Extreme Drought Expands Across Southeast Colorado

PROMO 660 x 440 Drought - Cracked Mud Cloud - iStock
Published Friday, March 16, 2018
PICT - Kiowa County Press Icon
by Chris Sorensen

Dry conditions persisted in Colorado over the past week, resulting in a significant expansion of extreme drought in the southeast corner of the state - a further deterioration from the severe drought that grew across the area last week.

Nearly all of Baca county is now in extreme drought, along with most of Prowers county. Smaller areas of Bent and Las Animas counties also dropped to extreme conditions.

A portion of northwest Colorado - western Rio Blanco and southwest Moffat counties - moved from moderate to severe drought. The rest of the state was largely unchanged.

A handful of north central and northeast counties remain drought-free after snow in February improved conditions.

Overall, about 10 percent of the state is free from drought, unchanged from the prior week. Abnormally dry conditions impact just over 19 percent of Colorado, up slightly. Moderate and severe drought areas fell to 23 and 34 percent, respectively, as extreme drought increased from nine percent to over 13 percent of the state.

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

Maps courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center. Top: March 13, 2018. Bottom: March 6, 2018.