#Drought news: Temperatures for the West region were 3-6 degrees above normal over central #NV, #UT, #CO, and E. #NM

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor.

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

This Week’s Drought Summary

The southern Plains, Mississippi Valley, Pacific coast and south Florida were the recipients of the greatest rains this week, with some areas of Louisiana and south Florida recording 5+ inches of rain for the week. Dryness over the East and West was also coupled with warmer than normal temperatures over the West. Temperatures were 3-6 degrees above normal over the Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico regions while the northern Plains was 6-9 degrees below normal. Many dry areas of the Plains and Midwest have not had drought development due to the unseasonably cool temperatures in May…

High Plains

Temperatures over the region were generally 6-8 degrees below normal, with portions of Colorado and Wyoming the outliers with temperatures 2-4 degrees above normal. Most of the region was fairly dry for the week with many areas below normal for precipitation during one of the wettest months of the year. Portions of western South Dakota, western Nebraska, northeast Colorado, and southeast Kansas did record precipitation that was well above normal with 150-400 percent of normal for the week. With the dryness throughout much of the area, abnormally dry conditions were expanded and moderate drought was introduced to portions of western North Dakota and into South Dakota. Abnormally dry conditions were expanded through central and southeast Nebraska and portions of northeast Kansas. These areas will be ripe for drought development without rain, especially if temperatures become more seasonable. Northeast Colorado did see some improvement due to recent heavy rains as the severe and moderate drought as well as the abnormally dry conditions shifted south slightly. The abnormally dry pocket in southeast South Dakota was also removed this week after some locally heavy rain…


Most of the region was dry for the week with the exception of the Pacific Northwest and northern California, where 150-200 percent of normal precipitation was recorded. Temperatures for the region were 3-6 degrees above normal over central Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and eastern New Mexico, with most of the rest of the region near normal to 3 degrees below normal for the week. In the Pacific Northwest, the recent rains helped to slow down further degradation in Oregon and Washington, with portions of the abnormally dry areas of western Washington improved this week. Oregon has some improvement to the severe and extreme drought over the southwest portions of the state but did see moderate drought expand slightly over portions of the western areas of the state. Conditions in Nevada and Utah continue to decline with an intensification of moderate and severe drought over northern portions of both states as the short-term dryness is starting to combine with the long-term issues in these areas. New Mexico had an expansion of moderate, severe, and extreme drought in the northern portions of the state as some of the recent dryness is coupled with longer-term issues in the drought indicators. Abnormally dry conditions were expanded over most of eastern New Mexico as a result of short-term issues. Southwest Colorado had an expansion of extreme and severe drought conditions while moderate drought was expanded northward over the central portion of the state…


Temperatures over the region were near normal to slightly below normal where the most precipitation took place. Areas of west Texas were 3-6 degrees above normal for the week. It was an active week over much of the region for precipitation, which allowed for improvements over much of the area. Most of southern, central, and eastern Texas as well as southern Louisiana had a full category improvement as these areas recorded the greatest precipitation, which shifted the drought indices, allowing improvement to take place. Some areas of southern Louisiana had 10+ inches of radar-estimated rainfall. Areas of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, west Texas, and southwest Oklahoma did not receive any of this rain and conditions continued to deteriorate. Portions of western Oklahoma have had all winter wheat zeroed out as producers did not get a crop to grow and did not even see enough growth for grazing purposes. In southwest Oklahoma, moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions expanded this week. Some areas of the Texas panhandle did see improvements to the abnormally dry conditions while other areas missed out on the rain and saw conditions decline. Abnormally dry conditions were also expanded over west Texas this week…

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, it is anticipated that the Plains states will remain in an active pattern, with the greatest precipitation to occur over portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and into Texas. The Mid-Atlantic is also anticipating precipitation amounts of up to 3-4 inches during the period. Dry conditions will dominate the Southwest and into most of the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. Temperatures during this period will be near normal over most of the country with below-normal temperatures over the Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. Areas that receive the most rain will also have the coolest temperatures over the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast.

