Colorado Water 2012: Rio Grande Basin is in a severe drought #CODrought

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Here’s the latest installment of the Valley Courier’s Colorado Water 2012 series. Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi describes the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s efforts during the current drought. Here’s an excerpt:

While the winter did bring some improvements to the area, it is still quite dry and the 24-month accumulation for precipitation shows that the area is tracking well below normal accumulation for the last two years. A shortage of roughly five inches may not seem like a lot, but in a region where an average year brings just over seven inches that adds up to a noticeable deficit.

These conditions have largely been attributed to La Niña conditions in the equatorial region of the eastern Pacific Ocean. La Niña, is a cooling of sea surface temperatures that influences weather patterns in the southwestern United States, often resulting in drier conditions. Currently, sea surface temperatures have warmed and are now classified as neutral. Continued warming and a full transition to El Niño (a warming of sea surface temperatures) could occur in the second half of 2012. El Niño conditions would favor more moisture for the state.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.

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