Drought Information Statement from NWS


November in Colorado experienced temperature extremes, starting out warm in the eastern Plains.  The month saw at or below normal precipitation across most of south central and southeastern Colorado, except for portions of the Continental Divide and the southeast mountains which saw well above normal precipitation.

Despite generally below normal precipitation across much of the area, the US Drought Monitor shows little change in current conditions as the late fall and winter moths across southern Colorado are climatically dry months.

The current Drought Monitor continues to indicate severe drought (D2) conditions in place across the eastern two-thirds of Crowley County, eastern Otero County, the eastern two-thirds of Las Animas Count and all of Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties.  Moderate (D1) conditions are found in western Las Animas County and the rest of Otero and Crowley Counties.

CPS and VIC Soil Moisture calculations continue to indicate near normal conditions across most of south central and southeast Colorado with slightly drier conditions being indicated across portions of the San Luis Valley and the far southeast Plains.  Streamflow across the area at the end of November remained generally near to slightly above seasonal average.  Reservoir storage at the end of November across southern Colorado showed marked improvement over the last few years, although these levels continue to be the lowest in the state.

In the Arkansas Basin, storage levels on December 1st were at 80% of average overall, compared to 59% of average overall at this same time last year.  In the Rio Grande Basin, storage levels on December 1st were at 64% of average overall, compared to 56% of average overall at this same time last year.

The Climate Prediction Centers outlook across south central and southeastern Colorado over the next week indicate better chances of above normal precipitation and a slight tilt to above normal temperatures.  With a weak El Nino still expected to emerge through the winter season, the outlook for the rest of December, January and February includes equal chances of above normal or near normal temperatures and a light nod to above normal precipitation across southern Colorado.  With this in mind, the CPC Seasonal Drought Outlook valid through February 28, indicates drought conditions remaining across southeastern Colorado, though showing some improvement across the southern mountains.

Here are precipitation amounts in southeast Colorado, comparing November 2014 to last month:

.                          Nov 2013             Nov 2014
Springfield            0.40                        0.06
Campo                    0.10                        0.32
Sugar City              0.32                        0.37
Eads                        0.10                        0.21
Burlington             0.35                        0.15
La Junta                 0.43                        0.74
Holly                       0.38                        0.00
Lamar                     0.33                        0.29
Two Buttes             0.23                        0.17

Filed Under: Prowers County


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