The 6-10 day outlooks show a high probability of greater than normal temperatures over the West, northern Plains, Midwest, Northeast and Alaska. The greatest probabilities are over the Southwest. There are also high probabilities of cooler than normal temperatures over the southern Plains and into the South. The precipitation outlook has the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest with the greatest likelihood of below-normal precipitation. The best chances of above-normal precipitation will be over the South and Southeast but may also include the Midwest and Southwest.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending May 19, 2020.

Flood Mitigation is Messy: An Argument for High Functioning and Low Maintenance Streams — Mile High Flood District

Addressing flood risk after an area has already developed is complicated, expensive, and messy in every way you can imagine. This video will recap a challenging flood mitigation project that was 20 years in the making and contrast it with the Mile High Flood District’s modern approach to urban stream design – an approach we call High Functioning and Low Maintenance Streams (HFLMS)

#Runoff/#Snowpack news: Average streamflow expected for the #YampaRiver

Bear River at CR7 near Yampa / 3:30 PM, May 16, 2019 / Flow Rate = 0.52 CFS. Photo credit: Scott Hummer

From Steamboat Today (Holly Kirkpatrick and Andy Rossi):

For water managers, the onset of spring is signaled by the reactivation of stream gages.

That’s right, the day field technicians awaken the extensive network of flow data collection instruments from their winter hibernation is highly anticipated in the water world. But what does that mean for the non-water nerds who are simply enjoying warmer temperatures? The short answer is a lot, particularly if you enjoy water activities.

Stream gages, operated by the state of Colorado and U.S. Geological Survey, give water managers, agricultural producers, recreationists and emergency managers valuable information needed to coordinate the use of our most valuable natural resource, water. Before stream gages are activated and spring runoff begins, water managers monitor snowpack to forecast river flows.

Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) is an extensive system of instrumentation extending from the U.S.-Canada border to the southern reaches of Arizona and New Mexico that tracks snowpack data which determines the amount of water that will end up in our rivers, streams, and lakes when temperatures rise.

The Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District incorporates snowpack data and runoff forecasts for the Yampa River to manage the timing of filling Stagecoach and Yamcolo reservoirs, which can be a delicate balance. The forecast products used by Conservancy District are updated on a regular basis by incorporating new snowpack and climate data as it becomes available.

In addition to all this data, real-world observations can be used to improve the usefulness of the forecast products developed by public agencies. Real-world observations made by a robust monitoring network of citizen scientists provide valuable information. Citizen scientists are those who have a close relationship with rivers and streams, including agricultural producers, outdoor enthusiasts and water facilities operators.

Now for the good news, forecasts suggest a healthy average runoff for the Yampa River system and thus far, this year’s early spring runoff in observed streamflow levels has reinforced those forecasts. So round up your boat gear and get ready to enjoy some warmer days. Spring has finally sprung in the Yampa Valley.

And, if your spring is signaled by the end of calving season and the beginning of irrigation season, don’t forget about Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District’s grant program funding diversion infrastructure improvements. Call Holly Kirkpatrick at 970-439-1081 or visit upperyampawater.com/projects/grants for more information.

Holly Kirkpatrick is the communications and marketing manager and Andy Rossi is the district engineer with Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District.

From The North Forty Times:

Play It Safe Tips

  • Wear a life vest
  • Use proper flotation devices
  • Wear shoes
  • Wear a helmet
  • Don’t tie anything to yourself or to your tube/raft/kayak
  • Safe to Go?

  • Know the weather and water conditions
  • Poudre River water is melted snow – it is always cold!
  • Avoid logs, branches, rocks and debris
  • Know Where You Are

  • Take a map
  • Plan your take-out location before you get in the river
  • Float Sober, Float Safe

  • Alcohol and drugs impair judgment
  • Be Courteous

  • Pack it in; pack it out
  • Share the river
  • What if you flip?

  • Do not stand in the river – avoid foot entrapment
  • Float on your back with feet pointing down river and toes out of the water
  • Use your arms to paddle to shore
  • Learning about water while ‘safer at home’ — News on TAP

    Denver Water’s Youth Education program has an online platform for students to learn about water in Colorado from their homes. The post Learning about water while ‘safer at home’ appeared first on News on TAP.

    via Learning about water while ‘safer at home’ — News on TAP