From The Kiowa County Press (Chris Sorensen):
Like much of the southwest United States, western Colorado remains under extreme and exceptional drought according to the latest report from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Portions of Gunnison, Pitkin and Delta counties in western Colorado saw severe drought degrade to extreme conditions, while the remainder of the state was unchanged.
Thirteen of Colorado’s 64 counties have a least some area in exceptional drought, with most or all of their remaining area in severe conditions.
Much of the western United States suffered under hot temperatures and continued lack of rain during the previous week. Like western Colorado, large portions of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico are experiencing extreme and exceptional conditions. Extreme drought stretches into central Oregon and southwest Washington. Much of North Dakota, along with smaller areas in northeast Montana and north central South Dakota are also in the two worst drought categories.
Last week, the National Weather Service issued a rare excessive heat warning for the Grand and Paradox valleys in western Colorado as temperatures in the area soared above 100 degrees and created risks for deadly heat-related illnesses.
Fire danger has been an increasing concern for agricultural producers in the western part of the state according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s weekly report.
In eastern Colorado, remaining drought and abnormally dry areas finished shifting to drought-free conditions over the past two weeks…
Overall, drought statistics are unchanged from last week despite shift in severe to extreme conditions in the three western Colorado counties. Fifty-five percent of the state remains drought-free, with an additional four percent considered abnormally dry. Moderate and severe drought both covered six percent of the state. Extreme conditions remained at 12 percent, and exceptional drought covers 18 percent of Colorado. Total does not equal 100 due to rounding.