Drought Information Statement from NWS-Pueblo


 Drought Holding Steady for S.E. Colorado

Last December was another month of temperature extremes across southeast Colorado with the first 25 days indicating temperatures well above the seasonal mean.  A strong arctic airmass invaded eastern Colorado bringing well below seasonal temperatures for the rest of the month.  Near to slightly below normal precipitations readings were experienced across most of south central and southeast Colorado, save for areas along the Continental Divide and portions of the southeast Plains which saw above normal precipitation for the month as a whole.

The current drought monitor shows little change in current conditions with severe drought (D2) conditions remaining in place across the eastern two-thirds of Crowley County, Eastern Otero, the eastern two-thirds of Las Animas and all of Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties.

CPS and VIC Soil Moisture calculations continue to indicate near normal conditions across most of southeast Colorado, with slightly drier conditions being indicated across portions of the San Luis Valley and the far southeast Plains.

The first water supply outlook report of the year indicated January 1st statewide snow pack was at 99% of average overall.  Snow pack distribution, however, was not uniform across the state with southern basins indicating lower than average snow pack on January 1st where as the northern basins snowpack was at or above normal.  Snowpack in the Arkansas Basin was one of the highest in the state, running at 114% of average overall, compared to 100% of normal snowpack at this same time last year.  Snow pack in the upper portions of the basin was at 146% of normal on January 1st, with southern portions of the basin indicating snow pack between 50 and 80% of normal.

Statewide reservoir storage remained in good shape at the end of December with storage totals running at 103% on average overall.  Storage levels in the Arkansas Basin were at 79% of average overall, compared to 59% at this same time last year.

Current and late spring and early summer streamflow runoff forecasts across the Arkansas Basin range from 119% of average for Chalk Creek near Nathrop, to 82% of average for the Cucharas River near La Veta.  The current streamflow runoff forecasts for the Rio Grande Basin ranges from 109% of average for Saguache Creek near Saguache, to 56% for the San Antonio River at Ortiz.

Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarMedia ReleaseProwers CountyRecreationWater ReportWeatherWiley


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