NWS Summer Weather Recap


Drought Map, September 2014

Drought Map, September 2014


June through August began warm and dry across most of south central and southeast Colorado, save for some spotty heavy precipitation across the southeast plains due to early season thunderstorms. The southwest monsoon kicked in early and was very active through that month, leading to abundant and much needed precipitation across the area, especially the drought ravaged southeast plains.

The summer monsoon remained fairly active through august though not nearly as active as July which led to generally at or slightly below average precipitation across much of the area for the summer as a whole. One exception to this was across much of Crowley, Otero, Bent and Kiowa counties which saw precipitation totals one to three inches, locally up to six inches, above normal for the summer.  With this in mind, the U.S. Drought Monitor over the past month has removed the exceptional drought (D4) classification across the southeast Colorado Plains.  The current drought monitor now indicates extreme drought (D3) conditions are in place across eastern Crowley County, western Kiowa County, extreme northeastern Prowers County, northern Bent County and northeastern Otero County.

The latest CPC and VIC soil moisture calculations are indicating normal conditions across most of south central and southeast Colorado with some slight drying indicated across portions of San Luis Valley and southwest mountains.

The latest USDA Colorado Crop report is indicating 9% of the top soil across the state as very short, with 32% rated as short, 52% rated as adequate and 7% rated in surplus conditions. This compares t last year at this time, when 28% of statewide topsoil was rated as very short, 46% as short and only 26% rated as adequate.

Sub moisture content across the state this week shows a similar trend with 17% rated as very short, 32% rated as short, 50% rated as adequate and 1% in surplus conditions. This compares to last year at this time when 38% of statewide topsoil was rated as very short, 46% as short and only 16% rated as adequate.

Pasture and rangeland across the state also remain in better shape with 64% rated at fair to good over this past week. Last year at this time, 48% of pasture and rangeland was rated at fair to god while 56% is fair to good on average.

The widespread precipitation across the area throughout much of the summer has kept area stream flow at or above normal levels. The latest USGS data is indicating streams across southwestern Colorado are starting to trail average flows.

The abundant precipitation continues to be beneficial to both water users and providers with less summer demand leading to increased reservoir storage. At the end of August storage levels in the Arkansas Basin declined slightly to 83% of average overall.  This, however, is 143% of the available storage at this same time last year.

Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarMedia ReleaseProwers CountyRecreationWater ReportWeatherWiley


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