Summary: April 21, 2020
Cooler temperatures dominated the Intermountain West (IMW) last week. But only the northern portions of the IMW benefited from moisture with the cooler temperatures. The northern ranges of Colorado and Utah received over half an inch of moisture. The Front Range urban corridor got a healthy shot of spring snows.
In the Four Corners, despite some colder temperatures, snowmelt has kicked into high gear. It’s melting faster and earlier than normal. And with not much precipitation in April, water supply forecasts for the late spring and summer are quickly declining.
The Four Corners, east across the San Luis Valley and Upper Rio Grande, and across the eastern plains of Colorado and New Mexico are areas of concern. A poor performing monsoon, with lack of decent moisture for winter wheat planting, a struggle to keep up with average during the winter, and a shut-off of precipitation during the spring, SPIs across many time scales are below -1.5, winds are kicking up dust and increasing fire danger, failed winter wheat crops are certain, and extra feed needs to be purchased for cattle.
For the northern watersheds of the IMW, snowpack is following a more steady timeline as new snows have accumulated. Water supplies are forecasted to be near or slightly below normal
While some precipitation moves across southern CO and northeast NM today, they are not expected to get much more moisture this week. It will do little to help conditions there. Only minor amounts of precipitation are expected over the northern part of the IMW this week. Mostly dry and warm conditions will dominate over the next couple of weeks.