Extreme Drought Shifts in Colorado

PROMO WEATHER Drought Cracked Ground Mud - Wikimedia
Published Friday, March 30, 2018
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by Chris Sorensen

Portions of western Colorado saw some improvement in drought conditions while the south-central part of the state saw further expansion of extreme drought conditions over the past week.

On the west slope, most of Mesa County improved from extreme drought to severe drought after recent snowstorms brought much needed moisture to the area.

In south central Colorado, extreme drought expanded across southern Conejos County as well as Alamosa and Costilla counties. Extreme conditions also expanded in southeast Saguache County. Most of the rest of Colorado was essentially unchanged from the previous week, however northeast Gunnison County saw conditions improve from severe drought to moderate drought.

Overall, slightly less than 10 percent of the state is drought free. About 17 percent of the state, mainly in the north east and north central area, remains abnormally dry. Just under 25 percent of the state is experiencing moderate drought, up slightly from the previous week. About 28 percent of the state is experiencing severe drought, down slightly from the previous week. Over 20 percent of the state is in extreme drought, up slightly from last week.

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 27, 2018. Bottom: March 20, 2018.