November Hydrology Report from NWS, Pueblo

Fall storms have brought limited relief in drought conditions over portions of southeast Colorado.  However, it has not been sufficient to totally overcome the extremely dry 2010-2011 fall and winter seasons, especially on the southeast Colorado Plains.  The current U.S. Drought Monitor now confines exceptional (D4) Drought Conditions to extreme southeastern Baca County with extreme (D3) Drought Conditions through southeast portions of Baca County. 

With the expected strengthening and persistence of La Nina through the winter of 2012, there will be the potential for drought conditions to increase once again across the area, with enhanced probabilities of below average precipitation through the winter season, especially across southeastern Colorado. 

Agricultural Impact:
The last USDA Colorado Crop Report for the 2011 season rated 47% of top soil moisture across the state as short or very short, compared to 78% rated short or very short at the same time last year.   The Crop Report also reported 46% of subsoil moisture at short or very short, compared to 68% for the same time frame in 2010.  The Colorado Crop Report continued to indicate quite varied pasture and rangeland across the area, with conditions ranging from very poor to good.  CPC soil moisture calculations indicate some improvement across the region; though continue to indicate local deficiencies up to 80 millimeters (up to 3 inches) with the worst conditions depicted across extreme southeastern Colorado. 

Temperatures were generally above average across the area in November with precipitation at or below average, except for some portions of the extreme eastern plains which saw some above average moisture in November.  The primary observation site in Colorado Springs was 4.4 degrees above the monthly average in November, making it the 21st warmest on record.  Pueblo was 2.5 degrees above average and received 0.38 inches of precipitation, which is 0.20 below average for that period. 

Precipitation for the past 365 days as of December 9, 2011 is as follows.  Readings indicate Year-to-Date precipitation levels, compared to fewer inches of moisture received in 2010: 

                                       YTD 2011                         Less Levels in 2010

Eads                                  11.85                                     -3.58
Haswell                            10.06                                     -4.66
Lamar                                12.08                                     -3.74
Campo 7S                            6.12                                    -11.09
Walsh 1W                           8.37                                     -9.58
Las Animas                         7.98                                      -5.01
La Junta 20S                     10.28                                      -4.58
Kim 15NNE                       11.50                                      -4.34
Trinidad                              9.81                                      -6.30 

Hydrology Summary:
Mountain snowpack at the end of November was running slightly below average across southeast Colorado.  The Arkansas Basin reported 89% of average snowpack overall.  The Rio Grande Basin in South Central Colorado reported 91% of average snowpack. 

Streamflow was generally near average at the end of November.  Overall reservoir storage was below average.  At the end of November, the Arkansas Basin reported 85% of average storage overall while the Rio Grande Basin reported 61% of average storage. 

For Lamar, 1580 acre feet of 2010 carryover Fry-Ark Project water remains in Pueblo Reservoir, as well as the 1600 acre feet allocated in May, 2011.



Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCitycommunityEconomyGranadaHollyLamarWeatherWiley


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