Drought Information Statement from NWS-Pueblo



Widespread precipitation, running between one to three inches, has been recorded across much of the drought stricken southeastern Colorado Plains throughout the first two weeks of October. This, along with abundant summer precipitation associated with the southwest monsoon, has allowed for additional improvements in the multi-year drought across portions of south central and southeast Colorado.  Because of this, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor has eliminated the extreme drought (D3) conditions across southeastern Colorado.

The current Drought Monitor now indicates severe drought (D2) conditions in place across eastern Crowley and eastern Otero Counties, as well as all of Kiowa, Bent and Prowers Counties. Severe Drought conditions remain depicted across the rest of the eastern two-thirds of Las Animas County and all of Baca County.

CPS and VIC Soil Moisture calculations continue to indicate near normal conditions across most of south central and southeast Colorado with some slight drying indicated across portions of the San Luis Valley.

The latest USDA Colorado Crop report shows little change in soil conditions across the state with 9% of top soil rated at very short, 32% rated as short, 55% rated as adequate and 4% rated in surplus conditions. Sub Soil Moisture across the state this week shows a similar trend with 17% rated as very short, 31% rated as short, 51% rated as adequate and 1% in surplus conditions.  Soil conditions across the state remain in much better shape as compared to last year at this time, although last year’s actual data is not available due to the government shutdown.

Pasture and rangeland across the state also remain in better shape, with 73% rated at fair to excellent over this past week as compared to the 5 year average of 60% rated fair to excellent. Streamflow across the area at the end of September remained generally or slightly above normal across much of the area with southwest portions seeing well above normal streamflow due to the well above normal rain over the past month.

Reservoir storage at the end of September saw levels increase slightly in the Arkansas Basin to 84% of average overall, which is 134% of the available storage at this same time last year. Storage levels in the Upper Rio Grande Basin at the end of September decreased slightly to 61% of average overall, which is still 134% of the available storage at this same time last year.

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseProwers CountyWeather


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