Extreme and exceptional drought remain in Colorado
Last week’s most significant improvements were in the San Luis Valley, where portions of Rio Grande and Conejos counties saw moderate drought transition to abnormally dry conditions. Severe drought in parts of Conejos and Costilla counties moved into the moderate category.
Montezuma, La Plata and Archuleta counties further west saw a narrow strip moved from exceptional drought move to extreme conditions.
This week, conditions were steady across the state, with western Colorado largely remaining in extreme and exceptional conditions. Exceptional drought remains in areas of Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, San Miguel, Montrose, Mesa, Delta, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Grand and Eagle counties. Most of the remainder of those counties are in extreme drought.
Portions of Las Animas, Baca and Kiowa counties in southeast Colorado are also in extreme drought.
Overall, eight precent of Colorado is abnormally dry. Moderate drought covers 31 percent of the state, while severe conditions account for an additional 30 percent. Extreme drought is present in 17 percent of Colorado, with 15 percent in exceptional conditions. Total does not equal 100 due to rounding.
Just over 4.6 million people in Colorado are in drought-impacted areas
One year ago, 32 percent of the state was drought-free, with an additional 17 percent experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Moderate drought was impacting 41 percent of the state, with seven percent in severe drought.
Early in the summer of 2019, the state was in an eight-week span of drought-free conditions - the first time Colorado had been clear from all levels of drought and abnormally dry conditions since records became available starting in 2000. As much as 77 percent of the state has fallen into the extreme and exceptional categories within the past year.
Drought classes include (ranked from least to most severe) D0 - abnormally dry, D1 - moderate, D2 - severe, D3 - extreme, and D4 - exceptional drought.
Colorado Drought by the Numbers
3 Months Ago
Start of Calendar Year
Start of Water Year
One Year Ago