Here’s the release from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Megan Holcomb/Tracy Kosloff):
On June 22, 2020, Governor Polis activated the State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan and the supporting Drought- and Agricultural Impact Task Forces to respond to deepening drought conditions across the state. As of July 30th, dry conditions now cover 99.35% of the state with 83.72% in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought categories. To stay informed on the evolving 2020 drought season and response resources, please visit the Colorado Water Conservation Board drought website and submit questions on Twitter at @CO_H2O (observations, reports, or images can be tagged with #codrought2020).
The 90-day Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) (April 21 to July 21) continues to show slightly below average moisture for nearly all of Colorado with deeper shortfalls now more prevalent in north central and front range mountains in addition to NE and SW corners.
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions now show borderline La Niña conditions, with the atmospheric response at weak La Niña or neutral. Sea surface temperature outlooks continue with equal chances neutral/La Niña in the fall and winter.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s three month outlook maps continue to show very high confidence for above average temperatures July through Sept. and a stronger chance for below average precipitation compared to last month.
The VegDri Index (a satellite derived product that looks at how well plants are photosynthesizing) shows a bullseye of severe drought conditions in the NE (see Aug 2 map to the right).
Reservoir storage, fell 7% over the last month (now 93% of average) with slightly better than average storage in northern CO and below average in southern CO. The Rio Grande basin-wide storage is only 55% of average for this time of year, the lowest in the state.
Several municipal water providers are reporting above average demands (10-30% above avg) and increased concerns around the lack of precipitation.