New Expansion of Exceptional Drought into Southeast Colorado

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - Drought News Update Recap
Published Saturday, July 14, 2018
PICT - Kiowa County Press Icon
by Chris Sorensen

While portions of southeast Colorado border counties showed some improvement in drought conditions, a new area of "exceptional drought" - the worst category - appeared elsewhere in the region.

Eastern Kiowa, Prowers and Baca counties showed improvement over the previous week, moving to moderate and severe drought. A small portion of northeast Kiowa County shifted into abnormally dry conditions, while much of Baca County has shed extreme drought over the past month as early summer storms continue to bring much-needed moisture to the area.

2018-07-13_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_july_10_2018.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - July 10, 2018
Courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center. July 10, 2018

Less than 100 miles away, conditions continued to deteriorate as exceptional drought developed to cover all of Otero County along with most of Bent and Crowley counties and parts of Pueblo, Las Animas and Kiowa counties. Kiowa County held the distinction for the week of being the only county to see both improvements and degraded conditions. Exceptional drought also expanded in southwest Custer County

Northwest Colorado also saw conditions deteriorate. Extreme drought expanded across Mesa and much of Garfield County along with western Pitkin County. Severe conditions encompass most of Rio Blanco and southern two-thirds of Moffat counties. Moderate and severe drought advanced to the east across much of the remainder of the area.

Overall, drought-free conditions declined to 18 percent from 20 percent during the previous week. Abnormally dry  areas dropped seven points to five percent, while moderate drought increased slightly to 16 percent of the state. Severe drought increased to 21 percent of the state from 16 percent in the prior week.

Extreme drought dropped one point to 27 percent, while exceptional drought increased to 13 percent from nine percent.

2018-07-07_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_july_3_2018.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - July 3, 2018
Courtesy National Drought Mitigation Center. July 3, 2018

One year ago, two-thirds of Colorado was drought-free, while the remainder was abnormally dry.

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

7/10/18

18

5

16

21

27

13

Last Week

7/3/18

20

12

15

16

28

9

3 Months Ago

4/10/18

12

18

16

29

24

0

Start of Calendar Year

12/26/17

7

65

28

0

0

0

Start of Water Year

9/26/17

68

29

4

0

0

0

One Year Ago

7/11/17

67

33

0

0

0

0