#Drought news: Uncertainty for folks in the Grand Valley #ColoradoRiver #COriver

Colorado Drought Monitor November 21, 2017.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Erin McIntyre):

Much of western Mesa County is in a “moderate drought” according to the updated U.S. Drought Monitor released this week, which reflects the change for several counties in western Colorado and eastern Utah…

Forecasters are expecting the majority of precipitation to fall in the northern mountain ranges of Colorado in the near future, as the La Nina weather pattern seems to leave the southern half of the state in a drier situation.

“It’s very uncertain what will happen,” Bolinger said. Last year, the winter season started out bleak, with lagging snowpack until December, when a few hard-hitting storms dumped precipitation on the mountains. “You’re right in an area where it could go either way but with the dry conditions that are occurring already I wouldn’t be surprised to see that pattern persist.”

While it’s early in the season to be considering snowpack data and streamflow information, other indicators led experts to recommend labeling a strip of western Colorado with moderate drought conditions, one step further than “abnormally dry.” The amount of water in reservoirs is in good shape, Bolinger said, but snowpack is beginning to lag in the southern part of Colorado compared to other years.

The Climate Prediction Center is expecting a warmer-than-average winter in Colorado, and if the jet stream brings windy, fire-prone conditions.

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