From KUNC (Poncie Rutsch). Click through for the great animation showing the progression our of drought. Here’s an excerpt:
The period from July 2013 to June 2015 is the second wettest two-year period in the U.S. Drought Monitor’s 120 years of observation for the state of Colorado — and that helps. Yet more rain doesn’t always satiate a drought, since too much at any one time means flooding and water runoff. The better solution is snowpack — the amount of snow that falls over the winter and refills the state’s reservoirs as it melts over the winter.
“What you want is kind of a gradual melting of the snowpack in the late spring and into the summer so that you get that gradual filling of the reservoirs,” explains David Simeral, a meteorologist and author of the U.S. Drought Monitor.
“It’s been gradually getting better since 2013,” says Simeral. The rains and flooding helped ease Colorado’s drought, and steady rain and snowfall have continued to finish the job…
The annual monsoon doesn’t hurt.
“That generally doesn’t help the reservoirs,” says Simeral, “but it helps the vegetation and keeps stream flows up.”
Vegetation and stream flows are two other indicators that Simeral uses to monitor drought, along with precipitation, soil moisture, and local temperatures.
“The monsoon is very difficult to predict,” says Simeral. Still, he forecasts more wet weather for the rest of the summer, keeping the state out of drought.
From InkStain (John Fleck):
I would like to point out that the first six months of 2015, which roughly coincides with the time since I quite writing about drought for the Albuquerque Journal, have seen the wettest statewide [NM] average precipitation since the epic year of 1941.