NWS December Precipitation Summary for Southeast Colorado

Drought Information from National Weather Service 

December saw some needed snowfall to portions of south central and southeast Colorado.  Mountain snowfall for December measured 112% of average, but the statewide snowpack as of January First was still only 70% of average.  Precipitation over the southeast plains was spotty and came in near to slightly below normal for December.  

The dry weather has extended the Exceptional Drought (D4) conditions for most of Bent and Prowers Counties as ell as Otero and Kiowa Counties and northeast portions of Las Animas County.  Extreme Drought (D3) conditions remain in extreme southeastern Bent County, extreme southern Prowers County and north and eastern portions of Baca County.  Severe Drought (D2) conditions persist in the rest of southeast Colorado. 

CPC and VIC Soil moisture calculations continue to indicate drier to much drier than normal conditions across most of southeast and south central Colorado with the worst conditions persisting across the southeast Colorado Plains. 

Temperatures for the end of the year remained warm across the southern section of the state.  Colorado Springs saw 5.4 inches of snow for December and 0.26 inches of precipitation.  The average temperature for the year was 53 degrees, 4 degrees above average and made 2012 the warmest year on record for Colorado Springs.  The city received 8.11 inches of precipitation for 2012, 8.43 inches below average for the 4th driest year on record. 

Pueblo received 4.0 inches of snow and 0.30 inches of precipitation for December, both below the monthly average.  The average temperature in Pueblo for the year was 54.9 degrees, 2.9 degrees above average.  The city received only 5 inches of precipitation for 2012, 7.57 inches below normal and made 2012 the second driest year on record. 

At the end of December, streamflow across the Arkansas and Upper Rio Grande Basins were generally below average with the first seasonal streamflow forecast for the April to September period expecting below normal conditions.  As a result of last year’s well-below average runoff, Colorado’s statewide reservoir storage has been tracking below average since the end of May, 2012.  Overall storage across the Arkansas and Upper Rio Grande Basins also reflect this trend of below average levels.

 At the end of December combined reservoir storage levels in the Arkansas Basin were down to 56% of average and combined levels in the Upper Rio Grande Basins were at 50% of average.  Reservoir storage in both basins are also running well below levels at this same time last year.


Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCountyEconomyFeaturedFestivalGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountyWeatherWiley


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