Drought news: Southeastern Colorado still in drought

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From the Associated Press (Sheila V Kumar) via The Durango Herald:

Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center, said about 30 percent of Colorado has been classified as experiencing severe drought conditions. Seven percent of Colorado has been experiencing extreme drought conditions: Baca, eastern Las Animas, most of Bent and Prowers, parts of Otero, Crowley and Kiowa counties. “An extreme drought means these conditions happen about once every 20 years. One way to equate it is if I had 100 years of data, in 95 of those 100 years (we) are better off than we are now,” Svoboda said…

Bruce Fickenscher, a range and livestock agent for the southeast area, said rain gauges scattered around counties indicate there has been less than 2 inches of rain in the area since October. The little bit of green growth they saw has since died and withered away. “Range conditions for pastures are way past serious. Livestock has started to leave because there are no range grasses to speak of. And hay is becoming very hard to find,” Fickenscher said.

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