National Weather Service Drought Monitor Update



November 2013 began warm and dry across most of southeast and south central Colorado.  A changing weather pattern began producing cool and wet weather especially in the southwest mountains and San Luis Valley.  Much of this moisture missed southeast Colorado which perpetuated the drought in portions of the lower Arkansas River Valley. 

Moderate drought conditions, (D1) remain in central Las Animas and most of Baca Counties.  Severe drought, (D2) conditions are found in the rest of Las Animas County, northwestern Baca County, eastern Bent and Kiowa Counties and Prowers County.  Extreme drought (D3) conditions remain across most of Crowley, western Otero and Bent Counties, extreme north central Las Animas County and western and central Kiowa County.  D4 Exceptional conditions are found in southeastern Crowley County, eastern Otero County, southwestern Kiowa County and extreme western Bent County.   

The latest CPC and VIC soil moisture calculations continue to indicate normal to above normal conditions in place across most of southeast and south central Colorado.   However, soil moisture conditions across the far southeast Plains remain generally below normal with the largest deficits remaining across portion of the lower Arkansas River Valley. 

The latest USDA Colorado Crop Report for the season indicated 44% of top soil moisture across the state as short or very short as compared to 85% across the state as short or very short as the same time last year.  As for subsoil moisture, 67% was rated at short or very short, compared to 94% at the same time last year.  The crop report also indicated 42% of posture and range land conditions across the state were rated at poor to very poor, compared to 85% rated at poor to very poor at the same time last year. 

Alamosa recorded 1.63 inches of precipitation in November.  This is 1.21 inches above normal and makes November of 2013 the wettest on record in Alamosa.  The city also tallied 18.1 inches of snow throughout the past month.  This is 14.4 inches above normal and makes November 2013 as the 3rd snowiest on record.  Colorado Springs recorded 0.27 inches of precipitation and 4.0 inches of snow in the month of November, which is 0.13 inches and 0;7 inches below normal respectively.  Pueblo recorded 0.34 inches of precipitation and 3.6 inches of snow in November which is 0.13 inches and 0.8 inches below normal respectively. 

Above normal state-wide precipitation in September and October helped to raise state-wide reservoir levels to 83% of normal at the beginning of November.  The biggest increases were seen across the northern basins with many of the southern basins remaining well below average.  At the start of November, the Arkansas Basin saw storage levels at 72% of normal with the Rio Grande Basin seeing the lowest storage levels in the state at 47% of normal.  However, good early season snowfall continues to keep all Colorado basins at or above normal snow water equivalent through November.  At the end of the month, the Rio Grande basin was at 144% of normal SWE and was the top basin in the state.  The Arkansas Basin was second at the end of the month with SWE coming in at 132% of normal.  Although the good snowpack in encouraging, it remains very early in the season with continued above normal snowpack needed to help fill area reservoirs in the springs.

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountyWeatherWiley


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.