September Rains Help Curtail Drought



Rains moving through the Great Basin system of Colorado in early to mid September brought extreme rainfall and flooding to the state, especially along the Front Range areas.  Two to five inches of rain was recorded across the southwest, central and southeast mountains as well as southeast Baca County.  The Pike’s Peak region received from three to six inches with as much as 10 to 15 inches of rain over the foothills of western El Paso County.  Widespread rainfall of from one to three inches was recorded in portions of south central and southeast Colorado, with lesser amounts in the lower Arkansas River Valley. 

These rains have had continuous improvements on the U.S. Drought Monitor reports across south central and southeast Colorado from just a few months ago.  D4 or Exceptional drought conditions remain limited to southeastern Crowley County, eastern Otero County, southwestern Kiowa County and extreme western Bent County.  Extreme drought conditions, D3, are found in these same counties as well as Las Animas County.  Severe drought conditions, D2, are found in portions of El Paso, Pueblo, Las Animas, Baca, Bent, Prowers and Kiowa Counties. 

CPS and VIC Soil Moisture calculations indicate improvements in conditions over most of south central and southeast Colorado, especially over higher terrains where soil moisture has improved to near or above normal.  In the far southeastern plains, soil conditions are at near or below normal ratings.

Colorado Springs had 4.8 inches of rain in September, 3.61 inches above normal, making the month the third wettest on record.  July through September readings show the city received 15.13 inches of rain for the wettest months on record. 

Alamosa recorded 2.98 inches of rain in September, 2.07 inches above normal, making the month the wettest on record.  Alamosa received 5.45 inches in August and September and a combined 6.25 inches from July through September, making the time frame the second wettest on record. 

Pueblo recorded 1.27 inches of precipitation through September, one half inch above normal.  The city received 5.19 inches for August and September, making the time frame the 7th wettest on record. 

The abundant rainfall and improved soil moisture conditions continue to bring improvement in steam flows across the area.  Currently 96% of USGS gages are indicating normal to above normal 7-day average flows, with only 4% of the gages indicating low to much below normal readings over the past week. 

Rainfall amounts for the southeast Colorado region for the past 365 days and departure from normal: 

                                                365 Day Precip                  Inches off Normal 

Eads                                             15.13                                     -0.55
Haswell                                         7.41                                      -7.93
Lamar                                          13.08                                      -2.12
Campo 7S                                   14.08                                      -2.88
Walsh 1W                                   18.16                                      -1.00
Las Animas                                   8.11                                       -5.62
Kim 15NNE                                 13.44                                       -3.40
Trinidad                                      13.48                                       -2.83

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinesscommunityCountyEnvironmentFeaturedGranadaHollyHot TopicsLamarProwers CountyWeatherWiley


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