August Drought Update from Pueblo National Weather Service



The summer monsoon helped alleviate some drought conditions across southeast Colorado, but more precipitation will be needed to offset the deficits of the past two years of drought.  The current U.S. Drought Monitor shows improvement, especially in the Pike’s Peak region, eastern mountains and adjacent plains.  Some areas saw summer precipitation totals at 150 to 200% of normal. 

D4-Execeptional Drought conditions still persist to Crowley and Otero Counties, as well as western Kiowa and extreme western portions of Bent County.  D3 conditions can be found in Baca, Prowers and the remainder of Bent and Kiowa Counties. 

CPC and VIC soil moisture calculations indicate improvements over southeast Colorado, especially near higher terrain where soil moisture is at near or slightly below normal.  Soil moisture conditions across the southeastern plains are still below normal with the largest deficits remaining in the lower Arkansas Valley. 

The latest USDA Colorado Crop report shows some degradation of conditions over the past week, due to well above normal temperatures helping to deplete fields of adequate moisture supplies.  67% of top soil moisture was rated at short or very short across the state, compared to only 53% ratings last week.  This remains well below the 95% of top soil moisture rated as short or very short about this same time last year.  Subsoil moisture shows 80% rated at short or very short across Colorado, compared to 73% last week and 97% at this same time last year.  The report also indicates 51% of pasture and range land conditions rated at poor to very poor, compared to 85% ratings this time last year.  This still remains above the five year average of only 35% rated at poor to very poor for this time of year. 

Monsoonal rains helped ease water consumption across the area, though reservoir storage, area-wide, still remains below or well below average especially across southern Colorado.  Water providers are hoping for a strong snow accumulation season to fill the deficit.  The upswing in precipitation and improved soil moisture continue to improve stream flows.  Currently 71% of USGS Gages are indicating normal to much above normal for 7 day average flows, with only 11% of the gages indicating low to much below normal readings over the past week. 

August precipitation amounts for southeast Colorado, 2012 compared to 2013:


                                                2012                       2013
Eads                                       0.98                         3.01
Haswell                                  3.14                        1.16
Holly                                       1.67                        2.74
J. Martin Dam                       0.43                        0.92
La Junta                                  0.16                        0.86
Lamar                                     1.11                        4.22
Las Animas                            0.57                        0.89
Wiley                                      0.12                        1.19
Two Buttes                            0.63                        3.54
Springfield                             1.86                        3.08
Walsh                                     2.91                        1.38
Trinidad                                 0.56                        2.59

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinesscommunityCountyEnvironmentFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountyWeatherWiley


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