From CBS Denver (Jeff Todd):
Nearly all of Colorado is now abnormally dry or worse on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
“This isn’t unprecedented but it’s certainly on the low end of the distribution. It looks somewhat similar to what we saw in the 2002 and 2012 type drought years,” said Peter Goble with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University.
A majority of southwestern Colorado is now in the classified as severe drought.
“This is largely based off of a concerningly low snow year in the western portion of Colorado,” Goble said. Adding that there is only a five percent chance the mountains in the San Juan Mountains reaches average or normal amounts.
Water managers say despite the lacking snowpack Colorado’s reservoirs are at or above average.
But many are looking toward the end of the winter and hoping for precipitation packed storms.
“If you look especially at the eight to 14 day timeframe, the things aren’t necessarily lining up to get worse. They’re also not lining up to fix all the problems. Our primary focus will be snow just because as that snow melts out in the spring it recharges our springs and reservoirs and our soils,” Goble said.
From CBS Denver (Ashton Altieri):
The weekly drought data was released Thursday morning and it’s not good. 99 percent of Colorado is now experiencing abnormal dryness or drought.
The percentage of the state with at least moderate drought has increased 42 percent from a week ago and now includes the entire Denver metro area.
Even worse, severe drought jumped 15 percent and now has a grip on nearly the entire Western Slope.
The data was calculated on Tuesday and therefore doesn’t include most of the moisture from our recent storm. So it’s possible we could see limited improvement particularly in southwest Colorado next week.
But in terms of the metro area, the rain and snow we saw Wednesday is unlikely to make much of a difference.
As of this morning we’ve seen 6.8 inches of snow this season in Denver. And that’s nearly 17 inches below normal through Jan. 11.