest on record.  Colorado Springs registered 8.9 degrees above the month average, breaking all past records for that month.  Pueblo was 6.4 degrees above, making that month the 4th warmest on record for the city. 

Precipitation comparisons for southeast Colorado for April 2011 and April 2012 are as follows:

                                                April 2011                            April 2012 

Eads                                       0.95                                        1.97
Sheridan Lake                      1.12                                        3.10
Haswell                                 0.22                                        0.94
Burlington                            2.22                                        3.51
Holly                                      1.89                                        1.87
J. Martin Dam                       0.39                                        0.94
La Junta                                  0.46                                        1.73
Las Animas                            0.17                                        1.84
Lamar                                     0.41                                        2.02
Springfield                            0.35                                        1.99
Walsh                                    0.45                                        1.92



Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarWeather


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