#Drought news: D2 (Severe) expanded in E. #Colorado

Colorado Drought Monitor March 14, 2017.

From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Cassa Niedringhaus):

…Sunday’s was the eighth red flag warning for lower Larimer County this year, according to the Wellington Fire Protection District. The warning took effect at noon and was set to expire about 7 p.m.

Most of the area in Larimer, Boulder and Weld counties is abnormally dry or in a drought, according to an update last week by the U.S. Drought Monitor. A swath across the east side of Larimer County — which includes Fort Collins and Loveland — is in a severe drought.

Fort Collins had been in a severe drought for months at the end of 2016 and then improved at the beginning 2017, but the city has regressed into a severe drought again.

Beyond Larimer County and neighboring counties, the eastern half of the state is also dry or in a drought. The southeastern corner of the state is in an extreme drought. The agency uses five classifications: abnormally dry, which is the precursor to drought, and moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional drought.

From The Denver Post (Kieran Nicholson):

“It’s not time to panic and turn on your sprinkler system, your yard is doing just fine,” said Travis Thompson, a Denver Water spokesman.

Thompson recommends hand watering at this time of year, and giving special attention to shrubs, bushes and trees.

The mountain snow pack water supply, stoked by above average snow in December and January, remains above average for this time of year, Thompson said.

Current water supply for most Front Range residents isn’t low or critical, despite current drought and drought-like conditions parching lower-lying elevations of eastern Colorado.

Denver Water, which typically sets water restrictions during the summer, does not have any current watering restrictions.

Colorado State University Extension recommends winter watering during extremely dry stretches — the first day of spring is March 20 — of about 10 gallons of water for each inch of tree trunk diameter once or twice per month and anywhere from 5 to 18 gallons per month for shrubs. Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees and where there’s no snow on the ground.

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