@ColoradoClimate: Weekly Climate, #Water and #Drought Assessment of the Intermountain West

Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center. Here’s the summary:

Summary: December 17, 2019

Last week the Intermountain West saw a nice weekend snowstorm in the mountains of Colorado with snowfall totals of 1 foot up to 3 feet in areas. Precipitation totals ranged from 1 to 4 inches. The other area in the IMW region that saw precipitation was north-central Utah and western Wyoming, with totals in the 1-4″ range as well. The rest of the region mainly saw less than 0.25″, with much of Arizona, New Mexico and eastern Colorado seeing less than 0.1″.

The precipitation through the mountains has been great on the short-term timescale, 30 to 60 days, with above average precipitation. On the longer timescales, 90-day and beyond is still very dry through western Colorado into much of Utah. It will take much more above average precipitation to recover.

The storm was very beneficial in the snowpack. We are now seeing above average snowpack in most of the IMW region, including in New Mexico and Arizona.

Despite the snow last week and the snow this month, temperatures over most of the region are above average for the month. Central Wyoming is the only area showing some widespread below average temperatures this month, with much of Colorado only seeing 0-3 degrees above average.

The precipitation outlook for the next week is looking pretty dry for much of the region. It looks like there is going to be a system to come through Arizona and southern Utah, but dry for the rest of the IMW. The 8-14 day outlook is showing good chances for above average precipitation the 24th – 30th, so some areas may have a white Christmas. Temperatures are leaning to be above normal during that same week.

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