Colorado’s drought-free streak is over: Here’s where it’s the driest — KOAA.com

West Drought Monitor August 27, 2019.

From KOAA.com (Ryan Osborne):

A sliver of Montezuma and La Plata counties in the far southwestern corner of the state were under “moderate” drought conditions, or “D1,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor . About 36,000 people live in the drought area.

D1 is the lowest drought level, followed by severe, extreme and exceptional conditions. A larger area of southwest Colorado is what the drought monitor considers “abnormally dry” but not quite to the level of drought conditions. Areas of central Colorado and corners in the southeast and northwest part of the state are also abnormally dry. (See the map on the tweet below).

The state became 100% drought-free in late May, marking first time in nearly 20 years of monitoring that no drought conditions were in Colorado…

The drought here in Colorado is part of a larger area of dry conditions across New Mexico, Arizona and parts of Utah, as some areas have experience one of their driest monsoon seasons on record…

In Colorado, many areas are above normal precipitation levels for the year but have been below normal over the last two months, according to the Colorado Climate Center.

Denver, for example, is at 12.58 inches of rain for the year, about 1.25 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service. In the short term, only a little more than a half-inch has fallen this month, down by more than an inch of normal.

In Cortez, the closest precipitation station to the drought area, rain levels this year are at 9.78 inches, about 1.40 inches above normal. But since June 1, only 1.30 inches have fallen, nearly two inches below normal.

The Climate Center highlighted one of these variations this week, pointing out the rain levels in Walsh, in southeast Colorado. After a good rain on July 2, the area was more than 10.3 inches above normal for the year. Since then, Walsh has been more than four inches drier than normal.

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