@CWCB_DNR: June 2016 #Drought Update

Colorado Drought Monitor June 21, 2016.
Colorado Drought Monitor June 21, 2016.

Here’s the release from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Taryn Finnessey, Tracy Kosloff):

While the state experienced below average temperatures in May, June has brought well above average temperatures and mostly dry conditions. Prolonged high temperatures have resulted in a rapid melt off of mountain snowpack. The forecast for the next two weeks shows continued warm temperatures on the Western Slope and better chances for precipitation statewide. The long term CPC forecast indicates a warm summer with no clear indication of wet or dry conditions going into monsoon season. Wildfire season is expected to be average for the state this year.

  • Statewide water year-to-date mountain precipitation as reported from NRCS is at 100 percent of normal as of June 21st.
  • Reservoir storage statewide remains above normal at 108 percent. The Arkansas basin has the highest storage levels in the state at 116 percent of average; the Upper Rio Grande has the lowest storage levels at 79 percent. All other basins are near or above normal.
  • The Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI) as of June 21st is near or above average across the majority of the state. At this time of year the index reflects reservoir storage and streamflow forecasts; June 1st forecasts were near normal to above normal in the northern half of the state and normal to slightly below normal in the southern half of the state.
  • According to the long term experimental forecast discussion, El Nino conditions have dissipated, but La Nina conditions have yet to develop. Should La Nina conditions emerge and continue into winter, a record high Pacific Decadal Oscillation would decrease its impact and would not necessarily foretell drought conditions for the state.
  • Agricultural producers are experiencing a decent year so far with harvest in the Southeast part of the state underway and producing good yields, wet conditions in the northeast may result in a delayed harvest. The corn yield is expected to high, but low commodity prices are presenting challenges for producers.
  • Water providers all reported good storage levels and are not anticipating any mandatory watering restrictions this season.
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