Drought news: The monsoon continues to bring some relief to southeast and south central Colorado #COdrought

usdroughtmonitorcolorado07232013.jpg

usdroughtmonitor07232013.jpg

Click on the thumbnail graphics for the current US and Colorado drought maps from the US Drought Monitor.

From the National Weather Service Pueblo office:

…MONSOON RAINS CONTINUE TO BRING RELIEF IN THE DROUGHT TO PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO…

SYNOPSIS…UPDATED

THE SOUTHWEST MONSOON HAS REMAINED ACTIVE ACROSS COLORADO OVER THE PAST WEEK AND CONTINUES TO BRING BENEFICIAL RAIN TO MUCH OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO. THE MUCH NEEDED RAINFALL CONTINUES TO BRING SHORT AND LONG TERM RELIEF TO THE SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT WHICH HAS HAD ITS GRIP ON THE AREA FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS. THE GREATEST PRECIPITATION HAS FALLEN OVER AND NEAR THE EASTERN MOUNTAINS…WHICH HAS RECEIVED WIDESPREAD AMOUNTS BETWEEN 3 AND 6 INCHES SINCE THE BEGINNING OF JULY.

WITH THIS IN MIND…THE CURRENT US DROUGHT MONITOR CONTINUES TO SHOW SOME IMPROVEMENT IN THE DROUGHT ACROSS THE SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO AND NOW DEPICTS SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) CONDITIONS IN PLACE ACROSS CENTRAL AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF FREMONT COUNTY…SOUTHWESTERN TELLER COUNTY AND EXTREME NORTHEASTERN CUSTER COUNTY. IN ADDITION…MOST OF LAKE COUNTY IS NOW DEPICTED AS ABNORMALLY DRY (D0).

HOWEVER…EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT CONDITIONS REMAIN INDICATED ACROSS MOST OF THE SOUTHEAST COLORADO PLAINS…INCLUDING SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN PORTIONS OF EL PASO COUNTY…CENTRAL AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF PUEBLO COUNTY…CENTRAL AND EASTERN LAS ANIMAS COUNTY…AS WELL AS ALL OF CROWLEY…OTERO… KIOWA…BENT…PROWERS AND BACA COUNTIES.

EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO BE DEPICTED ACROSS EASTERN HUERFANO COUNTY…WEST CENTRAL PORTIONS OF LAS ANIMAS COUNTY….EXTREME EASTERN FREMONT COUNTY…SOUTHEASTERN TELLER COUNTY…MOST OF THE REST OF EL PASO AND PUEBLO COUNTIES…AND EXTREME SOUTHWEST MINERAL COUNTY.

SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) CONDITIONS REMAIN ACROSS SOUTHERN CHAFFEE COUNTY…WESTERN FREMONT COUNTY…NORTHERN TELLER AND EXTREME NORTHWESTERN EL PASO COUNTIES. SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) CONDITIONS ALSO REMAIN ACROSS THE REST OF MINERAL COUNTY…AS WELL AS ALL OF SAGUACHE…RIO GRANDE…CONEJOS…ALAMOSA AND COSTILLA COUNTIES.

MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) CONDITIONS REMAIN DEPICTED ACROSS THE REST OF CHAFFEE COUNTY AND EXTREME SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE US DROUGHT MONITOR CLASSIFICATION SCHEME CAN BE FOUND AT: WWW.DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU/CLASSIFY.HTM

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS…

THE VERY DRY CONDITIONS ACROSS THE STATE CONTRIBUTED TO THE START OF SEVERAL NATURALLY CAUSED AND HUMAN INDUCED WILDFIRES OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS…INCLUDING THE BLACK FOREST FIRE…WHICH HAS BECOME THE STATES MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRE ON RECORD…WITH NEARLY 500 HOMES DESTROYED.

WITH THE ONSET OF THE SUMMER MONSOON…AREAS IN AND AROUND THESE NEWLY CREATED AND OTHER RECENT BURN SCARS ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO…HAVE ALSO EXPERIENCED DESTRUCTIVE FLASH FLOODING DUE TO THE LOSS OF VEGETATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF HYDROPHOBIC SOILS CAUSED BY THE FIRES.

HOWEVER…THE BENEFICIAL MONSOONAL RAINS HAS PROVIDED SOME SHORT TERM RELIEF TO THE AREA…WITH SEVERAL LARGE MUNICIPAL WATER PROVIDERS EASING OR HAVING PLANS TO EASE THE STRICT WATER RESTRICTIONS IMPLEMENTED THIS PAST SPRING…INCLUDING DENVER WATER AND COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES.

THE STATE HAS SETUP THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE TO GIVE INDIVIDUALS INFORMATION ON WHAT THE CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS IN THEIR SPECIFIC COMMUNITY ARE:

WWW.COH2O.CO

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