Severe Drought Conditions Expanding in Southeast Colorado

The National Weather Service has posted a Drought Information Statement indicating that strong La Nina conditions have been present across the eastern Pacific Ocean since late summer of 2010.  This has contributed to a mild and very dry fall and early winter across much of south central and southeastern Colorado.

An additional periodic climate feature known as the Arctic Oscillation has allowed for a more southern and western shift in the storm track over the past two months, which has helped to introduce occasional cold air intrusions and opportunities for precipitation for the eastern mountain and plains of the state.

The current U.S. Drought Monitor now indicates severe drought conditions across eastern Fremont, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca counties. Severe drought conditions also exist across portions of extreme eastern Saguache, Custer, Huerfano and eastern two-thirds of Las Animas County.  Moderate drought conditions exist most of Rio Grande County, Alamosa ad Costilla Counties, as well as central and eastern portions of Conejos County and portions of Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.

There remains an increased fire danger concern, especially across the eastern plains with dry fuels and grasses, coupled with seasonal winds.  As of Monday, March 21, almost four-fifths of the state was under a Red Flag Warning Status through Tuesday, March 22.

An agricultural impact is also realized with Climate Prediction Center and VIC soil moisture calculations showing some improvement across the area over the past month.  However, much of south central and all of southeast Colorado still have deficiencies of 40 to 70% of seasonal norms


Filed Under: AgricultureWeather


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