NWS Pueblo Hydrology Update

Hydrology Report from National Weather Service-Pueblo–February 9, 2012 

A warm and mainly dry January is keeping much of south central and southeast Colorado in moderate to severe drought.  The current U.S. Drought Monitor continues to indicate Extreme Drought (D3) conditions across extreme southeastern Baca County.  Severe drought (D2) conditions remain across most of the rest of Baca County, southwestern Prowers County, most of Bent and Otero Counties, as well as southwestern Kiowa County.  Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are depicted across portions of eastern Kiowa County and northeastern Prowers County. 

Beneficial precipitation from the late 2011 summer through the early 2012 winter has brought some short term relief in drought conditions across south central and southeast Colorado, but has not eliminated all of the longer term impacts of the drought of 2011.  In addition, with the dry and warm January and the expected persistence of La Nina into the early spring of 2012, there will be the potential for drought conditions to increase and intensify across the area once again. 

CPC soil moisture calculations are indicating mainly drier than normal conditions across the area with the worst conditions still depicted across the far southeast plains, where local deficiencies of up to 60 millimeters (up to 2 inches) are indicated. 

Temperatures across south central and southeast Colorado were generally well above average for January.  For example, the primary observation site in Colorado Springs was 8.2 degrees above the monthly average for January.   This makes January 2012 the 3rd warmest on record for that city.  Colorado Springs recorded only 0.02 inches of precipitation in January.  This is 0.26 inches below average and makes that month the 5th driest on record. 

As of February 1, the 2012 snowpack was below average overall.  In the upper Rio Grande Basin, snowpack was at 77% of average, ,down from 92% of average last month at time and tracking slightly behind last years 80%.  In the Arkansas Basin, the snowpack was at 81% of overall average, down from 96% last month at this time and tracking behind last year’s 103% of average. 

Water year precipitation is running slightly above average across the upper Rio Grande Basin and below average in the Arkansas Basin.  As of February 1, the upper Rio Grande Basin reported 102% of average precipitation, down from 114% from last month, but higher than 85% from a year ago.  The Arkansas Basin reported 88% of average precipitation, down from 100% of average from last month and down from 89% of average from last year.  

Overall reservoir storage is running below average across southern Colorado.  Storage in the Rio Grande Basin on February 1 was at 66^ of average overall, up from 64% last month, but down from 79% last year at this time.  The Arkansas Basin storage was at 94% of average overall, up from 93% last month and up slightly from 91% last year. 

Southeast Colorado precipitation levels for past 365 days, current and compared to last year’s levels. 

                                Past 365 days                     Deviation in inches
Eads                          12.48                                     -3.20
Haswell                    10.14                                     -5.20
Lamar                        13.57                                     -1.63
Campo 7S                   9.07                                      -7.89
Walsh 1W                11.02                                     -8.14
La Junta 20S             11.82                                     -3.47
Las Animas                8.27                                      -5.46
Kim 15 NNE             13.35                                      -3.49
Walsenburg           13.26                                      -4.78
Trinidad                  10.38                                     – 5.93   


Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCityCountyEconomyLamarWeather


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.