Here’s the September 2019 Drought Update from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Colorado Division of Water Resources (Ben Wade, Tracy Kosloff):
August and September to date have both been warm, although the water year as a whole is the coldest since 2010. Above normal temperatures are predicted to continue in October. Recent months have also been dry although for the water year as a whole, precipitation ranges from average to above average statewide. The North American monsoon season was disappointing in Colorado and other parts of the Southwestern U.S. The monsoon season sometimes results in beneficial rainfall for Colorado, particularly in the southern portion of the state.
The map of Snotel precipitation for the last 90 days (June 27- September 24) compared to the average for that time period shows how dry the summer has been in Colorado’s mountain areas.
● The weak El Niño has officially ended in favor of neutral conditions. The long term ENSO forecasts are trending toward neutral conditions remaining through the winter.
● Reservoir storage across the state (as of the end of August) is 116% of average and 70% of capacity. At this time last year, statewide reservoir storage was at 82% of average.
● According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, released September 24, D0, abnormally dry, and D1, moderate drought, now cover 66 percent of Colorado.
● Water providers reported their systems are in good shape but water demand was high in August and September and they hope for beneficial moisture over the winter to avoid high demand next spring before runoff has refilled storage supplies.