Minor improvement in Colorado drought conditions

Weather - Drought News Update Recap
Published Friday, November 23, 2018
PICT - Kiowa County Press Icon
by Chris Sorensen

This week's drought monitor update showed only one small area of improvement in north central Colorado.

Much of Boulder County, which had been abnormally dry, shifted to drought-free conditions. The nearly-perfect circle of improvement left behind strips of abnormally dry areas along the western and eastern borders. Much of the area has a foot more snow than is typical for this time of year.

2018-11-23_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_november_20_2018.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - November 20, 2018
Courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center. November 20, 2018

The remainder of the state was unchanged from the previous week, leaving a large swath of extreme and exceptional drought - the two worst categories - firmly in place for western Colorado.

Over the coming months, southern Colorado, including the Four Corners area, is expected to show some improvement in drought conditions. Northwest and west central Colorado is expected to remain in severe, extreme and exceptional drought.

2018-11-23_map_national_three-month_drought_outlook_-_november_15_2018.png

MAP National three-month drought outlook - November 15, 2018
Courtesy NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Drought outlook for November 15, 2018 through February 28, 2018.

Despite the improvement in Boulder County, Colorado's overall drought numbers were unchanged for the week. Seventeen percent of the state is drought free or abnormally dry. Eleven percent is in moderate drought, while severe and extreme drought cover 21 percent of the state in each category. Thirteen percent remains in exceptional drought.

2018-11-18_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_november_13_2018.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - November 13, 2018
Courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center. November 13, 2018

One year ago, 71 percent of Colorado was drought-free, while 19 percent was abnormally dry. Ten percent of the state was in moderate drought, giving the first hints of the widespread drought that has impacted Colorado for nearly a year.

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

Colorado Drought by the Numbers

Week

Date

None

D0

D1

D2

D3

D4

Current

11/20/18

17

17

11

21

21

13

Last Week

11/13/18

17

17

11

21

21

13

3 Months Ago

8/21/18

19

7

9

20

37

9

Start of Calendar Year

12/26/17

7

65

28

0

0

0

Start of Water Year

9/25/18

14

14

8

16

32

16

One Year Ago

11/21/17

71

19

10

0

0

0