Summary: June 23, 2020
While the Intermountain West saw widespread beneficial moisture early in the month, conditions have again turned for the worse. The last seven days have been hotter and drier than normal for much of Colorado. Areas that did receive moisture this week were northern Utah, northern Wyoming, the northern Colorado Front Range and far SE Colorado. While moisture in SE Colorado is much needed, these short lived storms were not enough to make improvements in this area with high temperatures and high winds continuing to play a factor. The eastern plains of Colorado have been 6-8 degrees warmer than normal for the month of June to date. This includes several episodes of 100-degree temperatures in SE CO, and widespread wind events. Agricultural weather stations have shown a sharp uptick in potential evapotranspiration, as has the Evaporative Demand Drought Index. Red flag warnings have been common, top soil is short, winter wheat crops are failing, and cattle are being sold. Campo, on the CO/OK border, is still showing about a 5 inch deficit in precipitation for 2020 and is the 3rd driest start to 2020. Northeast Colorado also continues to see dry and warm conditions, no precipitation and 2-6 degrees warmer than average over the last week, which are leading to worsening drought conditions.
The forecast for the next week indicates warmer than average temperatures for eastern Colorado and cooler than average temperatures for western Colorado. Moisture is expected for much of Colorado, scattered showers along the eastern plains with the greatest probability being over the Front Range with little to no precipitation in the forecast for western Colorado. The 8-14 day outlook is showing a similar story of warmer than average temperatures for eastern Colorado, cooler temperatures in western Colorado and uncertain precipitation probability for most of the state.