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Drought Update – Dry Conditions Increase in Western Colorado

PICT - Kiowa County Press Icon
Chris Sorensen

Colorado experienced a mix of continued improving drought conditions for the north central part of the state, while abnormally dry conditions expanded in western Colorado.

Moderate drought that, one week ago, had impacted portions of eight counties, has receded to only northeast Park county thanks to recent rain and snow storms.

Abnormally dry conditions are now reported for all or parts of Larimer, Weld, Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Park, Teller, El Paso, Elbert, Douglas, Jefferson, Broomfield, Adams, Arapahoe and Denver counties. The remainder of eastern Colorado moved out of any level of drought several weeks ago.

A late-season storm Wednesday and Thursday which brought rain and wet snow to the area is like to further improve conditions. Some of the impacted counties received as much as five inches of liquid from the storm system.

In western Colorado, only a portion of Mesa county was listed as abnormally dry last week. As of this week, nearly all of Mesa is abnormally dry, along with parts of Garfield, Delta, Montrose, San Miguel and Dolores counties.

Overall, 81 percent of Colorado is free from drought, while just over 18 percent is considered abnormally dry. Less than one-half percent remains in moderate drought. Last week, nearly 90 percent of the state was free from drought.

Drought categories include (ranked from least to most severe) abnormally dry, moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional drought.

Map courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center