#Drought news: Southeastern Colorado reaps the benefits of May rainfall

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view the May 26 and May 5, 2015 statewide maps.

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Jon Pompia):

Southeastern Colorado, parts of which have suffered under heavy drought and very dry conditions since fall 2010, has benefitted immensely from the recent extended period of rainfall.

A Drought Monitor map released by the National Weather Service shows that with the exception of Baca and Prowers counties, and a small portion of Bent, Southeastern Colorado is now drought-free.

Still, Baca and Prowers are not classified as being under drought conditions but rather “abnormally dry.”

According to Paul Wolyn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo, only one year ago, most of Southeastern Colorado was in an “extreme drought,” with parts of Otero, Crowley and Kiowa counties suffering under “exceptional drought,” the weather service’s most extreme and rare classification.

And just three months ago, most of Southeastern Colorado, as well as Las Animas County, was classified as being in a “severe” drought.

The start of the Southeastern Colorado drought can be traced back to fall 2010. While a NWS map from July 2010 shows the entire western half of the state drought-free, by December of that year, the drought in that same region had become moderate to severe, with Southeastern Colorado seeing the worst of these conditions.

Although there was some relief in 2012, things dried up again in 2013, with most of Southern and Southeastern Colorado designated as being in an extreme to exceptional drought by summer.

In 2014, a string of summer showers improved the picture somewhat before extended rains this spring moved Southeastern Colorado out of the drought classification.

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