climate

Drought unchanged in Colorado – worst conditions in the nation

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - Drought News Update Recap

Despite rain in western Colorado this week, half of the state remains in the two worst drought categories. Most of the southwest quarter of the state is in exceptional drought, with much of the remainder of western Colorado in extreme conditions. Neighboring portions of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico are experiencing similar drought issues and, collectively, are under worst drought impacts in the United States.

Drought takes sharp turn for the worse in Colorado

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - Drought News Update Recap

Chris Sorensen

Reflecting recent warm, dry weather in the state, western Colorado saw expansion of the worst drought categories, while dry conditions grew in the northeast.

Exceptional drought expanded further east a week after it had advanced to the north into Mesa and Delta counties. This week's increases now cover all of Ouray and Archuleta counties and most of Hinsdale and Mineral counties. Southwest Gunnison County and western Conejos County also moved into exceptional conditions.

‘Exceptional’ drought expands in western Colorado; northeast sees dry conditions increase

PROMO 660 x 440 Agriculture - Tractor Plow Dust Field Drought - iStock - Dmytro Shestakov

A week after drought had stabilized in Colorado, conditions degraded dramatically, particularly for the western half of the state.

Mesa and Delta counites, along with northwest Gunnison County, saw extreme drought replaced by exceptional drought - the worst category - as hot and dry conditions persisted in the area.

Colorado drought conditions stable, half of state in worst categories

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - Drought News Update Recap

Rain and thunderstorms that have helped improve drought conditions in eastern Colorado since the end of July largely came to an end last week, while the western half of the state continued to bake under warm temperatures.

Nearly half of Colorado remains in extreme and exceptional drought, the two worst categories. South central and much of the west slope have been suffering under a lack of moisture for most of the year, while the northeast benefited from a late season blizzard and periodic rain to reach drought-free conditions over the summer.