Click here to read the update (Taryn Finnessey/Tracy Kosloff):
For the first time in nineteen years, the U.S. Drought Monitor Map of Colorado has officially been free of D0-D4 for four weeks. The month of May brought cool temperatures across the state and midwest. Not far behind, June has delivered lower than average temperatures and increased precipitation in the form of rain and snow. The last week of June is anticipated to be fairly dry and warm following below average temperatures and above average precipitation. Streamflows are forecast to continue to increase from precipitation and remaining snowpack melt. Current reservoir storage is slightly below normal.
June has been completely free of D0-D4. The smallest amount recorded of D0 last occurred in May 2001, when only 0.13% of our state showed D0. A weak El Niño is in effect and forecast to remain through the fall. There is an increased chance of cool and wet extremes from July to September. The Yampa and White River Basins have accumulated 227 percent of average precipitation from the beginning of June to date while the Gunnison Basin has only received 78 percent of average precipitation this month. This is historically a drier time of year in both these basins. As of June 24th, the precipitation in June is 150 percent of average. The upcoming months of July, August, and September are projected to have an increased chance of above average precipitation as well. July and August are considered critical months of the year, as they are the wettest for the eastern plains. Current SNOTEL Water Year to-date precipitation is 124 percent of average, with all basins above average. June has been a wet month across the far eastern plains. According to SNOTEL, 12 percent of this year’s remaining snowpack continues to melt. The 2019 peak snowpack ranked 6th at 130 percent median among the last 34 years. Reservoir storage across the state (as of the end of May) is 90 percent of average. This is slightly lower than last year’s statewide reservoir storage at the same time which was 106 percent of average. Flooding in post wildfire burn scars remains a concern and is being monitored closely. The daily flood threat bulletin can be accessed May 1 through September 30 HERE.