From The Kiowa County Press (Chris Sorensen):
As drought conditions in western Colorado continue to degrade, 60 percent of the state is now in extreme or exceptional drought – the two worst categories – according to the latest report from the National Drought Mitigation Center. Much of the state experienced above average temperatures and little to no precipitation during the week.
The United States Monthly Drought Outlook for October shows drought persisting through the month. Temperatures during the month and through the end of the year are likely to remain above normal, while precipitation is expected to remain below normal.
Persistent drought over the summer continues to impact agriculture producers. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that Colorado livestock producers in east central counties are continuing to provide supplemental feed to livestock, and that fields normally cut for grass hay were too short and dry to produce hay this year.
Overall, 17 percent of Colorado is in exceptional drought, up from three percent during the previous week. Extreme drought fell from 50 percent to 43 as conditions degraded. Severe drought also fell from 36 to 31 percent as areas moved into worse conditions. Moderate drought dropped from 10 to 9 percent, while abnormally dry conditions were steady at one percent.