October began with warm and dry conditions with several new daily maximum temperature records set across the area through the first half of the month. However, two moist Pacific weather systems brought some beneficial rain and higher elevation snowfall to areas along the Continental Divide and southeast Plains through the last half of the month, with mainly at or above normal precipitation and well above normal temperatures experienced across the area for the month as a whole.
The precipitation in the southeastern plains has allowed for the abnormally dry conditions, recently indicated on the US Drought Monitor across all of Las Animas, Baca and Prowers Counties and most of Bent, Otero and Kiowa Counties to be eliminated. The November 3rd Monitor report shows abnormally dry (D0) conditions indicated across Crowley County, eastern Pueblo County, extreme southeastern El Paso County, northwestern and extreme northeastern Otero County, extreme northwestern Bent County and extreme southwestern Kiowa County. Abnormally Dry conditions are also depicted in most of Lake and Chaffee Counties. Drought free conditions are indicated across the rest of south central and southeast Colorado.
Fire danger across the area remains moderate to high as the abundant vegetation due to a very wet spring continues to cure through the fall season.
The latest USDA Colorado Crop Report, issued November 2nd, indicated moist conditions reduced field activity in several localities while winter wheat and soil moisture supplies improved. Killing frosts were also noted across portions of the eastern districts.
Statewide precipitation totals for October came in around 97% of average overall, compared to the 62% of average precipitation experienced across the state last year at this time. Precipitation totals in the upper Arkansas Basin were at 108% of average overall, compared to the 78% at this time last year. In the lower Arkansas Basin October precipitation totals came in at 104% of average overall compared to the 86% for that area last year. In the Rio Grande Basin, October precipitation totals came in at 82% of average overall, compared to the 42% of average exp0erienced across the basin last year.
The Climate Prediction Center’s outlook across southeast Colorado over the next week indicates better chances for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. The outlook for the rest of November, December and January indicate near normal temperatures with a slight tilt for above normal precipitation across south center and southeast Colorado.
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