Drought Information Statement from NWS-Pueblo


The first through middle part of December was very cold and relatively wet, especially across higher terrain in Colorado, as an arctic air mass entered the Rockies.  However, most of the state saw below average precipitation and cooler than average temperatures for the month as a whole.  December is generally one of the driest months of the year, on average, but along with very good early season snowfall across the higher terrain in November, not much has changed on the current U.S. Drought Monitor.  

Exceptional (D4) drought conditions continue across southeastern Crowley County, eastern Otero, southwestern Kiowa and extreme western Bent Counties. D3 conditions can also be found in sections of these counties as well as north central Las Animas County.  Portions of Baca County are rated at D2 for Severe drought conditions including portions of Prowers and eastern Pueblo Counties. 

As of January 9, the latest CPC and VIC soil moisture calculations continue to indicate normal to above normal conditions in places across most of south central and southeast Colorado.  However, soil moisture conditions across the far southeastern plains remain generally below normal with the largest deficits across portion of the lower Arkansas River Valley. 

This past December was the fourth coldest on record for Alamosa with average temperatures 10.6 degrees below normal.  Precipitation levels for Alamosa are less than an inch below normal at this time.  Colorado Springs had basically normal temperatures for December.  Snowfall for that month was 2.8 inches below normal.  Pueblo had almost normal temperatures for December and snowfall was 2.2 inches, 2.89 inches below normal for that month. 

Very good early season snowfall has kept statewide snowpack right around normal (104%) as of January 1st.  January snowpack for the Arkansas Basin fell to 95% of normal from the December 1st reading of 132% of normal.  However, this is 174% of the snowpack in place at this time last year.  Statewide reservoir storage levels remained below average at the end of December with the largest deficits remaining in the Southern Basins.  In the Arkansas Basin, storage levels were at 68% of average overall at the end of December. 

Precipitation amounts for southeast Colorado communities are as follows for the following months: 

                                Dec 2013             Dec 2012

Eads                        0.05                        0.22
Haswell                  0.00                        0.07
Lamar                     0.02                        0.33
Las Animas            0.06                        0.04
La Junta                 0.09                        0.21
Cheraw                  0.12                        0.15
Holly                       0.00                        0.37
Burlington             0.09                        0.74
Kim                         0.01                        0.14
Springfield             0.00                        0.10       


Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEnvironmentFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountyWeatherWiley


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