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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.
While changes were slight for Colorado's drought conditions this week, early snowpack hints at above normal amounts of water for some areas.
In south central Colorado, extreme drought was replaced with severe conditions in western Las Animas and southern Huerfano counties. Slivers of several north central counties saw abnormally dry conditions overtake moderate drought.
Drought was unchanged across the remainder of the state, including southwest Colorado, which continues to suffer under exceptional drought - the worst category.
A few winter storms over the previous week have helped generate new improvements for Colorado's ongoing drought.
Exceptional drought, the worst category, receded from portions of northern Costilla and western Huerfano counties in southern Colorado.
Extreme drought disappeared from Pueblo County over the past week, while other drought levels continued to recede from other southeastern counties. Western and south-central Colorado largely remains in extreme and exceptional drought, the two worst categories.
Colorado drought conditions were wholly unchanged from the previous week as improvements in the western part of the state halted. While chances of an El Nino continue to increase, the weather pattern is not expected to bring significant relief.
Western and southeastern Colorado saw additional improvements in drought conditions over the past week.
In the west central area, Mesa County and northwest Montrose County moved from extreme to severe drought. Both counties were covered by extreme and exceptional conditions two weeks ago before the remnants of Hurricane Rosa brought welcome rains.
The effects of rain last week from the remnants of Hurricane Rosa appeared as dramatic improvements this week for drought conditions in western Colorado. The southeast corner of the state also saw drought continue to recede.
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.